Written on: 31/05/2011
I have had my NT650V (Deauville) from new (13 years this Aug), after putting 114k miles on my XJ600 I was fed up of replacing, tensioning and cleaning chains so I had a list of requirements which this bike matched to a T. Not the most exciting bike but a very comfortable ride (albeit a bit more vibration then the straight 4 of the Yamaha). I originally bought for commuting but since leaving London (after putting 64k on it) I only use it for touring now. If you are used to an unfaired bike (especially round the rear wheel) then riding in a cross wind will take a bit of getting used to (you get a lot of the old 'flat tyre' feeling).
If you are riding in winter then the deflectors to screw onto the fairing are good to keep some weather off (as are the footguards). the high screen I found wasn't quite high enough so tempted you to duck which can make your back ache. The Panniers never seem to be the right size/shape but if you only have soft items to store then this isn't an issue (although the cost of the bags to fit them is typically Honda) and you can easily carry enough for a weekend without worrying about a top box. The newer model has the tube going over the rear wheel which would help in many cases.
I have had a few problems over the years but only to be expected, the fuel pump gave up between 50-60k (has a system like points on older bikes) and when I went to start it recently I found the Fuel pump relay had broken. This is where it gets to be a pain, Honda hide things in difficult to get to places and the parts cost a fortune. If the rear tyre blows you have a problem because the bike is then too low to the road for it to be secure on the side stand and you have to be a weightlifter to get it up onto the main stand from that position. Dropping it is also an issue as all that plastic is expensive (and really gets in the way if you have to push it). If anyone remembers the old days of bump starting when your battery was flat then forget it with this bike. I Recently had to have the fork seals replaced as there was some rusting where I could not see/maintain it and I will shortly have to replace the exhaust with an aftermarket system as Honda will charge the earth (long runs and overnight garaging has kept it going so far).
All that said, the bike has been generally reliable and comfortable to ride, ideal commuter (although I would avoid the large luggage covers if going through traffic) and good tourer.