HONDA X-ADV (2017 - 2021) Review
- An adventure scooter
- DCT-equipped, with tall ride height
- Honda build quality, low running costs
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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.
- Related: 2021 Honda X-ADV bike review
- Related: How the Honda X-ADV went from concept to reality
- Related: Best automatic motorbikes
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 & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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 qualityNext up: Value
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 rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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.
|Engine type||liquid-cooled 8V parallel twin|
|Frame type||Steel diamond|
|Fuel capacity||13.1 litres|
|Rear suspension||Prolink with rear shock preload adjustment|
|Front tyre size||120/70 R17|
|Rear tyre size||160/60 R15|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||-|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||-|
|Used price||£6,500 - £9,500|
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||53 bhp|
|Max torque||50 ft-lb|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
Model history & versions
- 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
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…
Owners' reviews for the HONDA X-ADV (2017 - 2021)
4 owners have reviewed their HONDA X-ADV (2017 - 2021) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
Version: 745xadv 21
When i picked the bike up from the dealership for the first time its was a lot Better ride than i was expecting it goes round the twistys quite well lovely bike to ride Very Comfortable riding position heated grips and cruise control should have been standard on this type of bike Honda have mist a trick here Honda genuine accessories are way to expensive But dont let that put you off the bike There's Plenty of after market stuff available to buy a lot cheaper for the adv
It Goes a lot better than you think That dct gearbox is a peach I'm getting 71mpg avg so far not bad at all
Really like it so far pleased i bought one time will tell in the next review
Buying experience: Dealership
This is a motorcycle for everyday riders. If you want, comfort, weather protection, carrying ability, great handling, great brakes, fantastic fuel economy, easy to clean, easy to fuel, keyless, sounds great, great head lights this bike has no equal. The DCT is fun to use, forget manual, leave in drive and overuse to either use more engine braking or a brisk overtake. Swap to sport maybe, it's a button press! This bike only limitation is that it's tall.
XADV expensive? Go ride one, the ride quality is really good, much better that anything else in the NC range. Honda spent some proper money on the suspension. The brakes are radial calipers from the Africa Twin, the brake pads are simple to change and they work very well. Comfort is great, I have the off-road pegs also do lots of options for feet position. I can ride all day and still feel fine.
750 twin, 270 crank, sounds fine! Only 54bhp but torque everywhere. The DCT is programmed really well, not much beats you off the line. Ultimately 54bhp and 235kg means that top speed is around 100mph (Speedo says 110mph+) but you can cruise at 90mph and still get 60mpg.
Scooters and this are expensive? There's a good reason, they're designed to be used everyday. They don't need a heated garage and pampering. They don't corrode, are easy to clean, easy to maintain, this bike comes with a centre stand, screen that works, hand guards that are all extra on other bikes.
It's a twin with a single throttle body and a low low limit. Servicing is cheap and easy.
Comes with hand guards, centre stand, good screen, great mirrors, great instruments, ace switch gear, big grab rails. Mine came with the Honda heated grips, which I use ALL the time. I fitted aftermarket off-road pegs also. Tyre choice is limited, Bridgestone or Pirelli primarily, but they are both great so no problem?
Buying experience: Bought mine with 2k miles for £7199. An absolute bargain? From a dealer Thunderroad, two shops in Wales, both brilliant, one in England I haven't been too.
It´s the best bike to do everything!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.