Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 27th March 2017

What do you get if you cross a scooter and an adventure bike?


It’s a question that no motorcycle manufacturer has asked before, or at least until now. The answer is this -Honda’s new 745cc X-ADV – the ultimate motorcycle crossover!

Honda X-ADV candid


That the X-ADV exists should not really be a surprise. The adventure bike genre is big business these days as is (on the continent at least) the maxi-scooter and, if you look to the car industry, crossovers have been around for a few years now, with vehicles like the Nissan Qashqai and Honda’s own HR-V offering off-road looks with city manners.


Under the bonnet, there’s plenty that’s familiar about the X-ADV. The two-cylinder engine is shared with a host of other Hondas, including the NC750 range, Integra scooter, and the wacky NM4 Vultus. The 54bhp engine has been slightly retuned in the X-ADV, with 500rpm additional revs, and features Honda’s DCT, or dual clutch, system that is such a popular option on some of the company’s bigger bikes.


Honda X-ADV street


DCT means that the X-ADV can be ridden twist and go style, like a big scooter, or manually, using paddles on the left handlebar switchgear. The automatic gearbox has three settings, the sportier options hanging onto the revs longer, while the 270-degree firing order gives the engine plenty of character that’s more akin to a throbbing V-twin than a commuter-style parallel twin.


Cradling this powerplant is a tubular steel frame chassis with a scooter-style, 21 litre, storage bin under the seat that’s got enough room for a full-face helmet. There is a 12v power charger in there too.


There’s no doubt that the X-ADV is long and heavy. At 238kg, it’s right up there with a full-sized adventure bike in the weight stakes, but the mass is carried so low in the chassis you never really notice it.


The spoked wheels give the kind of proportion you’d expect on a traditional adventure bike, but rather than being 21” at the front and 17” at the rear, you’ve got a 17”/15” combo running on dual purpose Bridgestone Trail Wing made especially for the X-ADV. The small wheels contribute to a 820mm seat height that’s taller than most maxi-scooters, but a good 30mm lower than Honda’s 1000cc Africa Twin. Compared to a feet forward scooter, it’s more generously proportioned for taller riders while remaining accessible enough for most shorties.


Honda has really pushed the boat out with the X-ADV’s off-road styling. There are plenty of styling cues from the critically acclaimed Africa Twin. From the spoked wheels with dual sport tyres, to the Africa Twin style graphics on the white and red versions, there is a real family resemblance running through the X-ADV’s veins. The adjustable screen has more than a touch of Africa Twin too, while the handlebars and hand guards come straight from the bigger brother. It’s a bike that can handle light off-road trails, if that’s what you want. It’s got the obligatory bash plate, 150mm of suspension travel, far more than you’d get on a scooter, and while it’s not a machine you’d buy to live out your enduro fantasies it’s nice to know you can handle some rougher stuff if need be.


Honda X-ADV Dashboard


On the road, the X-ADV’s natural environment, it’s well mannered and easy to ride. Components like the fully-adjustable 41mm upside down forks, radially-mounted Nissan brakes and a cool rally style instrument panel all show that Honda have not cut corners on this bike.


That’s good, because there’s one number that tends to get people’s hackles up when they talk about the X-ADV – the price. At £9599, this is not a cheap motorcycle. That sort of money can see you riding off with something like a Triumph Tiger 800, while a grand more can get you on Honda’s ‘real’ go-everywhere bike – the Africa Twin.


But £9599 is also big scooter money. It’s only £600 more than Suzuki’s dull-but-worthy Burgman 650 and is right on the money with Yamaha’s hugely popular TMAX range.


In this sector, the X-ADV is starting to make perfect sense. There’s a real quality feel to the ‘product’ the fit and finish is supreme. The keyless ignition system is perfect for commuters and there’s no fiddling about on this bike, with automatic releases for the seat and filler flap. It is so well thought out.


Honda X-ADV storage


Let’s be clear, the Honda X-ADV is not for everyone but the appeal of this ‘adventure scooter’ is wider than you might think at first. For riders on the lookout for a big scoot, the X-ADV offers a more characterful and individual option, but it also has plenty to offer guys who many fancy a full-on adventure bike but are put off by the tall riding position and general size of the machine.


Honda X-ADV on the road


Sure, it’s quirky but it’s quality too. It’s not as leftfield as stuff like the bat bike Vultus but rock up at a bike night on an X-ADV and you’ll likely draw a crowd.


It’s quite a conversation starter, the Honda X-ADV.




Liquid cooled, eight-valve, single overhead camshaft, 270° crank parallel twin






40.3kW (55bhp) @4750rpm


68Nm @ 6250rpm


41mm upside down telescopic forks






13.1 litres




*Based on our average customer 52 year old, 9 years NCB, garaged, WA14 postcode, no claims/convictions, 4000 miles Comp cover is £399.11 with a £250 excess. Get your Honda Motorcycle Insured with Carole Nash