Honda’s user-friendly naked commuter NC750S gets EURO4 compliance and LCD instruments with personalised colour options
The NC750S is an exceptionally user-friendly motorcycle: easy to ride and easy on the pocket in terms of both initial purchase and running costs. It attracts riders of all ages including both experienced riders looking for a capable and economic motorcycle to tackle the city traffic, as well as new, younger riders stepping up from smaller machines looking equally for performance, economy, practicality and pleasure from their first ‘big’ motorcycle.
And that’s exactly what they get from the NC750S. Its parallel twin-cylinder engine packs the low-to-midrange with effortless torque; capacious storage space where the fuel tank normally sits and the option of Honda’s unique Dual Clutch Transmission set it apart from the crowd of mid-sized naked machines. When combined with a compact form, confidence-inspiring chassis and exceptional fuel economy, the result is a uniquely accessible and practical motorcycle.
Since the original launch in 2012 – as the NC700S – continuous development has seen Honda deliver more of what every rider liked about the machine, and the concept behind it. For this next step, form and function are enhanced in equal measure, making that first ‘big’ motorcycle experience even better.
A host of detail improvements upgrade the NC750S for 2016. The LED headlight (on the Special Edition colours) and taillight add premium style and new instruments – with variable colour display – can be personalised and present a premium image to the rider.
DCT is matured even further, with software upgrades for a more natural ‘feathered’ clutch feel around an on/off throttle. For even sportier riding, there are now 3 levels of S mode for gear changes in AT mode, and raised rpm upper limit for downshifts in MT mode. Further software upgrades also improve DCT’s performance in a variety of situations.
The front brake caliper is revised while a new exhaust muffler saves weight and generates a pleasing exhaust ‘pulse’ tone. The manual six-speed gearbox option has a lighter clutch feel and dog leg lever.
Leading the NC750S update is the phrase ‘Sensual Performance’ and the riding experience is enhanced visually and aurally. The small LED headlight and clear-smoke lens taillight inject a distinct new presence. A unique selling point of the NC750S remains hidden in plain sight – the 21L storage compartment (where the fuel tank would normally be found) that easily holds a full-face helmet.
A ‘wave’ style key adds a premium feel. Brand new instruments use a negative LCD display; information includes odometer, trip meter, gear position, fuel efficiency and consumption gauges, (optional) heated grip temperature plus 3-stage S mode for the DCT model.
The colour of the rev-counter bar display can also be changed by the rider; a total of 9 options are available. It is also possible to have colours change according to gear selected, rpm range or (for the DCT version) riding mode.
ECO and SHIFT mode are further options when riding with the display set to a single colour or (on the DCT machine) the mode-dependent setting. ECO mode turns the display to light blue if riding with good fuel efficiency, and green if riding even more economically. SHIFT mode sees the colour change to orange if engine rpm exceeds a level pre-set by the rider.
The NC750S will be available in 5 colour options:
Pearl Glare White
Special Edition Graphite Black – with LED headlight, additional red stripes, two-tone seat and red wheels
Special Edition Matt Gunpowder Metallic – with LED headlight, additional stripes, two-tone seat and silver frame
The range of genuine Honda Accessories include a specifically-designed new rear rack, a 35L top box, 29L panniers, inner bags, centre stand, 5-stage heated grips, U-lock and AC charging socket.
Dual Clutch Transmission
Honda’s DCT technology is now in its sixth year of production and gaining popularity year on year on all of the machines that feature it as an option. DCT uses two clutches: one for start-up and 1st, 3rd and 5th gears: the other for 2nd, 4th and 6th, with the mainshaft for each clutch located inside the other for compact packaging. Each clutch is independently controlled by its own electro-hydraulic circuit.
The DCT system features two automatic plus the MT mode for manual gear changes. The standard automatic D mode is for general or highway riding and maximum fuel economy. S mode – which shifts up and down at higher rpm than D mode for a sportier ride – has now been expanded to give three levels of sports performance. Some riders prefer to ride higher gears, some lower and the three modes make it possible to tailor gearbox response to riding style. The selected level is stored, and acts as the default S Mode for subsequent rides. It is also displayed on the dash.
The DCT used by the NC750S now features “Adaptive Clutch Capability Control” that manages the amount of clutch torque transmitted. This adds a natural ‘feathered’ clutch feel when opening or shutting off the throttle for a smoother ride. Further refinements include faster operation of the N-D switch on turning on the ignition and a control system in AT mode for gauging the angle of ascent or descent and adapting shift pattern accordingly.
The design of the NC750S’s liquid-cooled, SOHC 8-valve parallel twin-cylinder engine ensures punchy performance in the low-to-mid range. Its relatively long-stroke architecture and specially-shaped combustion chambers combine with the high-inertial mass crankshaft to produce large amounts of effortless torque from very low rpm. Peak power is 40.3kW @ 6,250rpm with maximum torque of 68Nm @ 4,750rpm.
PGM-FI always injects the exact fuel/air ratio required for a complete and clean burn at all rpm in any riding situation. The engine is EURO4 compliant with CO2 emissions of 81g/km and fuel consumption of 28.6km/l (WMTC mode) provides a 400km plus range from the 14.1-litre underseat fuel tank.
Twin balancers counteract vibration from higher rpm inertia, refining the engine yet still allowing the distinct ‘throb’ delivered by its 270° firing order. Bore and stroke is set at 80 x 77mm. By keeping the number of parts to a minimum, the engine is kept light, efficient and reliable. There is just one 36mm throttle body and where possible components are made to do more than one job; the camshaft drives the water pump, while one of the balancer shafts drives the oil pump.
For 2016 the manual transmission engine receives an adjusted clutch lever pull ratio – and new dogleg lever – making easier work of frequent gear changes.
A new, lightweight pentagon shape muffler is shorter than the previous design and uses two chambers joined by a hole-punched link pipe, which works with a final resonator chamber to create a deeper, more distinctive sound and exhaust pulse. The built-in catalyser has a two-layer structure for cleaner emissions.
The rugged steel diamond frame delivers the high levels of rigidity required for agile, responsive handling in a variety of conditions. It’s also ideal where space is at a premium, since it takes up very little volume but offers superb riding dynamics. Rake is set at 27° with trail of 110mm, wheelbase of 1,525mm and front/rear weight distribution of 48/52. Kerb weight is 217kg (227kg with DCT).
Seat height is 790mm and the ergonomics put the rider firmly in control, with handlebars just a relaxed reach away. The width of the handlebars offers excellent leverage at all speeds and with 35° of steering lock – plus low centre of gravity – the NC750S is perfect for cutting through the busiest city streets. Passengers comfort is ensured by twin grab handles.
41mm telescopic forks feature 120mm stroke. The rear monoshock also has 120mm travel and operates through Pro-Link, which offers the balance of a soft initial stroke for dealing with low-speed bumps and excellent overall control.
Up front 320mm wavy disc and two-piston brake caliper offer plenty of easy to modulate stopping power, complemented by the rear 240mm wavy disc and single-piston caliper. Lightweight two-channel ABS provides powerful and confident braking even on slippery or wet road surfaces.
The addition of new forged aluminium L-shaped rim valves make checking and adjusting air pressure easier; cast aluminium front and rear wheels – sizes 17 x 3.50-inch and 17 x 4.50-inch – wear 120/70 ZR17 and 160/60 ZR17 tyres.
All specifications are provisional and subject to change without notice.
** Please note that the figures provided are results obtained by Honda under standardised testing conditions prescribed by WMTC. Tests are conducted on a rolling road using a standard version of the vehicle with only one rider and no additional optional equipment. Actual fuel consumption may vary depending on how you ride, how you maintain your vehicle, weather, road conditions, tire pressure, installation of accessories, cargo, rider and passenger weight, and other factors.
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