2017 Honda X-ADV First Look Review

This might be your father’s ADV bike.

Honda X-ADV scooter
Honda looks to jumpstart the ADV scooter genre with the serious-looking X-ADV.Photo: Honda

After teasing their "City Adventure" concept at EICMA last year, Honda has finally unveiled the adventure scooter the world has been waiting for – the X-ADV. The good news is: this is a thing that exists. The bad news is: this is a thing that only exists in Europe. For now. There's no official word on whether or not this two-wheeled unicorn will ever make its way to American shores, but after taking a look at the specs, we can't help but wish that it was here already.

Perhaps the first thing to jump out from the X-ADV tech chart is that it's powered by a 745cc parallel twin. Not exactly a fire-breathing monster by adventure-bike standards, but that's actually a fair amount of displacement for anything with a step-through seat. The motor is taken out of Honda's Euro-spec NC750 lineup and is known to make around 54 HP while consistently pulling 60+ MPG. Also falling in line with Honda's NC-class, the X-ADV will only be available with Honda's Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT). This sort of technology is usually followed with groans and sighs when it's mated with a traditional motorcycle, but chances are if you're interested enough in scooters to read this far, you're probably not that offended at the idea of our machine picking its own gears.

Moving down the list, the numbers continue to tell an ADV tale. There’s roughly six inches of suspension travel in the front (6.04”) and rear (5.9”), which means you, should have enough cushion to bounce down some dirt roads without dislodging your spine. Putting that suspension to good use on the ground is a 15” inch rear and 17” inch front wheel, both laced up nicely with spoked rims and a set of Bridgestone Trailwing tires. Burly and mean as this scoot looks, the seat is a very reasonable 32.2-inches high, for those of us with inseams smaller than our sense of adventure.

ADV scooter
This is one seriously cool-looking scooter. But will it make it to the US market?Photo: Honda

As far as stopping power, brace yourself for a set of dual radial-mounted four-piston Nissin calipers up front that are modulated by ABS as a standard feature on the X-ADV. No word yet if there’s an Enduro ABS of if the ABS is switchable, but if it is, that proves just how serious Honda is about people taking these things off-road. Or it just proves how nervous Honda is about someone legitimately slinging a 525 lb. scooter around in the dirt. Yup, claimed weight is roughly as much as a KTM 1190 Adventure R. Granted the X-ADV is going to hold that weight much, much lower, but there’s no denying that could probably stand to lose a few lbs.

Rounding out the laundry list of features, you’ve got 21 liters of storage beneath the seat (enough for an ADV or street helmet, says Honda), a five-way adjustable windscreen, a “rally-style” instrumental cluster, and a set of hand-guards pulled directly off the Africa Twin. That’s right, if you count logos, paint schemes, and hand guards, the X-ADV will share at least (guessing here) 3% of its DNA with Honda’s flagship adventure machine. Not too shabby.

In the grand scheme of things, the X-ADV is likely to be added to the long-list of bikes that look the part of dirt machine more than they play the part. But that’s okay with us, because scooters tend to get a bad rap around the United States, and this just might be the sort of beast to give them some street cred. Plus, who knows, for something that has more suspension travel than a Ducati Scrambler, has a fuel range on par with KTM’s 1190 Adventure, and has the flippin’ hand-guards off an African Twin, who knows, maybe this is just the machine we needed after all.