Honda NC750X: the rivals

Powered by half a car engine and with scooter-like practicality, Honda’s NC750X almost doesn’t have any direct rivals. Almost

Honda NC750X

Honda's NC750X defies comparison with other models because it’s so unusual: a quasi-adventure bike using half a car engine to make only 54hp, with a lowly 6,500rpm red-line, optional twist-and-go transmission, 60mpg+ fuel economy and a helmet-sized luggage compartment. 

It’s in a class of its own, its closest rival probably the NC750S, which is essentially the same model with naked-bike styling.

But we don’t give up that easily. The following, while each in its own way very different, are what we judge to be some of the closest competitor models to the NC750X, and the ones most likely to tempt away customers. 

Engine: 745cc parallel twin

Kerb weight: 219kg (229kg with automatic Dual Clutch Transmission)

Power: 54hp

Torque: 50lbft

Price: £6,299 OTR (£6,899 with automatic Dual Clutch Transmission)

Read our Honda NC750X first-ride review

Kawasaki Versys 650

The Versys shares its 649cc parallel-twine engine with the ER-6f and ER-6n. It’s been detuned slightly, but offers good low-down torque with a fantastic throttle response from 3,000rpm.

The softly damped long-travel suspension complements the chassis and engine, and the Versys makes a practical, versatile and fun all-rounder.

Engine: 649cc parallel-twin

Kerb weight: 206kg (209kg with ABS)

Power: 64hp

Torque: 44.9lbft

Price: £6,649 plus OTR (£6,999 with ABS)

Review your Kawasaki Versys 650

Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS

The V-Strom 650 has the punchy and characterful engine from the SV650S and SFV650 Gladius, making ample useable torque. 

It’s a great tourer, commuter and everything-else-in-betweener. Like the NC750X, it’s also relatively novice-friendly (although neither are A2 compliant), with a seat height of 835mm, low for a bike with adventure aspirations. 

Engine: 645cc V-twin

Kerb weight: 214kg

Power: 68hp

Torque: 44lbft

Price: £6,899 plus OTR

Review your Suzuki V-Strom 650

Honda CB500X

Possibly one of the NC’s closest rivals is Honda’s own mini adventure bike, the CBX500. Like the NC, it’s based on a ‘platform’, or frame and engine which it shares with two other quite different models. In the case of the CB500X, that’s the naked CB500F and CBR500R sports bike.

The 471cc parallel-twin engine isn’t going to pull your arms off, but it’s useable and likeable, picking up cheerfully from as little as 2,000rpm. There are no great surprises as the needle rises but no disappointments either.

All the CB500s have the same untimidatingly linear power delivery, same brisk acceleration and torque-rich roll-ons, and approximate 110mph top speed. They all feel like well-rounded, do-anything motorcycles, offering genuine 60mpg+ fuel economy.

In the case of the CB500X, you get decent weather protection, an upright riding position and extra legroom and ground clearance, with an 810mm seat height.

Engine: 471cc parallel-twin

Kerb weight: 196kg

Power: 48hp

Torque: 31.7lbft

Price: £5,299 OTR

Read our Honda CB500X first-ride review

Yamaha XJ6 Diversion

It might have two extra cylinders but, like the NC750X, the XJ6 Diversion is a user-friendly, unintimidating all-rounder, with a comfy, upright riding position and good wind protection from the upper fairing. There’s a generous storage compartment inside the sculpted tail unit, probably big enough for waterproofs at a squeeze.

The engine is from a Fazer 600, but detuned. Don’t expect loads of torque as payback – the Diversion’s delivery is more about gentle forgiveness, although it can get a shift on when pushed.

Build quality seems good but fuel economy isn’t great compared to the other bikes listed here, with mpg in the high forties.
 
Engine: 600cc inline-four

Wet weight: 211kg (216kg with ABS)

Power: 77.5hp

Torque: 44lbft

Price: £6,499 plus OTR

Read our Yamaha XJ6 Diversion road test

BMW G650GS

A fun, torquey and practical bike let down by build-quality issues. Problems Visordown has heard of include the Chinese-built engine refusing to start when hot.

Front mudguards on the more off-road focussed Sertão version have been known to sheer just in front of the mounting bolts and fall off. BMW strengthened the part in 2012.

We know of a case of a silencer falling off a brand new machine – possibly a one-off but worrying nonetheless.

The G650GS is also at risk of looking overpriced, having risen by £400 since its 2011 introduction, even taking into account the addition of standard ABS.

Engine: 652cc single

Wet weight: 211kg (216kg with ABS)

Power: 48hp

Torque: 44lbft

Price: £6,195 OTR

Review your BMW G650GS

Join the conversation!

Let us know what you think, just sign up for a free account, leave a comment and get involved!
Register Now

Latest Videos