With the carbs and valves finally done, it was time for a little test ride. (After having the bike for over 3 months, I’ve so far basically only ridden it around the block twice to test the forks after rebuilding them.) After putting the fairings back on, I shot some pictures and went for a ride.
After riding at maybe 15km around the local streets and a half-mile stint on the freeway between Artesia and Crenshaw, some observations:
- The engine runs really nice, it pulls cleanly with increasing power from pretty far down all the way up and idles steadily hot or cold. It sounds a lot better at 13-14k rpm than the NC23 does. At least something is right!
- It’s loud, even with the muffler insert. I’m ambivalent about this, on the one hand it sounds kind of aggressive, on the other hand I really don’t like people riding around making loads of noise. And forget about riding it without earplugs.
- The clutch is really heavy, even with a new and freshly lubed cable. My RSI-scarred hands were not happy about it after a while.
- After heating up, the clutch also drags a bit even when fully in which makes it hard to find neutral. This may be a NC30 “feature”, it seemed quite a few people on the 400greybike forum have the same issue and recommended blipping the throttle up to maybe 3000 rpm, and this definitely helped.
- The gas is also a bit heavy. I guess I just need to build up some hand strength.
- The seating position feels quite different from the NC23. It feels “shorter” somehow, like you reach less forward and more down with your arms. It’s also noticeably lower and narrower.
- It handles nicely. This is what everyone says about the NC30, and it seems true. In the few turns I went through, it felt willing to turn in and stable through the turn.
That was fun, but before doing any major riding, it needs new front brakes. The disks are about 0.4mm below the service limit and there’s major play in the floating disks.