This is probably the easiest motorcycle available today to get on and just ride. As motorcycle engines go it’s not an exciting one. It does the job it’s meant to do perfectly and offers a terrific amount of grunt between 1000 and 4000rpm, which makes commuting and motorway cruising a breeze. It’s likable from the off because of the way it pulls cleanly and strongly thanks largely to its long stroke. More experienced riders WILL hit the rev limiter several times until they get used to it, but think of it as a diesel car and you’ll soon settle into a more relaxed style of riding. The DCT in fully automatic mode stops this.
As with the engine, the handling feels effortless. The engine is carried low in the frame and there’s an empty space for yor helmet/shopping where the tank should be, giving the bike a low centre of gravity. Suspension is budget but the forks are damped strongly enough to give feel and hold the bike under heavy braking. Honda makes a big deal about the NC’s slim build and how it aids city riding and, yes, it helps make it easy to throw around, so much so that the daunting wet weight of 218kg doesn’t come into it.