The 2021 Honda NC750X has many unexpected updates over the outgoing model. Yet none that buyers have actually asked for. Many have asked for a 19-inch front wheel and upgraded suspension.
Aluminum swingarm and a 43-mm front fork would significantly enhance NC750X performance on gravel and bumpy asphalt roads turning it into an actual ADV bike. Unfortunately, Honda decided to lower suspension travel turning NC into a road bike and taking out any adventure capability it had before. The 2021 redesign mostly include appearance and electronics improvements.
NC750X 2021 Updates
Honda integrated the ride by wire throttle with 4 riding modes, 3 engine braking modes, and enhanced traction control. It looks like these parts come directly from 2019 Africa Twin and despite ride by wire throttle, NC750x does not have cruise control – same as 2019 Africa Twin.
Honda also significantly changed the design of the bike installing a new headlight and changing the fairings. Honda NC750X in some way looks similar to the 2013 Honda VFR800x (Crossrunner) now.
NC750X now comes with a lower seat (30 mm lower compared to the previous model) achieved through lowering the bike by reducing suspension travel from 150 to 120 mm. Also, Honda changed the windshield and installed a modern LCD screen.
NC750X Engine Updates (2021)
The biggest improvement is in the engine compartment. The bike has now a 43-KW (58 horsepower) engine, a 3 KW increase while remaining its fuel efficiency (3.5L/100km) and low-end torque. New power figures are 43,1 kW at 6,725 RPM and 69-Nm at 4,750 RPM.
Moreover, Honda changed gear ratios making the first 3 gears shorter for faster acceleration. This makes sense taking into account that the bike comes with automatic DCT transmission that shifts gears super fast. For the manual gearbox version, this is probably not good since the rider will have to shift through the gears more.
Honda slightly changed the frame to fit the redesigned engine. Overall, the chassis remains the same with a 1535mm wheelbase. The wheels remain the same sizes – 17 inches both front (120/70-17 tire) and back (160/60-17 tire).
Wheel travel was reduced to 120 mm for front and back taking any adventure pedigree out of the equation. With a 41-mm telescopic fork, Honda should remove the “X” from the bike name since now it is a 100% rode bike.
2021 Honda NC750X has many great improvements compared to a 2020 model. However, many important parts including the rear swingarm and front fork remain in the low-end budget category. Considering that NC is a 224 kg (DCT) motorcycle – budget suspension simply ruins the bike performance.
Buying a manual gearbox version of this bike makes no sense what so ever. If you do not want a DCT – then consider buying a Yamaha Tenere 700 instead.
It looks like Honda decided to split its middleweight motorcycle lineup into road and ADV categories turning NC750X into a 100% road bike and leaving the place for the smaller version of the Africa Twin as an actual middleweight ADV bike. Otherwise, their NC750X suspension changes make no sense.
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