2019 Honda NC750X
After years of testing motorcycles, the Honda NC750X is the one I chose to spend my own money on. Fresh off Dreyer Honda’s showroom floor, it was already 80% of the way towards being my ideal One Bike. It’s fun to ride, stone-cold reliable and remarkably sensible (my 66 mpg average gets more than 200 miles out of a tank of regular). Its indispensable “frunk” storage compartment was perfect for a weekend trip to the family lake house (bathing suit, flip flops, shorts: check). And, believe it or not, the NC draws compliments from the most unlikely sources. At one gas stop deep in the Southern Indiana hills, one grizzled old Harley guy sidled up to me, giving my blue Honda an appreciative side-eye. “That’s a good-looking bike,” he nodded. I’ve even had people at stoplights roll down their car windows to ask me what make and model it is.
But the last 20% would require some accessories. First and foremost, what the NC needed was Honda’s factory accessory centerstand ($149.95; powersports.honda.com/accessories). It was a relatively easy two-person install and fit perfectly. Maintenance requirements now simplified, I turned to comfort and safety with two more Honda accessories: a set of wind-breaking plastic hand guards ($119.95) and a tubular-steel light bar ($164.95). Installation of both items was more fiddly than the centerstand. The bar end bolts that came with the guards did not fit, so I reused the original ones at minor cosmetic expense. Otherwise they went on easily and, besides the functionality of keeping chilly air off my hands, they give the NC an attractive ADV edge. The light bar required about an hour and some colorful language. Not a true “crash bar,” the tubular steel bars attach to the frame at just one very specific point on each side via a frustration-inducing U bracket, then join under the NC’s beak and attach in a nearly impossible-to-reach spot (unless you remove much of the plastic bodywork and nose assembly). The effort, I’m happy to say, was worth it, as the light bar blends with the NC’s lines perfectly and offers several light mounting options.
Next up: luggage. I wanted a mounting system that wouldn’t alter the clean lines of the NC’s tail section, and Shad turned out to have the perfect solution. Its 3P System ($163.99; shadusa.com) attaches at three existing points (hence the “3P”), with the mount itself curving to match the flow of the bike’s design. Each of the hard plastic SH36 cases ($523.99/pair) is large enough to swallow a full-face helmet. The SH36s are among the best saddlebags I’ve used, with a fuss-free, secure mount and the ability to open them without a key. Inside, a wide bottom tray and elastic straps keep your stuff from tumbling out when you pop them open, and you can choose either white or red rear/side reflectors for visibility.
Even with these accessories, the NC750X still comes in at less than $10,000 — an amazing value. All I need now is a more comfortable seat and a set of lights for my light bar, and my NC will achieve full One Bike status. And I have all winter to make it happen!
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