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Thread: NC 750X DCT: 3 Month Report

  1. #1
    N00b
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    Default NC 750X DCT: 3 Month Report

    I've had my NC750X for 3 months now and covered just under 4800km, so thought I'd do an update on how I've found it - especially as a first 'real' bike. Having had a Vespa LX150 for the last 12 years, this upgrade was well overdue. If I was living within 10km of work, and close to the city, I probably wouldn't have upgraded, but driving 40km each way to work and back is hell on the LX, especially on the freeway. The LX can hit 98km on a downhill with a tailwind, which just isn't always possible, feasible or safe.

    I love the fact that I have so much power available now, compared to what I had before. I haven't taken it to it's max speed, and haven't used the sports mode much either, but for me and the way I ride, there's plenty of oomph when I need it. Accelerating from the lights to get away from the pack of cars is a doddle, and using the semi-manual gearing to drop a gear for an overtake makes those mostly a cinch. The grunt from 50kph to 90kph is great and makes overtaking much easier than what I had before. The uphill at the end of the M3 heading to Bishopscourt used to drop the Vespa from 90 at the bottom to 75 halfway up. Now I can still be doing 100+ without an issue on the climb. Same for the long uphill between the hairpins on Ou Kaapse Weg.

    I'm still getting used to the throttle at really low speeds. There's a really small window of control for pulling off and keeping slow, whereas the Vespa was always a quarter twist for slow speed and a half to full twist for everything else. There isn't much throttle play and it's pretty easy to pull forward more than expected.

    Cornering is a lot more stable too. There are some corners that I would comfortably take at 60-70, I can now do at 90-100. I'm not the fastest corner practitioner around, but the level of stability and grip is seriously comforting to someone getting used to a much bigger bike with a lot more power. It sticks pretty well at decent speeds and doesn't wobble around much at all. There's only been one instance where I felt the back sliding out a bit as I was going too fast.

    Traffic is more pleasant on the NC for one main reason: more drivers see and hear me, therefore make way. There's still the occasional (Audi) driver that just doesn't pay attention, but that's to be expected. Getting around cars is definitely easier, but the Vespa is still much more flickable between slow-moving traffic. I'm not comfortable throwing the NC around like I would the LX, but maybe a handling course or two will help with that. I'm also glad I went with the DCT as not having to worry about changing gears through traffic is really nice.

    Speaking of the DCT gearbox, it basically just works. I mostly keep it in normal Drive mode, and gear down for overtakes and on longer corners to be able to accelerate out more smoothly. Taking off from intersections and getting away from cars I can either be doing 50 in 6th or 100 in 6th, depending on how much I open the throttle. The only issue I have is the gearing between 1st/2nd/3rd at slower speeds. There's one corner in particular on my way home where it's just at the crossover speed, so I get a bit of a jerk mid corner as it switches up/down/up or down/up/down depending on my approach speed. Sometimes in slow moving traffic it'll do that too if I'm going between 20-30-20. I the S modes sort that out a bit as the gears will only change at higher engine revs, but it basically means the crossover speed is a bit higher. Apart from that particular quirk, not having to think about gears the whole time really just gives me more time and attention for everything else happening on the road.

    Riding in adverse weather is much better too. On the Vespa, a gust of wind from the side was like getting shoved in a new direction, whereas on the NC it's like a gentle push, almost a hint. The increase in stability is massive. I've gone from having my absolute wind speed limit at under 50kph, to being able to just handle 70kph. I have the option of working from home on bad weather days, and used 7 days in two months on the Vespa, but haven't had to do that at all on the NC yet.

    Fuel consumption is really good - I'm getting on average 3.5l/100km. On the Vespa the average was 4,9l/100km. Boggles my mind that an engine 5 times larger can be less thirsty, but I guess it is many years newer and doesn't have to spend much time revving as high as it possibly can to get up a moderate hill.

    The seat is a bit uncomfortable when riding for 2+ hours, but nothing worth panicking over. It must be said that the Vespa has the most comfortable seat imaginable as it's essentially a wide, soft couch between two wheels. The seat on the NC definitely narrower and harder, but for daily commuting it's perfectly fine.

    ABS is a bloody godsend. I've only had to really slam brakes on hard a couple of times since I've had it and and every time I've stopped well short of where I thought I would.

    My first service was also less than half the price of a Vespa service at R1100, instead of R2500. Plus the service intervals are now 12000km instead of 5000km. I'm expecting long term cost of ownership for the NC to be significantly lower than the LX. The service staff at Honda Cape Town are also super friendly and helpful, answering loads of questions from a new owner without hesitation.

    For some context on my thinking with getting the NC, I knew I needed an upgrade, but was weary of getting a much bigger bike without working my way up a bit. I thought about getting a GS150R (dirt cheap, cash buy) so that I could get used to riding a normal bike for about a year. The plan was to upgrade to the BMW G310GS when it comes out as it looks like a perfect, nimble little bike for traffic. I took the Suzuki for a test drive, and that was an awful experience from a sales point of view. I then cast my net wider and found the NC, watching probably hundreds of YouTube reviews and owner pro/con videos to find any real weaknesses. Turns out they were exactly right - DCT gearing at slow speeds and the not perfectly comfortable seat were the biggest issues most people mentioned. Some said it wasn't fast enough or punchy enough for them, but for me, it's just right in those departments.

    I have a lot more confidence riding the NC now, and even though it's so much faster and more powerful than the LX, I've actually become a safer and more restrained rider. My new 'first thought' when contemplating an overtake is 'do I think I can make it' or 'do I know I can make it?' If I only think I can, I don't go for it. On the LX I would've taken any tiny gap presented to me without hesitation (but with a full twist!) and yeah, I was lucky to get away with it a few times. Having respect for the additional grunt I have now is what's made me ride more calmly than before. I know I'll be able to overtake almost anything on four wheels now, but I'm not risking it until I know or sure it's safe.

    Anyhoo. That's enough of an update for now. Just thought I'd share my experience on getting to grips with something bigger and more powerful, coming from a position of absolute comfort with my previous ride. I feel so much safer now, and with that significantly more confident. Can't believe I waited this long.

    Is this the greatest bike ever made, or is it the right bike for everyone? Hell no. But, if you're looking for a safe, stable upgrade to something bigger/better/faster without breaking the bank or your back, I can't recommend it enough.

  2. #2
    Nuon Fangirl

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    Nice report. Thanks.

  3. #3
    Hooligan Biker DouglasN's Avatar
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    Thanks, very nice write up, is nice to see a thinking rider!

  4. #4
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    best report for days. Love the contrast between the scoot and bike, and how you have felt the freedom. Extra lessons always come in handy.
    Two wheels not for the faint hearted in Jozi! ​

  5. #5
    Hooligan Biker

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    Nice report. Opens up the NC as a future bike.

  6. #6
    Nuon Fangirl

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    Anyone who is looking for a well priced, all rounder in that cc class, MUST consider the NC.

  7. #7
    N00b
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    Thanks for reading, peeps.

    I took the Vespa out on Saturday for the first time since getting the NC and I honestly can't believe I ever felt safe riding on it - let alone on the freeway! Remarkable how accustomed I actually am to the NC now, and how the additional size and weight are so comforting, when they were so daunting when I first went for a ride. I've watched a bunch of videos of people who ride bigger bikes, taking a scooter for a ride for the first time and was baffled that they struggled to get to grips with it, but now I get it. The short ride just confirmed that I definitely made the right choice for me.

  8. #8
    I called AMZ a guuurl and survived! kamza's Avatar
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    That's why i ditched the Twister and that was a 250cc bike...I still wonder how people commute on the highway with these smaller displacement bikes, anyway i'm glad i am not the only one who shares these sentiments (if there was a hug emoji i would send one to you)

    http://forum.thinkbike.co.za/showthr...=1#post1164874
    2 Timothy 1: 7For God has not given us the spirit of fear..

  9. #9
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    I own both a 600 bike an a 170 scoot. I ride both. I'm aware of their capabilities, and that is what has kept me safe in Jo'burg for 4 years on 2 wheels.
    Why both? Running cost and application - nice jumping on the scoot to go buy bread. Nice to jump on the bike to go see parents down in FS. Both bikes see the N1/N3, and I'm aware that trucks will overtake me riding one and I know riding the other I will overtake all the trucks.

    For me it's a similar mentality to driving "my car" vs driving the "misses' car".

    Sent from my ConeXis X1 using Tapatalk
    Two wheels not for the faint hearted in Jozi! ​

  10. #10
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    If the LX was newer and cheaper to run and maintain the the NC, I'd definitely keep it. I can absolutely see the benefit of keeping a handle on the way a couple of different bikes ride, but there's no need for me to keep it around any longer. Should be sold this week to someone who will get good use out of it and continue to look after it too.

  11. #11
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    Can I ask why the DCT vs the Manual?

    Just sold my Vespa, and thinking of the NC, but the manual version...

  12. #12
    N00b
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    Honestly, I just didn't want the hassle of changing gears in traffic. I rode behind a lot of bikes on my route while deciding what to get and made a note of how often they were changing gears, and was surprised by how much it's necessary. It's just an extra thing to take my mind off watching the cars to maintain my safety. Maybe having had a Vespa for so long made me lazy, but if anything it adds more to my enjoyment of riding by not always having to think about it. The DCT does have a manual mode that will allow you to do all of the upshifting via the handlebar switches, but it will still automatically downshift for you when you brake. If you like changing gears and having complete control, get the manual. If you just want to ride and sometimes have some control, get the DCT. I'm thrilled with my choice, except sometimes for the low-speed automatic changes as noted above, but that's a minor inconvenience. Having the option to still change up or down when in full auto mode is a game-changer though. If I need some extra grunt to get past someone, I can still gear down when I want to. The really good thing is that it will never let you go out of range, so you can't accidentally gear down to first when you're doing 140. If Honda have any available, it might be worth taking the DCT on an extended test drive, through a bit of traffic and on the freeway, to get a feel for it. Patrick at the Canal Walk branch was super helpful.

  13. #13
    N00b
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    Thanks...
    I'd written off the DCT, but what you've said makes complete sense... I'm looking for commuting (a mix of highway and congested streets)... so the DCT might be the better option... I'll test both and take it from there...
    cheers

  14. #14
    N00b
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    I also do mixed riding for my commute every day (suburbia, mountain pass, highway and CBD) and it does well for me in all areas. The DCT is definitely not for everyone, so taking it for a test will give you confidence in the choice you make.

  15. #15
    N00b
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    Thanks

    Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk

  16. #16
    Little frunker. Ares's Avatar
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    Thanks for the writeup.
    Ricers are bikers too!

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