The 2014 Honda CTX700N
looks like a cruiser at first glance, with a low-slung profile, 719mm seat height, and arched handlebars. Upon closer inspection, however, you'll notice the short rake, minimalist headstock, 17” alloy wheels, and parallel twin-cylinder engine -- stuff you normally see on a naked bike.
Where does the CTX700N belong?
According to Honda, the 2014 CTX700N represents a new genre of cruiser, with more of an upright riding position and styling that breaks the traditional mould. True to its adventurous spirit, the Japanese manufacturer launched this unorthodox machine that builds on the success of the NC700 platform.
Riders have changing needs as evidenced by the new CTX700N: Pure power and radical looks, fuelled by unbridled passion, are being tossed aside in favour of a more versatile, comfortable, and urban-oriented package that's big on functionality and fuel economy. At the same time, this unassuming bike will delight cruiser enthusiasts seeking a fresh new way of enjoying the road.
|According to Honda, the 2014 CTX700N represents a new genre of cruiser, with more of an upright riding position and styling that breaks the traditional mould. (Photo: Philippe Champoux)
The comprehensive instrument panel is identical to the NC700SA's including a digital speedometer and bar-type tachometer, plus an LCD monitor with a clock, low fuel gauge, and two trip meters. As for storage, the 2014 Honda CTX700N offers a tiny compartment above the fuel tank, along with a bit of cargo room under the seat.
The NC700-derived, 670cc parallel-twin boasts a smooth powerband that's rich in torque, stretching to 6,500 rpm with very low-key sound effects. Power delivery is quite linear, more like an electric motor's than a classic SOHC V-twin's, which is precisely the point of this new, super-friendly CTX700N.
The 6-speed manual transmission (Honda's dual-clutch unit is unavailable in Canada at the time of writing) proves ultra-smooth and easy to work with. For cost-cutting purposes, the final drive uses a chain rather than a belt or shaft like the ones found on most cruisers.
|The NC700-derived, 670cc parallel-twin boasts a smooth powerband that's rich in torque, stretching to 6,500 rpm with very low-key sound effects. (Photo: Philippe Champoux)
CTX700N is an easygoing cruiser
Straddling this Honda feels very intuitive. The extremely low centre of gravity, limited curb weight (218kg), neutral handling, and 17” wheels make the CTX700N fundamentally sound and balanced. In addition, the single disc brake up front is more than adequate and easy to modulate. Efficiency is also part of the equation as the 12.4-litre tank provides a range of about 300km (4.0L/100km).
The wheelbase is 5mm longer than the NC700SA's, while the fork rake has been extended from 27.0 degrees to 27.4 degrees. Stability is improved, and the steering heavier. Due to modifications in the rear, however, the fuel tank on the CTX700N could not be mounted under the seat, so you don't get the same fake tank/large storage compartment up front as on the NC700SA.
Despite a lack of protection against the elements, riders can still spend a few hours on the 2014 Honda CTX700N thanks to a very comfortable seat, laid-back riding position, and absence of undesirable vibrations at cruising speeds.
|Straddling this Honda feels very intuitive. (Photo: Philippe Champoux)
Offering a stylish yet comfortable and accessible package with low costs of ownership, the Honda CTX700N is a refreshing alternative to traditional cruisers, one that's aimed at a new generation of young and active city dwellers.
- Comfortable and smooth
- Fresh new styling
- Plasticky finish
- Engine lacks thrills