Originally Posted by High Hope
My new bike arrived yesterday and I rode 60 miles. First impressions are really good.
I was experiencing clutch-lever withdrawal in the parking lot and thought, wow, was this a mistake? After 15 seconds on the road it became second nature and, honestly, totally enjoyable.
"D" automatic is almost pointless as the bike shifted up to fourth and I was still in the parking lot. Switching to "S" was much improved. One unexpected bonus is that you can shift manually even when in "D" or "S", unlike any paddle-shifter car I've driven, which required being in "M" to use the shifters. So while automoto-ing along, a stab at the paddle brought an immediate, beautifully synchronized downshift.
The trans is not like a snowmobile's or Nissan minivan's CVT with their droning boredom.
Coming from a BMW boxer (an older Adv 1150) I was right at home with the power and revs. The boxer had lots of grunt and it was never happy at high revs, just like the Honda. Except the Honda doesn't have quite as much grunt. 5,000 RPM is more than enough given the character of the little 700cc engine.
Power seemed fine for my brief ride. The DCT and low-end torque were appreciated in the 30 minutes of stop-go I-95 traffic.
The seat pitched me forward and I'll start by doing the seat-raising trick; maybe additional padding or an aftermarket seat will be in the works. The Honda stuffing is stiff!
The handlebars need to be rolled upwards (forward) to allow better ergos, and from what I've read, will also offer a great position for standing on the pegs.
The bike has what look to be aggressive Battleaxes on it; macho looking, but I really want to get some Pirellis or TKCs in the future.
So far I am really happy with the bike.
Interesting you made the comparison between the 1150 GS and the NC. At a rally I went to a couple of weeks ago, I got a lot of questions about the riding characteristics of the NC. I used to own an airhead GS and couldn't help but feel that the NC feels like a modern version of the airhead GS (on the road). Has the same tractor like grunt down low, and as you said, likes it in the low revs.
I'll have to look into rolling the bars forward. I don't think I need risers, but a little more distance between me and the bars would be nice.
As for the seat, you might want to check out the post on the previous page about a group buy on a new seat. Even without the group buy discount, it's a pretty good deal at $159, but since we've already made the 15 number needed, it's now $130 with free shipping. I've already put in an order.
Glad your enjoying your first ride. I've actually been really impressed with the battleaxe tires. Haven't had any issues other than the usual wet tar snake wiggles...