Drivers know it: You want to greet a like-minded person — and accidentally raise your hand to get on a scooter. How embarrassing, hands off! But why actually? Most motorcyclists take for granted that motorbikes are not part of society. The cliché of cheap, slow alternative cars no longer applies in every case.
Honda’s Forza 750 and NC 750X show how close the two are now. Or in other words: a scooter with a capacity of 750 cubic meters, a 17-inch front wheel and a chain drive. and a motorcycle with an integrated stowage compartment and a DCT gearbox (optional).
In terms of engine and chassis, they share the same foundation. This means: approx. While the NC comes with telescopic forks and disc brakes on the front wheel, the Forza has inverted forks and two front disc brakes. Both are powered by the same powerful 750 cc two-cylinder engine, which with 59 horsepower cuts great shape in both the Tourer and Scooter.
What about daily use? We say tie. Storage space in NC is larger and more accessible. In turn, Forza leaf plates more reliably protect from the weather. The steps with the scooter can hardly be described as such. Because the truth is that Forza riders ride like a motorcycle. However, both are easy to use.
Not only is this due to the nearly identical seat heights of 790 and 800mm, also suitable for short drivers like our testers, but also because of the lower centers of gravity in both cars. The suspension and damping system also leave a similar impression: the scooter and touring bike are both tightly tuned, but without appearing bony.
NC seems to have copied the intuitive operation of Forza. Instead of an overloaded cockpit, a simple control provides information here, with which three driving modes can be selected. Neither of these companions really need any more technical frills.
43 kW (59 hp) at 6750 rpm
120/70 ZR 17/160/60 ZR 17
43 kW (59 hp) at 6750 rpm
120 / 70R17 / 160 / 60R15
That is: with the exception of the responsive dual-clutch transmission which is optionally manually operated. This is highly recommended for everyone who does not feel like constantly changing gears in city traffic or on the roads of alpine trails. The most expensive Forza of almost 3000 euros was equipped with it as standard. For NC, DCT costs an additional €1,000. Convenience benefits: invaluable.
We like to say the same about the NC 750 X’s seat. However, not only is it cramped, it’s also very tough on long rides. A rather sharp knee angle and too narrow footrests cause uncomfortable tingling in the legs. The rider wishes you could sit on the bike’s wide sofa with plenty of legroom and two running boards. On the other hand, the more sporty NC has an advantage in terms of tilt angle freedom. Forza doesn’t have to hide here either.
This leaves the picture. The NC 750 X clearly has higher acceptability and a petrol talk factor, not least because, as initially described, many motorists refuse to recognize the scooter as part of the two-wheeler community. Good for Forza drivers! Because while a scooter can be a fun, functional and comfortable device, the NC struggles a bit with its reputation as a bike like no other. (Bike Innovations for 2022)
Honda places the 750X in the “Adventure” category, raising false expectations for an uncomplicated, durable bike. When you stop at a motorcycle club, sometimes you feel the need to justify yourself. Also because some experts define themselves by the cubic capacity of their machine, laughing at the “mini-motorbike” and rambling around the “fear lines” if the tire isn’t too rickety on the outside. We like to ride scooters. We call for more tolerance.