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Honda has unveiled an all-new motorcycle line for 2014, the midsized CTX series. These new 670-cc models split conventional classifications to offer an automatic transmission and antilock brakes in an affordable bike that is well-suited to newer riders and those seeking a motorcycle with the latest features for a budget price..

The CTX family essentially extends the clever packaging from the NC700X adventure bike to a new configuration that is equal parts modern standard and cruiser. The initial CTX bikes share engine from the NC700X, although other displacements will be added in the future.

The naked-style CTX700N starts at just $6,999, with the CTX700ND priced at $7,999 including the dual-clutch automatic and antilock brakes—features certain to make inexperienced riders feel more at home. Disc brakes are used front and rear. The auto tranny can be left in set-and-forget mode or controlled through paddle shifters, similar in principle to set-ups in many performance-oriented cars. The instrument panel is a wide digital display.

The NC700X impressed us with its massive storage chamber where the gas tank traditionally goes. Like a larger scooter, its cargo compartment can hold a helmet. The CTX has what's termed a glove box in the same location. It's not quite as spacious, but it looks handy. The seat height is a low 28.6 inches, making it better suited to shorter riders than the tall NC700X with its 32.6-inch seat height. (See our first ride of the NC700X.)

The CTX700 (named without the "N") adds top fairing and a windscreen, making the bike better-suited to longer, open-highway rides. Its seat is slightly lower at 28.3 inches. This version starts at $7,799, with CTX700N including the autobox and ABS for $8,799.

Initial accessories include hard saddle bags, passenger back rest, car rack, and heated grips.

These new motorcycles go on sale in the spring, along with the 2014 NC700X. It starts at $7,499 and will be available in both red and silver this year.

See our motorcycle and scooter buying advice.



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