HONDA X-ADV (2021 - on) Review


  • Surprisingly agile and sure-footed in the bends
  • New chassis helps trim 1kg off kerb weight
  • Alternative option to conventional maxi scooter

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Power: 58 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.3 in / 820 mm)
Weight: High (520 lbs / 236 kg)


New £11,199
Used £9,000 - £10,500

Overall rating

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

Although undoubtedly a Marmite bike, there is something strangely appealing about the Honda X-ADV automatic motorbike. It’s not an off-roader, not by a long stretch, but it is a cool-looking super-scooter that is fun to ride and also practical (for mainly solo riders).

The big sticking point is the price tag, however if you are into maxi-scooters but don’t want a 'traditional' scooter look the X-ADV is your only option to be different. If we are being picky an IMU would have been nice, and a better connectivity system, but really that’s about it aside from maybe heated grips and cruise control.

If you like the idea of an SUV scooter, this bike won’t disappoint. Believe it or not, 32,000 have been sold to date and in 2019 it was Honda’s second best-selling bike – so it certainly appeals to a lot of riders.

The 2021 model replaces the 2017 Honda X-ADV, which was lightly upgraded again a year later. Honda announced the updates to the model in late 2020 alongside the NC750X sibling.

2021 Honda X-ADV radial brake caliper

Ride quality & brakes

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

Under the 2021 Honda X-ADV’s bodywork lurks an all-new chassis that helps trim 1kg off the bike’s wet weight while also increasing (marginally) the underseat storage. The geometry is unchanged and so is the wheelbase, so it handles like the old bike and the 3kg total saving over the outgoing version is negligible.

On the road the X-ADV is surprisingly agile and sure-footed in bends (helped by its fat tyres) and its radial brakes deliver more than enough bite. Off-road? Well, don’t let its looks deceive you, that’s not really its speciality...

The seat shape has been updated for 2021

With a seat height of 820mm it isn’t too much of a stretch to the floor but the 2021 model’s new seat is slimmer to help reduce this a bit. The screen is adjustable in its height and offers a reasonable amount of shelter and you get brush guards as standard to keep your hands protected.


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

Although the Honda’s parallel twin remains the same 745cc capacity as before, changes to the valve timing sees it gain 4bhp as well as Euro5-compliance while the DCT’s gearbox’s first three ratios are lower and the final three taller. So in theory that’s more poke when you need it and better economy once you are up to speed.

Not a radical change, you spot the extra acceleration in ‘Sport’ mode or using the manual gearchange option but it is when overtaking at 50-60mph that it is most noticeable. When the DCT ‘kicks down’ to get an extra zap of speed in response to a wide throttle opening, third gear is sprightlier than before, giving far better acceleration than fourth and making overtakes much faster as a result.

Honda X-ADV parallel-twin engine

Is it at the sacrifice of economy? Honda claim the X-ADV can record 78mpg and squeeze 227 miles from its 13.2-litre tank and during MCN’s test ride on a mixture of roads we saw an average of 68mpg, so that bodes well.

If you stick to ‘Sport’ however, the economy drops as it holds the revs higher for longer than ‘Standard’ mode. A new ride-by-wire throttle brings with it four set power modes - Rain, Standard, Gravel and Sport – with an extra User mode that is customisable.

The modes are linked to the HSTC (Honda’s traction control system), which has also been refined and now has three levels of intervention, and the DCT gearbox. Although not quite as good at predicting the gear you require as the latest Africa Twin’s DCT, which has an IMU helping it make its decisions and takes into account lean angle, the scooter’s system is now pretty fluid and doesn’t cause any annoyance.

Riding the 2021 Honda X-ADV

Reliability & build quality

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

The DCT engine is very solid and Honda have lavished a reasonable attention to detail on the level of finish and fit on the X-ADV. You would expect this on a bike that costs over £11k and is backed up by our Honda X-ADV owners' reviews - where there are no indications of any specific issues with the bike.

Honda have a great reputation for building solid and reliable bikes and this model is no different. With a little love and care it should power through as many winters of grime and road salt as you can throw at it.

And that price tag is backed up with a finish that's more motorcycle than scooter with proper brakes, mid-size wheels and USD forks.

The Honda X-ADV gets high praise from owners

The 745cc parallel-twin engine has been used in loads of bikes including the Forza 750 and NC750X and it should be solid and reliable - especially with an under-stressed 58bhp on tap.

Value vs rivals

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

At nearly £11,000 when launched (it's £11,199 in 2023) the Honda X-ADV represents quite an outlay for a bike that is so leftfield, especially when you compare it to prices for a ‘traditional’ motorcycle. However in the big scooter world it isn’t actually that badly priced.

Yamaha’s TMAX 560, which is the best-selling premium maxi-scooter, was £11,999, Honda’s own Forza 750 was £9,999 and the Kymco AK550 was £8899. It is a shame the X-ADV lacks a few features but while it is undeniably expensive, it’s not horrific in the grand scheme of things (2022 prices included).

Prices get even spicier in the three-wheeled world where a Piaggio MP3 530 hpe costs £11,500. And even more than that, an electric BMW CE 04 starts from £12,270.

Onboard controls on the 2021 Honda X-ADV


4 out of 5 (4/5)

A brand-new 5-inch TFT display comes with connectivity as standard and includes Honda’s Voice Control System, which links the rider to their phone – although there are also separate bar-mounted buttons.

Annoyingly you need to download the Honda RoadSync app to get the system to operate and it only works on Android and not iOS, which is ridiculous as other Honda models use Apple CarPlay! The good news, however, is that finally Honda have built not only a dash that is relatively clear to read – they have also developed a set of switchgear that isn’t a myriad of jumbled buttons!

A keyless ignition is standard, as is a USB-C slot under the seat in the 22-litre storage area, and you get ABS, traction control (HSTC), four set power modes plus one user-defined one, engine braking control, the DCT gearbox, DRLs, a bit of adjustability in the suspension and even a lockable glove box.

Honda X-ADV TFT dash

What’s missing? Cruise control would be nice and there is no IMU so the electronics aren’t angle-sensitive but that’s about it. Five-level heated grips are a £285 extra, which would have been nice as standard.


Engine size 745cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 8v, SOHC parallel twin
Frame type Tubular steel
Fuel capacity 13.2 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 236kg
Front suspension 41mm inverted forks, adjustable rebound damping and spring preload
Rear suspension Monoshock, adjustable spring preload
Front brake 2 x 296mm discs with four-piston calipers. ABS
Rear brake 240mm single disc with one-piston caliper. ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 160/60 x 15

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption -
Annual road tax £111
Annual service cost -
New price £11,199
Used price £9,000 - £10,500
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 58 bhp
Max torque 50.9 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range -

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2017 – Honda launch the X-ADV, a bike billed as the SUV of the scooter world. It is a surprise hit and sells 7500 in Europe in its first year!
  • 2018 - A small update sees the DCT version gain ‘G-mode’ for off-road use, 2-level HSTC is added to both models, an A2-restrition kit is available and the motor gains a few rpm at its top end.
  • 2020 - Minor updates to range.
  • 2023 - Price hike to £11,199

Other versions


MCN Long term test reports

MCN Fleet: Waiting for the adventure to begin!

MCN Fleet: Waiting for the adventure to begin!

I first saw the Honda X-ADV in the flesh at the Carole Nash MCN London Motorcycle Show in February, it was swamped by interested punters and I was at the front of the queue itching to have a closer look. It’s an intriguing bike, designed by the same team as the Africa Twin it’s definitely got a rugg

Read the latest report

Owners' reviews for the HONDA X-ADV (2021 - on)

2 owners have reviewed their HONDA X-ADV (2021 - 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 (2021 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Engine: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Value vs rivals: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Equipment: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
5 out of 5 You'd love it. You'll never buy one.
12 June 2023 by Blake

Year: 2022

Had a test drive when my previous bike was in for a service. Loved it but couldn't get past it's scooter looks (as a bike rider) took a year and a half to finally take the plunge. DCT suits this so well, it's comfortable, fast enough, handles surprisingly well and is incredibly practical with smart top box. Who knew keys were such a a 'conventional' bike rider previously I really enjoy leaving helmet under seat. I use this more than my previous bikes.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Brakes plenty. Easily empty a tank in 1 sitting. (Around 180 miles and around 60mpg) tests quoting 70+ mpg probably spend more time in town than I do. Great 2 up and dct smooth changes mean no helmet banging

Engine 4 out of 5

750cc...but no zxr 750. Soft but useable and flexible

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

It's a Honda

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Expensive for a scoot, perhaps good value for a commuter+tourer+weekend fun bike.

Equipment 4 out of 5

I'd have belt or shaft on this heavy bike. Chain seems out of place and adjustment is a pain. Smart top box ace. Expensive, but worth every penny. Panniers make it a superb tourer. Tour pack has a bag for in the gap where a tank should be. If you're using it you've taken too much.

Buying experience: Bought from dealer (Ecosse Honda) superb service. Good price for my trade in.

3 out of 5 Mr
06 February 2023 by Ni

Year: 2022

Is this a "big scooter" or an "automatic bike"? It looks and feels more like an actual bike and, because of its size, will say sayonara to every other scooter on the road. That 750cc engine is smooth and clicks through the gears pretty smoothly most of the time. In weight terms, it's a brute - pls add a teeny reverse gear Honda! And height wise, I'm 5'8 and it's too tall for me in all honesty. However, there's not much in the way of competition at this end of the market - wish more manufacturers would see how many people would take automatic versions of bigger bikes so we had more choice.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

No issues.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Pretty good all things considered.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Way better than most.

Back to top