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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is anyone else bothered by the fact they keep referring to the CTX700 series of bikes a "beginner's motorcycle" in the reviews?

Not everyone is looking to be a pirate or break the sound barrier with their motorcycle. Some of us enjoy a practical, reliable, comfortable ride, and for me, the CTX700N fits that bill perfectly. The reviews make it sound like, unless you're a beginning rider, looking for an unintimidating bike to ease you into the foray, then this isn't the bike for you. If you're a seasoned rider, you'll be bored with the CTX700. They completely discount those of us that may have quite a few years of riding under our belt, yet find this bike to be just what we've been waiting for.

Has anyone else noticed this, or feel this way about the reviews of the CTX700 that are out there, so far?
 

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I thinks it to appease the old school speed and power freaks. The only way to truly counter this perception is with good sales across the demographics. A few have mentioned re-entry riders. They really don't like the idea of the auto trans. even though it might bring new riders to the fold.
We the committed will probably have to be the missionaries and evangelists for this line of bikes.
 

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Some of the bikes that have gone on to become iconic classics, got mixed reviews when they first came out.
I own a Kawasaki 650 Versys. I love this bike and it is the Swiss Army knives of motorcycles in my opinion. However, reviews were very mixed about it. It was ugly, too tall and vibratory were some of the reviews. Yet, it keeps selling and riders that own them, don't sell them easily.
I think the CTX is going to be a utilitarian kind of bike. If it proves itself to be reliable, fun and affordable, the model will prove itself over time with it's owners. (who cares what reviewers think)
Just ride it and be glad you got one first.
 

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This absolutely bothers me. I don't understand what else I would ever want. Over 100 mph top speed that I would never utilize and 65 plus mpg, which should be seen as revolutionary for this class of bike.

I mean, there may be an electric bike that comes along later that makes more sense from a fuel usage standpoint if they were to be able to start competing on price, or something similar or even better due to technological gains that I might chose later on after the CTX700 wears out, but to trade up for the factors mentioned by these reviewers, I don't understand at all.

I'm still somewhat of a beginner; I've ridden only a little less than one year, but even so, I think that there is no way a 700 cc, powered-two-wheeler, that ways almost 500 lbs and has around 50 horsepower and 44 lbs of torque and is plenty capable on all public streets should be considered a beginners' only bike. It's all I would ever need, and, in some respects, it's already too much.

I do think it should be easy enough to learn to ride for a beginner, so, in that way, it is a beginners' bike. But where I'm at a loss is this MC culture that is constantly promoted by the MC media and enthusiast groups that say when someone gets out of their cage to ride on powered two wheels, that he or she will constantly need to either: progressively go faster or progressively move up in weight, or both, so that, by the time he or she has reached life long satisfaction in this recreational activity (not for transportation according to these folks), he or she will be owning and riding an 800 plus lb touring bike that gets 30 mpg, or a super sport bike that goes from 0-60 in three seconds and gets 30 mpg. To this crowd, there is no other reason to ride other than complete exhilaration, complete luxury, or to give them an extreme look that they can convey to others to say "see what I am" or "see what this bike makes me".

I say phewy to all that mess. I have chosen to ride, because I wanted something different and fun, but a prerequisite to all that is that it must be a huge downsize from a car; it must make practical sense; it must be much lighter in weight; and it must get 40% better fuel economy than my 44 mpg car. Why would I get out of a cage that weighs 3200 lbs and gets 44 mpg and 100 horsepower that is completely satisfactory from a performance aspect and then step on a bike that gets no better fuel economy and weighs one-fourth the weight while giving up all the convenience of a car with no other benefit than just having a little more fun commuting.

I did run across one review that I can't find now where the author seems to really get what Honda is trying to do. According to this author, they are not going after the current motorcycle enthusiast target market. Too many of these folks already have a preconception about what a motorcycle should be and will be taken aback just to look at its layout and look at the specs, because, in this culture, this MC does not do or convey what these people believe a MC should do or convey, and therefore, do not understand why any MC company would come out with anything like it. If you read the comments below these articles, you will see what I'm referring to; absolute disdain for this machine and to Honda for creating such a threat to their culture.

In this one particular review, the author hints that many urbanites of the younger generation are being courted by Honda. This generation has grown up with air bags and a huge focus on safety in our society, so many of them may perceive a motorcycle as a very dangerous vehicle. This generation is also, according to the author and I agree, very apathetic to vehicles. These folks are more into digital devices and see transportation choices as an after thought. They want something that's cheap; cheap to operate; and easy to maintain. They don't want to think about their transportation choice. They want to get in or on it and go, and not even think much about what it is.

Secondly, the author hints that Honda is going after scooter graduates like me. These are folks that chose a scooter for practical reasons for transportation and ended up with a scooter, because they didn't like the choices in motorcycles.

Thirdly, the author hints that Honda is going after the single man or women that lives in the city and is looking for something to get around on and would ordinarily chose a three or four year old Honda Civic beginning their first real job after college.

Fourthly, the author hints that Honda is going after the older rider who wants to ride again but wants something easier to ride than the extreme products that have been offered up to now.

According to this author, Honda will have a real hit. I think they may, but they will have to do much more mass t.v. marketing and hit on all these points to reach the crowd that they are after. There not going to get to these folks with the same old, tired marketing in motorcycle and recreational magazines. If they are trying to reach the masses with a new reason to ride, they're going to have to spend some money to teach this crowd that it is a viable choice for transportation for the new generations. Otherwise, the whole industry is in trouble for the future.
 

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You may be correct about the targeted market but that leads me to ask how is Honda going to communicate that to all those people who are currently non riders? Those people are not reading MC magazines nor looking at MC websites or forums. The only commercials I see on TV for motorcycles are for Victory and Harley. That may be because I live in an area where they are the most popular bikes (the Harley plant is only 30 minutes from here).

When I was young Honda always advertised on TV and public media. I don't see any ads these days. The last Honda powersports ad I remember was for their line of camping generators. Also if Honda does not start delivering some product soon they are going to miss the boat.
 

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Speaking from a rider that has toured the country on motorcycles and still does, I think the CTX is far beyond what a beginners bike is. I grew up in a time when most of the riders started on Honda 60cc or Yamaha 50cc bikes. We did progress to bigger bikes as we came into more money. However, anyone with enough understanding of riding techniques and terrain will tell you that you don't need a 1479cc between your legs to tour the world. My wife has been all over the US on a 500cc single. It works great and kept up with a Yamaha FJR1300 with not problem at highway speed. I read a recent article where a guy rode a Vespa to Alaska. Probably a great ride (the scooter handled great)!
IMO, the CTX700 has plenty enough tech and handling for experienced riders to tour on (paved roads), and will be a great platform for someone entering into the Two Wheel world. Anybody that thinks otherwise is truly not knowledgeable about riding.
 

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You can almost think of the different style mototcycles as distinct cultures. Bad Boy Crusiers, Speed & Performance Purists, Rugged Adventurists & Two Wheeled Cadilac Tourers. They look down on the fence sitters and utilitarians, we are supposed to fall into a predefined category. These supposed rebels only want good conformist rebels. Sorry, I am not a predefined category. I will ride what I like, where I like, and as much as I like. To me this make the ones who choose their own path the real rebels and not sheeple like the rest. Individually they are usually okay but get them in a group and it Jr. High School all over, cliqueish and judgemental. You know the ones making the most noise against a utilitarian bike are the big cruiser and super sport people. They seem the most antagonistic groups out there. Honda though is not doing themselves and service by serving this up as a beginner bike. They need to get with the program of the usefulness, economic and general fun of the bike. They just pay lip service to it. Educate the dealers and have the dealers educate their staff.
I, for one, intend to bling my bike when I get it: LED lights, etc.
Take them to shows, be proud of your ride, park in front of a building next to that giant rusty chrome HD. See anybody looking at your bike, talk to them, tell them about it, tell them why you ride it.
Honda does'nt advertise much anymore, mostly ATV & UTVs. HD has branded everthing in sight, (Ford Trucks, really?) and will try to usurp events. The other brands just kinda follow along with the possible exceptions of BMW & KTM.
Just do your own thing and be proud.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's like high school, all over again. I was athletic, but didn't fit in with the jocks, and smart, but didn't fit in with the braniacs. I wasn't a druggie, or a prep, and while artistic, I wasn't a granola flower child, either. I was just a good kid, who stayed out of trouble, got good grades, and never really fit into any of the established cliques. I guess some things, never change.
 

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Different people ride for different reasons. I have no problem with people that want to dress up like a pirate on the weekends and ride their Harley's. They are in it for the escape and sense of camaraderie. And I have no problem with the young bucks that want to jump on their crotch rockets and fly down the highway. I'm sure they are in it for the chicks.

I'm 56 years old and have been riding for a grand total of 5 years. I ride a 400CC Burgman. Before that I had never set my ass on a bike even once.

I ride because it's fun. I ride because it's practical. I ride because gas is $4.00/gallon. I ride primarily to work in traffic. I don't log a lot of highway miles. I love to ride...but I rarely go over 80 MPH.

The one thing I have learned while riding my scooter is that you ride what you ride because it fits you. You can't worry about what other people think. And to be fair, most of the guys I know that ride don't really give a crap if your riding a scooter or a Hyabusa. To be honest, the most crap I get about riding a Scooter are from people that don't ride at all. (I always ask them what side the clutch is on...they never know...shuts them up right away).

So don't worry what the mags say. Don't worry what the pirates and rocketeers say. And most of all, don't worry what the non-riders say.

Just ride what YOU like and enjoy it.
 

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You may be correct about the targeted market but that leads me to ask how is Honda going to communicate that to all those people who are currently non riders? Those people are not reading MC magazines nor looking at MC websites or forums. The only commercials I see on TV for motorcycles are for Victory and Harley. That may be because I live in an area where they are the most popular bikes (the Harley plant is only 30 minutes from here).

When I was young Honda always advertised on TV and public media. I don't see any ads these days. The last Honda powersports ad I remember was for their line of camping generators. Also if Honda does not start delivering some product soon they are going to miss the boat.

That's what I'm saying...If this journalist / reviewer is correct, and Honda is indeed trying to broaden the appeal of motorcycles to current non riders, it's not going to work unless they really spend some advertising money and pay for mass market advertising no matter how good a product they have; and then it still may not work, but there is no way they'll reach them without it.

Like you've stated, the only thing close I've seen is for generators; maybe an ATV or two in the mass media; that's it.
 

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When I first started researching this bike, I thought it odd that they called it a beginner's bike. Now that I have mine, I think it's a bad call by Honda as well. Without the clutch to feather the torque, the DCT will launch with a good bit of punch - enough so I had to warn the wife about it for her first ride. It's not that a beginner can't start on it, but it still takes some experience.
I've ridden both bikes and scooters. I ride what I like and never really cared what anyone else thought about it. I traded in a scooter for this bike so I could travel a bit farther in comfort. It's not as practicable or cheap as the scoot but I'm starting to figure out how to add storage.

Here's a recent positive review:
http://www.cycleworld.com/2013/05/1...irst-ride-review-photos-specs/?src=SOC&dom=fb

Love it so far!
 

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I learned long ago that no matter what kind of bike I was on, be it rider or passenger, I could ride into any joint, be it Applebees, IHOP or Boot Hill during Daytona Bike Week, on ANY bike and nobody has ever paid much mind, other than to casually look as you ride in. They do this not so much because of what you are riding, but because you are riding. Opinions are generally kept to themselves or between a private group of onlookers.

If saying it is a beginner bike gets more people out there to give it a try and have the chance to enjoy the freedom of riding for themselves, I am all for it. Just because a newbie can ride it, does not make it any less a bike for anyone else. It would not matter one way or the other, I will ride it if I like it.

A long time ago I read a very liberating quote: "What someone else thinks of you is none of your business and not your concern" - so buy it, ride it and have fun.

Happy Trails
 

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I think it's also possible that Honda realizes that more than beginners will be interested in this new design, but that it's the beginners they are trying to entice with their marketing. If, for instance, I'm looking at the pictures and reading Honda's literature and specs. coming from a scooter, I don't need Honda to reassure me that it's easy to ride, safe and fun. I can imagine it on my own due to my experiences, however, someone that's had limited experience on two wheels may need some words from Honda to say...It's okay. It's easy to ride and non intimidating.

But still they should realize that using the words, beginners' bike, will be an turn off to some experienced riders, because then, it's like Honda is saying, this bike ain't for you. It's for beginners. That's the way I take it when I read it, and that's why I think they should find different wording in their advertising literature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Honda: If you like our cars, you'll LOVE this motorcycle! It's practical, without being stuffy. It's stylish, without being in your face. The build quality is excellent. The gas mileage is awesome. It's easy to ride. All it's missing ... is you.

There, Honda. I wrote your marketing material for you. Now, GO MAKE A COMMERCIAL!
 

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Is anyone else bothered by the fact they keep referring to the CTX700 series of bikes a "beginner's motorcycle" in the reviews?

Not everyone is looking to be a pirate or break the sound barrier with their motorcycle. Some of us enjoy a practical, reliable, comfortable ride, and for me, the CTX700N fits that bill perfectly. The reviews make it sound like, unless you're a beginning rider, looking for an unintimidating bike to ease you into the foray, then this isn't the bike for you. If you're a seasoned rider, you'll be bored with the CTX700. They completely discount those of us that may have quite a few years of riding under our belt, yet find this bike to be just what we've been waiting for.

Has anyone else noticed this, or feel this way about the reviews of the CTX700 that are out there, so far?
Does it really matter My reason for wanting one is my trouble with the clutch lever due to a stroke many years ago, I had a burgman scooter but i felt it was very top heavy so I went back to a regular cycle for its benifits for me but I feel I don't have to suffer with a clutch now. When one sees this bike in the flesh so to speak they will draw there own conlusions I don't think someone won't go to a dealer and not see it when looking for another option anyone who knows what they are looking for will judge for themselves
 

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Honda: If you like our cars, you'll LOVE this motorcycle! It's practical, without being stuffy. It's stylish, without being in your face. The build quality is excellent. The gas mileage is awesome. It's easy to ride. All it's missing ... is you.

There, Honda. I wrote your marketing material for you. Now, GO MAKE A COMMERCIAL!
The Civic for motorcycles that's good for all age groups and driving experience. I like it :)

But I can see how marketing to new riders can be more profitable for Honda.
 

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The Honda Civic comparison was actually listed as a negative in one review. I commented that the author had it wrong; that's a positive; that's what they are trying to do (I think anyway).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
When one sees this bike in the flesh so to speak they will draw there own conlusions I don't think someone won't go to a dealer and not see it when looking for another option anyone who knows what they are looking for will judge for themselves
Ah... but the issue is this: If you're in a motorcycle shop, you've already decided that you're interested in getting a motorcycle. The key to expanding the market, is that they need to appeal to people that may not have been considering riding a motorcycle, and get them to come into the store, to check it out.
 

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The Honda Civic comparison was actually listed as a negative in one review. I commented that the author had it wrong; that's a positive; that's what they are trying to do (I think anyway).
You're right. It seems to me that people in the media are taking the Civic for granted. Whenever the Civic is brought up it is used as some sort of barometer for boringness. As if affordable, reliable, and decent performance for value is something to be laughed at.
 

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Honda’s latest seems designed for guys like me with years of motorcycle and work-related injury now making it difficult to ride conventional style machines. This is still no light-weight, and at 500lbs, could intimidate many learners. In some countries, it is mandatory to be able to pick the bike up should it fall over. Not looking forward to that law becoming more widespread.

I like the CTX because it’s the first motorcycle with DCT which, within a few years will see the gear-lever go the way of the kick-starter. Remember the kick-starter? Time was, you weren’t a “real” motorcyclist unless you could start a British single with just one kick. Yes, I’ve still got my old Velo. I predict a DCT equipped race bike will win a GP sooner than you think. After that, goodbye gear-lever.

I don’t have a problem with the modern O-ring chain. I’ve covered long distances at high speed and never had need to do anything more than give the chain a quick wipe down and a squirt of chain-lube while away from home. Adjustment is a simple affair before a long trip. Gone is another old chore of boiling the chain in grease on Mother’s gas cooker. Who misses that, apart from Mother? No doubt a belt drive should have been considered, but shaft drive is so yesterday. It adds to initial cost, adds weight and robs performance, fuel and range as well as making the bike more difficult to push around. Not sure about the draw-backs of belt drive. Do they shed chunks of hot black gloop that’s difficult to remove? I don’t know if it’s that or cost that saw it side-lined, along with a second front disc, but top marks to Honda for putting function before fashion. That single 320mm disc is more than adequate and heat dissipation will be superior to any old style set-up. Looks flimsy, but being Honda I bet it works well.

If a low seat is a priority, then you just gotta put your legs out front, although the Bergman scoot managed to offer flat-footing and two leg positions with a seat only a tad higher. That and the back brake where the clutch lever used to be was obviously a step too far for Honda this time around. I’ll move the back brake up to the left bar and I bet accessory people will provide the 2-position footboards. I may send airport scanners into melt-down, but I’m gunna still keep riding.
 
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