Stylish and competitively priced, the 2014 Honda NC750SA
seems to have all the right ingredients on paper, but what about its on-road performance? I spent a few days riding this new middleweight street bike to get the complete picture.
Unique lines, resulting from an unorthodox architecture, give the NC750SA a premium touch. As it usually does with automobiles, Honda tossed power and acceleration aside to focus on functionality, daily fun, and fuel economy.
The company revised the colour selection, while the new black plastics contribute to a much sportier look. The comprehensive, easy-to-read instrument panel remains unchanged. On the other hand, accessing the underseat tank takes some getting used to. With 14 litres of fuel to work it, you can cover a good amount of ground.
So, is that a fake tank sitting below the rider's chest? Well, yes it is! Actually, it's a storage compartment big enough to hold a full-face helmet or other items, which makes the 2014 Honda NC750SA quite practical. A thick seal provides good weatherproofing, while a self-locking system helps keep your valuables secure (just don't forget your key inside!).
As friendly as it gets
|The company revised the colour selection, while the new black plastics contribute to a much sportier look. (Photo: Olivier Delorme)
Designed to make your everyday life easier, the NC750SA feels extremely natural. Ergonomics are pretty laid-back, and the ride is smooth and sound. On the flip side, sporty riding is definitely not its forte. This bike prefers to play around town where it moves along and threads through traffic effortlessly thanks to a nimble, compact chassis and a flexible engine.
Speaking of which, the parallel twin-cylinder works best from 2,500-6,000 rpm. The forward canted cylinders contribute to a super-low centre of gravity and make room for that unexpected storage compartment. In fact, it's one of the smallest 700 cc engines in the industry. Engineers opted for a single overhead camshaft with four valves per cylinder and revised engine maps to reduce fuel consumption. On my watch, the 2014 Honda NC750SA averaged 4.2L/100km, which is excellent for a 745cc powerplant. Although the transmission works wonders, it could certainly use longer gear ratios to maximize performance over a broader range.
Beware of the redline
|Speaking of which, the parallel twin-cylinder works best from 2,500-6,000 rpm. (Photo: Olivier Delorme)
The NC750SA proves to be a fair performer, especially in terms of torque, and the 75cc increase in displacement makes the engine's presence felt even more at medium revs. You just can't find an engine that's more docile and easier to exploit. Be mindful of the low redline, however, because the electronic rev limiter is brutal.
Outstanding flexibility makes riding through traffic and on small country roads a charm. On the highway, you'll fall in love with how smooth the Honda NC750SA is; no undesirable vibration will affect your comfort. Solid, rider-friendly brakes equipped with Honda's combined ABS (the front brake lever also engages the rear brake) beautifully complete this balanced and confidence-inspiring package.
|Outstanding flexibility makes riding through traffic and on small country roads a charm. (Photo: Olivier Delorme)
Even with a gain of 75cc, the 2014 Honda NC750SA isn't explosive enough to appeal to thrill seekers. However, it will delight riders after a friendly, fuel-efficient, and functional machine. Great reliability and superb sport styling are bonuses.
- Balanced handling
- Storage compartment in lieu of the fuel tank
- Ideal ergonomics
- Brutal rev limiter
- Soporific engine