2015 Honda CTX700
Honda presses on in its crusade to target the new-rider market with the release of the 2015 CTX700 cruiser. You could call this bike the laid-back cousin of the CTX700 family, and while it is similar to the CTX700N, it inspires a completely different attitude. Honda managed to create this shift with seemingly minute changes that, in fact, make all the difference in the world. The relaxed riding posture and fairing turns this bike into a bit of a jack-of-all-trades, and far more welcoming of lengthy day-trips than its 700N-based cousins. Optional controls, such as an automatic transmission and ABS, offer improved rider safety for entry-level riders, and the price is sure to fit their budget as well.
2015 Honda CTX700
The CTX700 bridges the gap between street bikes and cruisers by offering features that are common to both. A lean and clean rear end looks purely sport bike, but the front fairing brings a definite cruiser flavor to the blend and can even be fitted with accessory speakers so you can jam while you ride. While the fixed fairing and low windshield will offer only moderate protection from the elements, it will most certainly prevent fatigue due to wind pressure, and result in a more relaxed ride. Honda further changed the attitude by re-positioning the rider triangle to move the rider’s hands and feet to more of a forward-control position. This forces a relaxed, upright posture that is more comfortable to maintain over long periods of time than the more aggressive, forward-leaning position required of sport bikes. Honda built a small storage compartment in the fuel tank area that looks like it will hold a wallet, cellphone and maybe a pack of smokes. This dearth of built-in storage is offset somewhat by the optional saddlebags that should allow riders to contemplate some fairly long trips, or at least somewhat-productive missions to the grocery store.
The 17-inch tires, front and rear, provide decent-sized contact patches where the rubber meets the road, and the cast-aluminum tri-spoke wheels lend the bike a rather sporty look that is accentuated by the design cut into the 320 mm front, and 240 mm rear brake discs. I’m not sure if this design serves a function, but it does look really cool. Speaking of the brakes, this is one of the places where you can avail yourself of one of the major upgrades. Honda offers an optional anti-lock brake package that provides full ABS function to both the front and rear wheels. This security should definitely appeal to entry-level riders and inspire a bit more confidence even among experienced riders.
The 41 mm forks take care of the front suspension, but the single rear shock is tucked neatly away out of sight help to keep the rear end clean and uncluttered. Suspension travel is just over 4 inches front and rear, which is adequate for cruising but may feel a little stiff on rough roads and/or long trips. While fatigue may be a concern on long trips, fuel certainly will not. The 3.17-gallon fuel tank and estimated 64 mpg ensures that you won’t be sweating every time you miss a gas station.
Vibrations from the 670 cc parallel-twin engine are minimized by a 270-degree-phase crankshaft and uni-axial primary balancer. Liquid cooling, fuel injection and four-valve heads are just a few of the features of the engine, but the real star of the CTX700 optional upgrades involves the transmission. The bike comes stock with a mile-eating six-speed manual transmission and experienced riders may prefer to stick with that; I know that I would. But Honda offers a Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT) that can operate in a fully automatic mode or be shifted manually via push buttons on the handlebars. This automatic transmission coupled with the ABS system makes the CTX700 almost singularly suited for first-time riders, and should safely smooth out the initial learning curve significantly.
Honda continues its full-court press on the entry-level market by offering the 2015 CTX700 base model for a competitive $7,499, same as last year’s model. While this is a great price, adding the DCT and/or ABS will bring the price up to just under 9 grand — a bargain for the technology. Honda offers a full range of accessories that allow buyers to set up their bike for their intended riding style, but not so many options on the color. Gray Blue Metallic is the only color available, and while that is a bit of a drag, at least you are saved from ballooning the sticker by going for a custom-color package.
"This is a cool-looking ride with a sort of Batman-esque quality to it. I like the position of the rider triangle and can attest to its comfort because that is about how I have my bike set up, plus the forward foot controls keep the pegs out of your way when you need to put your training wheels down."
My wife and fellow write, Allyn Hinton, says, "As with most of the Honda lineup, I’m not impressed with the CTX700. Honda bats around buzzwords like "innovative" and "torque-rich," but I’m really not seeing it. Still, Honda has its fans, and for an entry-level rider who doesn’t want to spend much on a ride, Honda offers models like the CTX700 at an affordable price."
|Engine Type:||Liquid-Cooled Parallel-Twin|
|Bore And Stroke:||73 mm X 80 mm|
|Induction:||PGM-FI With 36 mm Throttle Body|
|Ignition:||Digital Transistorized With Electronic Advance|
|Compression Ratio:||10.7 to 1|
|Valve Train:||SOHC; Four Valves Per Cylinder|
|Front Suspension:||41 mm Fork, 4.2 Inches Travel|
|Rear Suspension:||Pro-Link Single Shock, 4.3 Inches Travel|
|Front Brake:||Single 320 mm Disc With Two-Piston Caliper|
|Rear Brake:||Single 240 mm Disc With Single-Piston Caliper|
|Front Tire:||120/70 R17|
|Rear Tire:||160/60 R17|
|Seat Height:||28.3 Inches|
|Fuel Capacity:||3.17 Gallons|
|Miles Per Gallon:||64 Mpg|
|Emissions:||Meets Current EPA Standards. California Version Meets Current CARB Standards And May Differ Slightly Due To Emissions Equipment.|
|Available Colors:||Gray Blue Metallic|
|Factory Warranty:||One Year, Transferable, Unlimited-Mileage Limited Warranty; Extended Coverage Available With A Honda Protection Plan.|