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Updated Honda NC750X has more power, cleaner emissions

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Honda continues to push its NC750 platform into the future, with the NC750X “adventure lite” motorcycle getting several updates for 2021.

Most major moto platforms are going through overhauls this year, ahead of upcoming Euro5 emissions regulations. For that reason, the Honda NC750X gets a new exhaust and some changes to its valve timing. Not only does it now meet the new EU regs, it also supposedly makes more power, with higher redline. Sadly, it only revs 600 rpm higher, and anyone who’s ridden an NC-series machine knows there’s room for more revs. Furthermore, Honda’s changed the gearbox to tighter ratios on first through third, which may or may not improve the NC’s rideability. Only a road test will tell that.


Yikes. Ugly LCD gauges are sooooo 2010. Photo: Honda

The changes mean the bike now makes just under 59 horsepower at the crank, at least in Euro spec. Max hp kicks in at 6,750 rpm; max torque is 51 pound-feet at 4,750 rpm.

The new ride-by-wire throttle is also part of the Euro5 upgrading process, and allows Honda to now give the NC750X three separate riding modes (including a User-set mode) and three-level traction control (ranging from a gravel-friendly mode to a cautious rainy-roads mode). There’s a slipper clutch now, too (or optional DCT, which also saw updates for 2021). All said, this engine has come a long way from the old NC700X model that debuted back for 2012.

The rest of the bike sees similar minor improvements. Honda overhauled the frame, cutting weight. The NC750X’s best features has always been its fuel economy and its forward-mounted storage hatch; for 2021, Honda decided to make the storage compartment bigger.


Also available in blue, or white. Honda’s really improved this machine’s mechanical bits since its debut, and it seems it’s around for the long haul now. Photo: Honda

Honda also included Showa’s dual-bending valve design in the NC750X’s front forks. While this isn’t as nice as an upgrade to something like WP forks, it’s usually a useful improvement on older telescopic fork designs, offering better handling on bad roads, or easy gravel tracks. In other words, perfect for the NC750X in its usual role.

Of course, there’s an official Honda accessory line available as well, including hard cases. You’ll need those, if you plan on touring with the NC, because soft throw-over bags don’t work well with the rear-mounted fuel fill.

We haven’t seen North American pricing for the NC750X yet, but you should be able to expect it here by next spring.

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