About two weeks ago I saw an NT700V in a dealer while looking at the Concurs and it just jumped out and said "buy Me!"....
It will be replacing a K1200LT which I have found is just WAY to big for what I want and for the kind of riding I do. Mostly I like 2-lane blacktops and exploring the back roads of the eastern seaboard area. Been riding for over 40 years, stated riding at 15 back in 1965 in Thailand where my family was stationed and have owned a bike since 1970. This is my first New bike in 37 years, everything in between has been a used machine, so I am Really looking forward to the thrill of owning a Brand New machine.
When I sold my R60/5 that I had set up for sport riding back in 04 I have always wanted to replace her with another sporty bike but a bit more comfortable and capable.
Well now I have!
Last Wednesday I dropped by MFI (a local Honda dealer) since its right on my way home, just to see if they might have an NT700V to look at, turns out they had two, one silver and one in red. Hmmmm. Sat on the silver one, put her up on the side stand just out of curiosity, easy as cutting butter! Easier than my airhead and that is saying a lot!
Now I just went in to look, see? And wellÔÇª
Thursday at noon I returned to take possession of it! Rode about 60 miles, down along the parkway to KhahnÔÇÖs (my imdendent airhead mechanic) in Alexandria Virginia and then back to Rt. 1 with the intent of Actually getting stuck in traffic to she how handled stop and go. The engine behaves very well, no discernible heat flowing back up, clutch is like butter and easy to operate. But then wet-multi-plate clutches generally are and the Japanese bikes have had that and transmission down pat for years.
Nice controls, well placed and simple. Three on the left and 2 on the right, thatÔÇÖs it. IÔÇÖd prefer an Up and Down turn indicator and the button could be placed a little better, not sticking out quite as far, but thatÔÇÖs getting picky. Instruments are easy to see and the clear faceplate doesnÔÇÖt develop a reflection that prevents you from seeing the dash, unlike the LT which in certain situations with sun low and behind almost blinds you.
At the end of my first ride I was thinking I might need to add bar-backs due to the somewhat aggressive riding position, but the next day I found by sitting with my weight shifted forward on my hips and my back straight it took the weight off my arms and the leg position is just right as well. The fairing gives great protection, though I am going to add the knuckle-busters and a taller C-bailey wind screen already available along with a fender extender.
Only bad thing I have read about it really is that the saddle bags are bit weak at the hinges but there may be ways of improving that and bigger lids are available.
I got the non-ABS version with heated grips, power outlet and went with a Givi trunk as the Honda trunk hasnÔÇÖt gotten very good reviews.
Its now three days later and I have 450 miles on mine and absolutely LOVE it. I has a very comfortable ride, I returned less tired than from a similar ride on either my LT (due mostly to its weight) or the 78 airhead, due to it age and the fact that suspensions back then just don't compare to today's machines. The weight of the bike is not an issue for me, weigh very close to my airhead with WindJammer fairing and hard bags. If anything the weight is a bonus, makes for a very stable and firmly planted ride. I purposely tucked in behind an 18 wheeler that create a lot of wind turbulence behind them to see how the bike would do at 70 Mph. No reaction from the bike at all, very nice!
On my second ride on Friday I did about 250 miles along some of my favorite roads including some nice country roads, along some lovely farming valley's and over several mountains about 3000 feet high. In every situation the bike really performed wonderfully. The short wheel base, dual arm swing arm and solid build of the frame really shows off well. Applying power reminded me some of my old brit twins I rode in the 70's, that wonderful thumping as it comes to life. I am convinced Honda make this bike Just For Me! But very disappointed they did not call me and let me know it was available! Ha Ha! This is the perfect fit for me, I like its stability in winds, it feels really firmly planted, something lighter like the F800 wouldnÔÇÖt do for me. On the way back from the local BMW Open house today I did take her up to 6K on a pass in 4 gear, power issues??? I donÔÇÖt think so! Not as fast as other 550 Lbs machines? Well neither is my airhead! On this machine I can ride as quickly as the airhead AND with Tons more confidence, IÔÇÖll settle for that! This bike just may do well here once the word gets out. As a salesman at MortonÔÇÖs said to me today, he read a review that stated ÔÇ£48,000 Europeans canÔÇÖt be wrong!ÔÇØ
So its done and the Rocket cycle Lives once more!
Now for pictures of the ride, It starts along the Potomac River just south of Washington DC, then heads west toward West Virginia that is full on farming valleys tucked between seemingly endless mountain ranges that are anywhere from 2700 to 4300 feet in elevation. I also passed thru several small towns along the way and a National Forest. While I don't usually take pictures of my bike when on my rides, this one being new and all well...I decide to try and find some nice backgrounds, including some old barns and abandoned homes (some of my favorite photography subjects). They cause one to pause and wonder about the life and people they once supported as I wrote in one of my poems called "I Remember" in my "images on Words" series where I combine photo's with thoughts that those images bring to me.
I Love having every other Friday off, I get to go riding and have all the lovely back roads to myself while every one else is slaving away at some pointless task! No folks out on their cruisers puttizing along at 20 Under the speed limit : (my pace is generally about 10-20 over posted speeds, depending of course on road conditions and such) or young hot head sports bikers trying to pass me on the inside of mountain switchback! [-X
Lets look at numbersÔÇª
333 is a nice number
But then again 444 is a nice number as wellÔÇª
An old covered bridge in the background one of a half dozen or so still in use in Virginia.
Well that's is for now.