HONDA X-ADV (2017 - on) Review

Highlights

  • An adventure scooter
  • DCT-equipped, with tall ride height
  • Honda build quality, low running costs

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Power: 53 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.3 in / 820 mm)
Weight: High (525 lbs / 238 kg)

Prices

New £10,349
Used £6,500 - £9,900

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Honda X-ADV scooter has been a surprise success. Since its launch in 2017, over 7500 have been sold throughout Europe. Its funky look, practicality and fuel economy have made it a popular choice for all types of riders looking for a do-anything mode of transport that’s a little bit different.

Billed as an adventure scooter, Honda claim the X-ADV has off-road credentials, but with small wheels (17in front and 15in rear), minimal ground clearance and huge weight, its off-road abilities are seriously limited.

Where is does excel is its ability to tackle any type of road riding without fuss, while offering good fuel economy and decent weather protection.


 

Honda X-ADV updates for 2018

The X-ADV has undergone changes for 2018 largely centered around electronics and rider aids. The latest model features Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) which is Honda’s torque/traction control.

There are two settings to choose from with default level two designed for road use, and with level one designed for off-road use and allows the rear wheel to spin more. You can also easily switch the torque/traction control off completely.

The 2018 version’s engine has also been given a 900rpm boost with the redline now at 7,500rpm meaning there are more revs to play with in each gear.

There is also a G (Gravel) button designed for off-road riding that gives additional engine braking, especially useful when going down hill off-road. It is the same system used on the Honda Africa Twin DCT models. 

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Despite the weighing 238kg the scooter handles well with neutral, balanced handling characteristics making light work of fast cornering. In fact, the X-ADV was incredibly easy to ride through the tight and twisty mountain roads of Sardinia.

Just sit back, get comfy and the X-ADV will go where you want it to - at no point do you have to wrestle it or put all your weight through a footboard to get it to turn. The tall stance of the X-ADV also meant there were no ground clearance issues, so you can really hustle through the corners. The suspension copes well with all but the harshest of bumps, and the brakes are strong and progressive.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The X-ADV is based on Honda's Integra, using the same 745cc parallel twin engine also found in the NC series. As a result the X-ADV produces 53bhp and uses Honda's Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) system. There are two modes; Drive and Sport. Drive offers smooth predictable, power while Sport mode sharpens the throttle response and holds gears longer before changing up.

On top of these two modes you can also select gears manually using two buttons on the left handlebar. You can do this with the bike in automatic or manual mode, although in manual mode I found myself constantly hitting the rev limiter due to the X-ADV's short rev range. It felt much more natural to keep the bike in automatic mode and prod the gear change buttons whenever I felt necessary. The engine doesn't blow you away, but it offers brisk acceleration and is fun to fire out of corners.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
5 out of 5 (5/5)

Honda has a legendary reputation for reliability and the NC-range of engines are incredibly under-stressed, so we can't imagine there'll be any reliability issues with the X-ADV.

We've got two Honda X-ADV owners' reviews on the site, with an overall score of 4.5 stars out of 5. There aren't any negative comments to refer to, though.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

There's no getting away from the fact that the Honda X-ADV is an expensive piece of kit, but it's no more expensive than the maxi-scooter competition, and it's got an extra layer of fun compared to most of them.

At £9,599 when launched it was firmly in the territory of 'proper' adventure bikes such as the BMW F800GS and Suzuki V-Strom 1000, although in reality Honda's X-ADV is a very different proposition to any adventure bike.

With claimed economy of over 75mpg, it’s certainly frugal despite offering good performance. With its 13 litre fuel tank it has a theoretical range of well over 200 miles.

The 2018 models come in five different colours – Matt Bullet Silver, Matt Pearl Glare White, Grand Prix Red, Candy Chromosphere Red and Digital Silver Metallic. These all cost £9,959.

Equipment

3 out of 5 (3/5)

ABS is standard, but there's no traction control on the X-ADV. The screen is adjustable, although tricky to operate on the move. You can just about fit a full face helmet under the seat, and the handguards will be a welcome addition in winter, plus they look cool. The huge dash is easy to read and provides plenty of information.

Changes for 2018 include two-stage traction control which is easily adjusted via a simple switch and can be turned off. It works well.

Specs

Engine size 745cc
Engine type liquid-cooled 8V parallel twin
Frame type Steel diamond
Fuel capacity 13.1 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 238kg
Front suspension -
Rear suspension Prolink with rear shock preload adjustment
Front brake -
Rear brake -
Front tyre size 120/70 R17
Rear tyre size 160/60 R15

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption -
Annual road tax £93
Annual service cost -
New price £10,349
Used price £6,500 - £9,900
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term -

Top speed & performance

Max power 53 bhp
Max torque 50 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range -

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2017: Model introduced
  • 2018: Minor updates to X-ADV

MCN Long term test reports

MCN Fleet: Slow burning love affair with the Honda X-ADV

MCN Fleet: Slow burning love affair with the Honda X-ADV

It’s an age since I first set eyes on the Honda X-ADV. Like all good love affairs I remember the exact moment in time, the MCN Show in London last year is etched on my mind for eternity. A three-month wait for delivery, means my first ride’s a mixture of nerves and excitement. Excitement turns to di

Read the latest report

Owners' reviews for the HONDA X-ADV (2017 - on)

2 owners have reviewed their HONDA X-ADV (2017 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your HONDA X-ADV (2017 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Equipment: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
5 out of 5 Best of the best!
07 January 2020 by Luis Silveira

Year: 2017

It´s the best bike to do everything!

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5 Honda X-ADV Owners Review
27 October 2017 by Steve L

Year: 2017

Never owned anything that provides so much joy day in day out. The only reason for no 5th star is Honda's missed trick of using a belt final drive instead of a chain. Should be on all of their NC range.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Very comfortable around town with a brilliant adjustable screen for faster roads. Good quality running gear and great brakes make it feel modern and safe. Feels like a step forward compared to the current crop of scooters.

Engine 5 out of 5

I love the lazy power delivery of the NCs. If you're into high revving sports bikes you won't like it but as an everyday steed it's a perfect power delivery... smooth but with some character, punchy with very little effort, and frugal without even trying to be. The multi mode DCT gearbox is what attracted me to the NC range to begin with. It is brilliant on the X-ADV and really suits the use the bike will be put to. Much nicer to ride than a CVT scooter.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Early days for the X-ADV yet but the platform it's built on is bullet proof. The X-ADV looks and feels like a step up in quality compared to the other NCs.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Great on fuel. (80mpg with a not especially steady hand). Expensive to buy initially but it's a do-anything, go most places bike and makes you feel a bit special as it's such a rare sight on the road. Combine that with its premium feel and suddenly it's good value. Much more fun that the premium scooters, which are more expensive.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Nice all round standard spec but add Honda's heated grips (which are integrated into the dash display) and a rear rack/box (not Honda's standard 'adventure' style box... I've fitted a Givi rack with a 52 litre Maxia box) and you have what I think is the perfect all round bike... ride it every day of the year to work like a scooter, tour on it at sensible speeds like a conventional motor bike, and have fun at the weekends... it'll do everything but don't expect a track day bike if that's your thing. A belt drive instead of a chain would make it perfect for me and I've never come close to saying that about any bike previously.

Buying experience: Bought brand new on a PCP for the advertised price but with a £750 Honda contribution to the finance, which makes it almost 0% over 3 years. Added Honda heated grips, wind deflectors and fancy foot plates and later fitted the Givi rack to accommodate my Givi box, which is much better looking and performing than the standard square Honda box.

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