2014 Honda CTX700 and CTX700N: FIRST RIDE

Kit Palmer | June 5, 2013

Will Rogers might not have met a man he didn’t like, but I don’t think I’ve ever met a man, or person, who didn’t want to ride a motorcycle. Maybe every once in awhile I’ve heard someone say, “Oh, I’d never get on one of those things.” But that’s rare. C’mon, deep down inside, everyone wants to ride.

As much as people want to ride motorcycles, however, oftentimes the intimidation factor gets in their way from getting a bike or even trying to ride one. After all, motorcycles can be intimidating to the newbie. For the most part, motorcycles are big, fast, powerful and oftentimes loud. Unlike most cars, you have to manually shift gears on a motorcycle, and they don’t stand up by themselves, so they require considerable skill and coordination to operate. And it’s these things that tend to scare people away from motorcycles. Maybe that’s why only less than 10 percent percent of the U.S. population owns a licensed on-road motorcycle. Well, Honda wants to change that by tapping into the other 90 percent. And they aim to do so by luring them into the market with unintimidating, easy-to-ride, practical, fun and affordable streetbikes – like the new CTX700.

The CTX700 is one of a number of streetbike models Honda has introduced lately aimed at the entry-level, female and/or re-entry rider, many of whom no doubt make up that 90 or so percent.

Honda began its recruiting crusade a couple of years ago by introducing the easy-to-ride, gas-sipping and inexpensive CBR250R, followed by the “automatic-shifting” NC700X, and, more recently, the sporty three-bikes in the CB500 range. The latest entry-level platform is the do-it-all CTX, with the CTX700 and CTX700N models arriving first.

Honda says that CTX basically stands for “Comfort,” “Technology,” and “eXperience” – as in a good riding experience. Honda could’ve added the letter “U” for “Unintimidating,” but while that might have proven a bit excessive, it’s definitely accurate. But these three letters are what Honda hopes will attract new riders into our world.

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