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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off, this is my first post, so hello! I am new to motorcycling and a friend suggested the CTX700 as a new, easy to ride bike for beginners. I decided to come here to see how the enthusiasts really felt about their CTX700 being referred to as a "beginner's bike".
I was enticed by the CTX700's dual clutch transmission, but I feel as though that is what separates it from the "real" bikes. As I work in the city, I thought it would be convenient considering my start/stop riding. However as we all know, manual transmission will always provide the greatest amount of control and I need to know what that means as a car driver transitioning to a motorcyclist. While I have no experience shifting gears on a bike, I have always driven standard vehicles. So, am I losing the thrill of riding a motorcycle by opting out for a dual clutch transmission? And is it fair to call the Honda CTX700 a beginner's bike?
 

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So, am I losing the thrill of riding a motorcycle by opting out for a dual clutch transmission?
This is a very personal question, I think. The only way to answer this is to ride both (manual and DCT) and decide for yourself.

I hate automatics in cars, and hence would not even fathom getting an automatic trans on a bike, but I don't commute in bumper-to-bumper traffic either. If I did, maybe my stance on the issue would differ. :) Then again, commuting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on a hot summer day when you're all geared up is no fun, regardless of trans. You'll be all stinky and sweaty by the time you get to your destination.

And is it fair to call the Honda CTX700 a beginner's bike?
Does it really matter what others call it? If you like the bike otherwise, who cares?

Beginner's bike is a rather vague term, IMO. If you're upgrading from a smaller bike or scooter, it's not a beginner's bike to you. :)
 

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Hey Jax! I'm new too :)
I wouldn't consider them a beginner's bike, necessarily, as the CTX700 features ~50hp and starts low in the revs up til about 6000 rpm, putting them in competition, performance-wise, with several Harley Davidson models. However, I doubt many enthusiasts consider the CTX700 a respectable choice, as it is kinda more of a scooter than a bike. I personally don't care, as I only plan on using mine for short trips as well. However, I do think Honda could have made some changes to make this bike as user friendly as possible, considering their market consists of consumers like you and I haha. The valves, for example, should be self-adjusting so I don't have to be paranoid about checking things I don't understand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This is a very personal question, I think. The only way to answer this is to ride both (manual and DCT) and decide for yourself.

I hate automatics in cars, and hence would not even fathom getting an automatic trans on a bike, but I don't commute in bumper-to-bumper traffic either. If I did, maybe my stance on the issue would differ. :) Then again, commuting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on a hot summer day when you're all geared up is no fun, regardless of trans. You'll be all stinky and sweaty by the time you get to your destination.

Does it really matter what others call it? If you like the bike otherwise, who cares?

Beginner's bike is a rather vague term, IMO. If you're upgrading from a smaller bike or scooter, it's not a beginner's bike to you. :)
Thanks Pete. As much as I would love to compare both standard and DCT to decide for myself, I have barely ever sat on a bike let alone changed its gears manually. Is it a big difference or is it something I shouldn't really be intimidated by? And does the automatic shift well? Lol...I'm getting too old to try new things. And you're right, who cares what others think if I like the bike :)

And thanks HolySmokes. I agree, when I read about checking the valve adjustment every 8000 miles I was pretty put off. That, plus the 3.17 gallon fuel tank have sort of made me realize that maybe the CTX700 isn't right for me...but I'm still on the fence!
 

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Thanks Pete. As much as I would love to compare both standard and DCT to decide for myself, I have barely ever sat on a bike let alone changed its gears manually. Is it a big difference or is it something I shouldn't really be intimidated by?
I'm 38. I've driven manual trans cars all my life. I only learned how to bike 3 years ago. Having a general understanding of how a clutch works will be an advantage for you, but it'll still take practice to become good at it on a bike.

Recommendation 1: Before you buy any bike, take an MSF course. They'll teach you some good basic techniques that you can build on later. It's money well spent. Many MSF schools will also provide a bike so that you can take your motorcycle license test on it.

Recommendation 2: Don't buy a brand new bike as your first bike. Chances are you'll drop it or bang it up during your first few months of biking and if you end up not liking the bike, you'll be taking a big financial hit when trying to sell it. Buy an inexpensive used bike and ride it for a few months. It'll help you build confidence and it'll help you figure out if manual shifting is something that you enjoy or not. You can typically sell a used bike for more or less what you bought it for and then move onto something bigger/better/nicer.
 

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Welcome Jax and Holysmokes,
I am a rookie rider and have had my CTX700ND a few days, and absolutely love it. I do a lot of short commutes and love the DCT, I took the rider safety course so that was the extent of my shifting. My Dad who has been riding for years is now looking at other bikes with DCT, he loved it as well. He has ridden Harleys and sport bikes.
What I really like about the bike is no down shifting. Being a beginner you think about a lot of things while riding and that is something I do not miss thinking about. But the beauty of it is you can manually shift with just the push of a button if you so desire.
Be safe!
 

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Welcome to the forum folks.

+1 on what Holysmokes has said about how Honda didn't think this through to well--or maybe they did, but it still doesn't quite add up. The two biggest drawbacks about this bike in my mind for a beginner who has not been introduced to mc maintenance; or to someone from the younger generation just coming up who has so far not been interested in riding and is used to devices that are maintenance free; or to current and to former scooter owners who are looking for a more practical choice in any prior MC are: (1) that it has to have the valves looked at every 8K, and (2) it is chain driven. On the one hand I understand why they have chosen these options: they want to keep it inexpensive, simple, and they want to make it extremely efficient, but if they turn off their intended target market by making it something that the target market will not deal with then what was the point of the effort.

If Honda were going after market share of a sector of the existing market, then chain drive and valve checks wouldn't be so bad, because many of these experienced riders are used to these parts of bike ownership, but then they'd have to offer something in the package, besides price, that would entice the existing market. You know, like being super fast or super light, or super cool looking.

So yeah, I agree that it should have been belt drive and self-adjusting valves like is seen in some of the lower-end Harleys, and be priced the same as what they have been able to do. If they had done all of that, then they would really have something on HD, because they'd beat them on initial price and they'd beat them by 20 mpg; and they would have an automatic choice to boot. But as it is, I think they'll just be a little too much hassle for too many of the people they're trying to reach with these models.

As for the fuel capacity, it is definitely a fault of this bike, especially the touring version, however, if you look at what NC700X owners and some of the new CTX700N owners are achieving in mpg with this bike, you'll see it's going to have more range than what first appears.

As for DCT versus manual, almost anyone will get used to either method of driving pretty quickly, and either way, it will seem like second nature in no time. One simply has to think about what he or she wants for the long term; not what it will be like the first few months, because none of that will matter after just a little while. What will matter is what you think you would prefer month after month and year after year. My commutes will be very rural, so I'll save $1K, 22 lbs, and gain 3 mpg. I rode a standard MC for the first time a few weeks ago. I got lost in the downshifting in my first trial, but I'm not worried a bit. I'm sure it will be simple once I get used to it, and I'll have plenty of time to practice.

As I've stated in past threads, progressing through larger and larger bikes is not my plan and I don't believe in the beginner bike concept for me. The CTX700 will be my second ride, and it will be bigger than my first, but I don't consider it any more beginner like or less beginner like than the first. The second choice is just something totally more suitable for what I needed all along. It's just that nothing like it was available when I made the first choice.
 

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FWIW, most or the mid-range bikes these days call for valve checks around 8k miles. Not real hard to do with a book and this motor looks to be real easy the way the motor is angled. Tried and true technology and as stated, keeping it affordable and dependable. Also, chains are pretty simple to maintain IMO. I spray a good chain oil on the chains every 300 miles and clean it about every 3 months (including the front and rear sprocket). I get about 30k miles on a chain before replacing the sprockets and chain. Again, not expensive if you don't want to do it but not hard if you do. On my drive shaft FJR1300, you needed to pull the wheel off, dump the gear oil and regrease the spline inside the shaft every 30k miles. A lot of miles but it took more effort.
I do a lot of long range touring on bikes and have several 1000 mile Ironbutts, and I have no problem with a bike than go over 200 miles on a tank. By that time, you need a break anyway.
This bike and the NC700X make a lot of sense I believe, especially at this price range.
 

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(1) that it has to have the valves looked at every 8K, and (2) it is chain driven.
Well, like you said, these have pricing implications. If they're targeting a beginners market with it, they have to make it affordable.

Personally, I don't see too much of a deal with these two. You'll probably need new tires every 8K miles too, so while you're in the shop getting them, they can do your 8K service (incl. valves, too). As for the chain maintenance, again, it's very simple... it takes 10 mins or less every what, 500 miles?

There is one common myth out there that commuting on a bike costs less in maintenance than it does on a car. I don't think that's the case. Many things on a bike need to be replaced at shorter intervals: brakes, tires, fluids. Then you have the cost of dedicated riding gear that's not cheap and that does not last forever either.

Statistically, an average person puts only about 2,000 miles a year on their bike. That means having to lube their chain 4 times a year, and having to get their valves adjusted once every 4 years. No big deal.

As for commuting, only about 0.1% of all commuters ride their bike to work regularly, and less than 5% of all bike owners use their bike as a primary mode of transportation. gregsfc, I realize you're in that 0.1%, but you're the exception. :) Honda has designed this bike for the masses, not for that exception. Therefore it wouldn't make sense for them to make the bike more expensive just so that they can extend some of these maintenance intervals further out in order to make the minority happy.

That's just my take on it though.
 

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Well, like you said, these have pricing implications. If they're targeting a beginners market with it, they have to make it affordable.

Personally, I don't see too much of a deal with these two.
I pretty much agree from a personal level. I'm just stating that I feel it will be an immediate turn off to many beginners who only know cars and will think of messing with valves more often than as a 150,000 mile plus occurrence as excessive, and when they look at the specs of other bikes and see no check schedule or double the check schedule, they won't look further to see that less often doesn't necessarily mean better, easier, or less expense.

For instance, when I first saw the valve check, I just about turned away for good on the CTX. I couldn't believe it. I didn't understand why I would need valves checked more than once per year in a 2013 vehicle. Keep in mind, I only knew cars and a scooter that requires a 24.9K check. When I looked into it further, however, I learned that many bikes with longer intervals are more complicated and expensive to adjust and the CTX can be DIY.

As for chain maintenance, I feel like it's no big deal. It's just a regular hassle, but there have been many come and go on this site already where a chain drive made it an immediate no go. I feel like it could be a real sales killer to those with initial interest.
 

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As for chain maintenance, I feel like it's no big deal. It's just a regular hassle
There's a little bit more to chain maintenance that meets the eye. Those adjustment marks on the swingarm are no guarantee of accurate wheel alignment. The job itself is not difficult, but you need a good eye and a hoist makes it so much easier. I keep a check on the wear marks on the sprocket and the inside of the links when far from home, and align with a long box-section aluminium straight-edge after a tyre change. Like Bill, I take loose wheels in and watch as the guy installs the tyre. I respect the work a bike mechanic does, but mindful of the time constraints that industry imposes, so the rest I do myself. The CTX might present a problem, as from pictures (October before I see one in the flesh) it appears the rim is well recessed making it tempting to just run a string-line along the tyre edges. Not accurate IMO, but I'm too pre-occupied to make the laser device I've dreamed of for years.
 

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Hey Jax,

I've been riding for 40 years. I've seen a lot of bikes come and go. In my opinion, the CTX line is tailor made as a "beginner" bike. Powerful enough to get out of town on (and not get bored with), but not so powerful as to scare the crap out of a beginner or do power wheelies on. I'm waiting on a faired CTX for my wife as her first bike. I looked at them all and I think this bike is just "the ticket" for her. I'm so enamored with this engine that I'm seriously considering getting an NC700X for myself, just to have something lighter to ride around town (I ride a fire breathing, obnoxiously loud, 100 hp, 35 mpg HD Ultra Classic).

As for the shifting, think of all the 9 year old kids learning and shifting their dirt bikes with no problem. If they can do it, so can you. Same as a manual car, just using different body parts. You already have the feel for a clutch from your cars, so you will be good with and hour or two of practice.

Like the other member said, take the MSF course. Best thing you can do right now, and you have your M/C license when you're done. Actually I used to advise people who wanted to ride to go get themselves a dirt bike, ride it around for a few years, and then get back to me about a street bike. No cars, curbs, poles, concrete etc. trying to kill you while you're learning. LOL.

Take care.
 

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First off, this is my first post, so hello! I am new to motorcycling and a friend suggested the CTX700 as a new, easy to ride bike for beginners. I decided to come here to see how the enthusiasts really felt about their CTX700 being referred to as a "beginner's bike".
I was enticed by the CTX700's dual clutch transmission, but I feel as though that is what separates it from the "real" bikes. As I work in the city, I thought it would be convenient considering my start/stop riding. However as we all know, manual transmission will always provide the greatest amount of control and I need to know what that means as a car driver transitioning to a motorcyclist. While I have no experience shifting gears on a bike, I have always driven standard vehicles. So, am I losing the thrill of riding a motorcycle by opting out for a dual clutch transmission? And is it fair to call the Honda CTX700 a beginner's bike?
Hi Jax, welcome to the forum. Hopefully you will learn Grasshopper. Many experienced riders are on here.

Ask yourself, If the CTX was a beginner's bike why are riders like me (64 years old, riding since 15, had over 30 bikes..etc) buying them. Is it fair to call if a beginners bike, no it isn't because it can be that and much more.

Cars come with automatics and sticks. More now with automatics than sticks. some people want a break from shifting to make riding easier. Some riders are used to it because they are upgrading from a scooter. Honda had a 750 and a 400 back in the late 70's or early 80's so it's not new to motorcycles but maybe Honda perfected it now just as car automatics are better now and offer manual modes. The thrill is still there.

coming from a car, you have no idea. A motorcycle is not a cost saving vehicle. It requires special clothing, special skills, higher maintenance, shorter tire life and more exposure to death and so on. Most people ride because they are fun and offer freedom not found in a car and fuel economy pays some costs back. You want to ride, start off smart, take a riding course, start with a used, good shape, Rebel or similar bike, you have to crawl before you walk. Get in a hurry and the bike is cheap compared to broken bodies.

good luck in your quest
 

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Hey Jax! I'm new too :)
I wouldn't consider them a beginner's bike, necessarily, as the CTX700 features ~50hp and starts low in the revs up til about 6000 rpm, putting them in competition, performance-wise, with several Harley Davidson models. However, I doubt many enthusiasts consider the CTX700 a respectable choice, as it is kinda more of a scooter than a bike. I personally don't care, as I only plan on using mine for short trips as well. However, I do think Honda could have made some changes to make this bike as user friendly as possible, considering their market consists of consumers like you and I haha. The valves, for example, should be self-adjusting so I don't have to be paranoid about checking things I don't understand.
Holysmokes, "Enthusiasts are the ones buying the respectable CTX, most here on the forum are not first time riders. Many are waiting patiently for their models to be delivered. You might ask can Harley compete with the CTX, My last two Harleys were 883R and 1200C. The 883 does not have a lot more power if any and weighs much more. Water cooling and DCT and antilock brakes are not even options. If you closed your eyes and sat on both you would find they feel much alike. Look, Harleys are good of kind and brand loyalty is high. Honda owners feel the same way. I can speak from experience, My 1200c started leaking oil from the rear valve cover at 6450 miles and my 1988 Honda Hawk with 23k on it never leaked. Did not have to adjust the valves but the oil leak cost me 165.00 to stop. Just an example why someone might want to try another brand. Also the DCT automatic does not make it more of a scooter than bike. Just ask the gal in the straw hat standing next to her bike.

It's ok to share your notions about a bike. It best when it comes from your own experience instead of hearsay. Just know that some statements have to be defended by those of us on the forum who find them not to be true.

If you get a CTX you don't have to understand about valves just save the money and when your mileage says service is requires, let you dealer take care of them.

PS. Welcome to the forum
 
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Holysmokes, "Enthusiasts are the ones buying the respectable CTX, most here on the forum are not first time riders. Many are waiting patiently for their models to be delivered. You might ask can Harley compete with the CTX, My last two Harleys were 883R and 1200C. The 883 does not have a lot more power if any and weighs much more. Water cooling and DCT and antilock brakes are not even options. If you closed your eyes and sat on both you would find they feel much alike. Look, Harleys are good of kind and brand loyalty is high. Honda owners feel the same way. I can speak from experience, My 1200c started leaking oil from the rear valve cover at 6450 miles and my 1988 Honda Hawk with 23k on it never leaked. Did not have to adjust the valves but the oil leak cost me 165.00 to stop. Just an example why someone might want to try another brand. Also the DCT automatic does not make it more of a scooter than bike. Just ask the gal in the straw hat standing next to her bike.

It's ok to share your notions about a bike. It best when it comes from your own experience instead of hearsay. Just know that some statements have to be defended by those of us on the forum who find them not to be true.

If you get a CTX you don't have to understand about valves just save the money and when your mileage says service is requires, let you dealer take care of them.

PS. Welcome to the forum
Thanks Bill. The CTX, to me, just seems more like Honda's attempt to tap into future markets than anything else. It's a safe, smooth and comfy bike that is sure to entice new riders. As an experienced cyclist, what brought you to the CTX? I find it strange that someone would go from Harley to Honda like that, especially copping out for a chain driven CTX.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I think if Honda really wanted to target younger drivers they could have done way more with the "T" in CTX. Where are all the cool features of a new bike? No USB ports? Anyone know where the Technology really excels on this bike?
 

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No USB ports?
A new rider needs to pay particular attention to the road and the surroundings, and not be distracted by any electronic gizmos plugged into a USB port. This holds true for all riders, but even more so for a beginner, IMO.

The "Technology" aspects also cost money. No beginner is going to buy this bike if it's too expensive, so I'm sure Honda had to keep that in mind, too.
 

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Thanks Bill. The CTX, to me, just seems more like Honda's attempt to tap into future markets than anything else. It's a safe, smooth and comfy bike that is sure to entice new riders. As an experienced cyclist, what brought you to the CTX? I find it strange that someone would go from Harley to Honda like that, especially copping out for a chain driven CTX.
Yes, Honda's marketing department drives the manufacturing department. The predict by making the CTX that they have a product people will buy in the numbers they car to make.

My signature identifies many bikes and most are chain drive. I learned years ago how to maintain a chain to the point where it is a 5 minute event 99% of the time. You mention Harleys, but you must know the belt drives need attention to adjustment just like a chain except you don't add oil but you sure have to check the adjustment (look in the manual). One advantage a chain system gives you is an affordable way to alter the gear ratio. Much more limited and expensive on a Harley with belt drive.

I traded a 2004 VFR on my CTX. Except for the expensive valve adjustment (8 hours), it was miles ahead of my 1200 sportster which the CTX reminds me of with the seating position. Around 6500 miles My 1200c started leaking oil, My 25 year old Honda Hawk I had for a year never leaked at 22k and old. I figure how many years did Harley make a sportster (since 1955 I think), and they still haven't figured out how to make a seal last ? Pissed me off. Also it is hot where I live and water cooling makes sense to me and Harley only makes the VROD with water cooling. I think I You like Harleys, I like Harleys, I might even buy an 883 Iron some day used because I like the styling but will put up with the Harley quality. Plenty of good used ones for sale.
 

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I think if Honda really wanted to target younger drivers they could have done way more with the "T" in CTX. Where are all the cool features of a new bike? No USB ports? Anyone know where the Technology really excels on this bike?

Your kidding right? USB port? If that is important then just how many miles or bikes have you rode?

Most owners on this forum aren't young (like under 30). As far as the T goes, it offer ABS and a DCT transmission along with engineered High MPG not found on many bikes and at a low price.

I would be interested in bikes you think have a better "T" for the same money.
 

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Please don't take the following as if I think I know anything. I'm just rambling and discussing my unenlightened thoughts...

It's true that most of the forum members on here are not in the true beginner category or in the younger generation in which many journalists have stated is going to be a big part of Honda's target market with the CTXs, but I don't believe the journalists are wrong about what Honda is trying to do. I believe Honda is in fact targeting current, non riders to try to expand the total North American market with these products, because stealing market share in an ever-decreasing market is not a good strategy for long-term success.

My assessment of the current crowd on here so far are of three categories: Former and current scooter riders; female spouses or friends of long-time male riders; and experienced riders who have owned all kinds of bikes that like the practicality, mpg, simplicity, price, and technology of this particular bike. Of course none of us will ever fit a stereotypical category, but it seems like either non riders are so far not interested, or they are not finding or interested in this forum. Of course as we discussed early on, most of us have agreed that Honda will not spur non riders into riding without some sort of mass advertising such as prime-time tv or radio and when is the last time anyone has seen a prime time motorcycle commercial. ATVs--yes; generators--yes; but I've not seen a mass advertising campaign since the let the good times roll days.
 
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