Can the X-ADV do the job of two bikes?
Honda’s quirky machine tries to meet commuting and adventure needs
‘What the hell is that?” It’s a question I’ve struggled to answer ever since I’ve been riding the Honda X-ADV. Nobody knows what it actually is and how it fits in with the normal expectations of a bike or scooter.
My friend Keith, who commutes 30 miles into London daily and owns both a Yamaha Tracer 900 and Honda SH300 scooter, was curious about the X-ADV. I was interested to know if he thought Honda’s scooter-cum-adventure bike creation was good enough to replace both his scooter and his adventure bike – and the only way to find out was for him to take the X-ADV for a spin.
Parked up between Keith’s two machines, my adventure scoot looked a similar size to his Tracer and dwarfed his SH300.
Before he set off for his test ride I talked Keith through the DCT gearbox. It’s something he’d not tried before so the little tips I could give him, such as feathering the rear brake to compensate for the jerky, lowspeed acceleration, were useful.
Chatting over a cuppa, I was interested to find that Keith’s first experience of riding the X-ADV was similar to mine.
“The riding position is unusual, the running boards replace pegs and the DCT means there’s no gear lever,” he said. Even with his 30 years of riding experience, Keith took a few minutes to get used to the unorthadox Honda.
Keith is 5ft 6in, four inches shorter than me, so as I’d expected he did find the seat width an issue when coming to a halt. This is something I struggled with initially too, even with my long limbs.
It seemed like we are both suckers for inbuilt storage. The underseat compartment and topbox are something I use daily. Keith also managed a quick pit-stop at the local
Co-op and being able to stow his essentials was very scooter-esque.
We both think the keyless ignition system a bit strange. It’s ludicrous that you can ride off and leave the fob behind. The one benefit I have found, which Keith didn’t encounter, is the ease of fuelling up. The keyless ignition includes a fuel cap release, so no mucking about at the pump.
Did Keith enjoy riding the X-ADV? Yes, he’d had a fun couple of hours and the chance to experience the DCT gearbox was one he’d enjoyed. Would he be rushing to the nearest Honda dealer and be putting down a deposit? Disappointingly not.
He said: “It’s a little lacking in punch on the open road and too heavy for town riding.” So, for Keith seems the X-ADV isn’t two bikes in one, but I’m still be charmed by it. I still don’t know what the hell it is though…
Ali reveals the mysteries of DCT