Can the X-ADV do the job of two bikes?

Honda’s quirky ma­chine tries to meet com­mut­ing and ad­ven­ture needs

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

‘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…

The cat was clearly unim­pressed with Ali­son’s Honda

Ali­son’s mate Keith scoots off to ad­ven­ture

Ali re­veals the mys­ter­ies of DCT

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