What If A Honda Integra And An Africa Twin Had Offspring?

Honda blurs the line between the scooter and motorcycle worlds with its genre-bending X-ADV model. The X-ADV brings a scooter-like body together with a proper motorcycle drivetrain that delivers twist-and-forget operation not unlike a CVT-equipped, swingmount scooter. The Red Riders further confuse the issue with dual-purpose tires meant to turn in a decent performance on soft surfaces while maintaining a certain amount of roadworthiness for your urban commute. Chuck in the 745 cc powerplant and you’ve got one confused ride. Perhaps the confusion is all on my end? Let’s dive in and find out.

Continue reading for my review of the Honda X-ADV.

  • 2017 - 2018 Honda X-ADV
  • Year:
    2017- 2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    L-Twin
  • Displacement:
    745 cc
  • Price:
    9959
  • Price:

2018 Honda X-ADV Design

2017 - 2018 Honda X-ADV
- image 781320
So is it a scooter or is it a motorcycle? The short answer is: Yes.

The X-ADV leads off with some very strong rally-tastic elements in the wire wheels, usd forks and adjustable windshield. A moderate fairing parts the slipstream to form the air pocket for the pilot, and the five-way adjustable windscreen comes well vented to help reduce the head-buffet effect for less stress and wind noise under way. Though the front end seems to open up in a sort of faux scoop below the headlights kinda sportbike-style, it’s actually more about the legguard area that lies just behind it to give the rider almost the same level of protection afforded by the metropolitan maxi-scooters.

Behind the screen, a rally-style digital instrument readout passes on all the pertinent information in a format that is easy and intuitive to read, even under duress. Handguards from Honda’s globetrotting Africa Twin grace the X-ADV’s grips for yet another layer of tour-tastic protection that is sure to hold it in good stead as a civil commuter. As for the scooterish aspects of the ride, they kick in full force right behind the fairing where the conspicuously absent fuel tank leaves a minimal step-through that should make it easy to mount even for the most vertically challenged rider even if the 820 mm seat height may still push the comfort envelope just a tad for the shortest inseams.

Under the seat, a 21-liter storage compartment stands ready to hold a full-face bucket or a decent amount of groceries/sundry items to further its overall commuter-ability. The subframe area rises up sportbike style to the pillion area that sprouts a set of J.C. handles that can also serve as an anchor for a bungee net and a secondary cargo platform. Of course, you can boost that further with one of the optional top cases, but for the time being let’s stick to the standard equipment package.

An upswept exhaust shifts the look from scooter back to sportbike, and the swingarm-mount rear wheel offers the final, and quite definitive, motorcycle feature. So, is it a scooter or a motorcycle? The short answer is: yes.

had this to say on the subject:

Our development concept for the X-ADV was simple: ‘Go Have Fun!’ and we wanted to create a motorcycle that comes with an adventurous spirit as standard fitment,” says Honda’s Large Project Leader, Mr. Kenichi Misaki. “We also knew we needed the X-ADV to be truly usable as a tool to move around the city, and be full of utility and user-friendly features. And come the weekend it can be used to escape all of the daily routine, in a unique and uplifting new style.

2018 Honda X-ADV Chassis

2017 - 2018 Honda X-ADV
- image 781322
The X-ADV strikes a nice balance between agility and stability, with decent parking-lot maneuverability.

A tubular-steel frame underpins the machine with the strength and stiffness necessary to handle light terrain in keeping with its dual-sport facet. The steering head comes set for 27 degrees of rake with a 104 mm trail and a steering arc of 39-degrees over a 1,590 mm wheelbase. This strikes a nice balance between agility and stability, with decent parking-lot maneuverability.

A set of 41 mm usd forks float the front end on 153.5 mm of travel with adjustable spring preload and rebound damping, far beyond what you’d find on a scooter, or even most proper motorcycles for that matter. The rear monoshock gives up 150 mm of travel, but only sports the minimal spring-preload adjustment. Oh well, I reckon it’s worth the trade off for the flexibility up front.

A pair of 296 mm discs and four-pot, opposed-piston anchors haul down the front wheel with some serious braking power that comes with ABS protection to help you get the most out of it in relative safety. The 17-inch front wheel and 15-inch rear run with a laced rim, and they come lined with a 120/70 and 160/60 hoop on the front and rear, respectively.

Frame: Steel Diamond
Caster Angle: 27°
Trail: 104 mm (4.1 inches)
Suspension, Front: Adjustment
Suspension, Rear: Prolink with Rear Shock Preload adjustment
Wheels, Front/Rear: 17 inch/15 inch
Tires, Front/Rear: 120/70 R17/160/60 R15
ABS System Type: 2 Channel

2018 Honda X-ADV Drivetrain

2017 - 2018 Honda X-ADV
- image 781328
Honda graced the X-ADV with its six-speed, DCT that delivers shifterless shifts for the same twist-and-go operation you'd expect from a scooter, plus much more.

The decidedly unscooterlike powerplant is Honda’s water-cooled, 745 cc L-twin that serves up the juice with 40.3 kW at 6,250 rpm backed up by 68 Nm that comes on at 4,750 rpm. Riders in the A2 bracket can get a license-compliant model that comes governed at 35 kW, so worry not if you’re looking for that next rung up the ladder.

A long-stroke layout gives the mill a 77 mm bore and 80 mm stroke with a 10.7-to-1 compression ratio, and the 270-degree firing order gives it a distinctive lope at idle that increases traction on soft surfaces as it gives the rear tire time to grab a hold of the ground between the two far-flung power pulses. It works, just ask anyone who’s ever ridden a Triumph or Harley-Davidson hill climber.

Honda’s PGM-FI system manages the induction, but it’s the transmission that actually steals the show here. Honda graced the X-ADV with its six-speed, Dual Clutch Transmission that delivers shifterless shifts for the same twist-and-go operation you’d expect from a scooter, plus much more. The gearbox uses a pair of shafts with a clutch pack on each one that alternate as you move up and down the range for seamless transfers of power.

Additionally for 2018, the system comes with the Honda Selectable Torque Control that comes with two levels of traction control plus off, and three preset control curves that deliver tailored power depending on the situation: “D” mode for economical riding, a tri-level “S” mode for a sportier delivery with earlier downshifts and later upshifts and the “G” mode meant to help tackle softer off-road surfaces.

Engine: Liquid cooled, L2, SOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Displacement: 745 cc
Bore x Stroke: 77 x 80 mm
Compression Ratio: 10.7:1
Max. Power Output: 40.3 kW (54 hp) @ 6,250 rpm
Max. Torque: 68 Nm (50.2 lb-ft) @ 4,750 rpm
Carburetion: PGMFI
Starter: Electric
Clutch: Wet multiplate Hydraulic / Wet multiplate Hydraulic Dual clutch (DCT)
Transmission Type: 6 speed

2018 Honda X-ADV Price

2017 - 2018 Honda X-ADV
- image 781331
The £10k MSRP puts it in what I consider to be the affordable bottom of the second-tier bikes.

Priced around what I consider to be the bottom of the second-tier bikes, the X-ADV rolls for £9,959. Buyers can pick between new-for-2018 Candy Chromosphere Red, Matt Bullet Silver, Digital Silver Metallic, Pearl Glare White (ala Africa Twin), or Grand Prix Red, which is reminiscent of the CRF offroad lineup.

Colors: Candy Chromosphere Red, Digital Silver Metallic, Matt Bullet Silver, Pearl Glare White, Grand Prix Red
Price: £9,959

2018 Honda X-ADV Competitors

2017 - 2018 Honda X-ADV
- image 781344
2017 - 2019 BMW C 650 Sport / C 650 GT
- image 781452
How do you compare something that can't be pigeonholed into one, or even two specific categories?

How do you compare something that can’t be pigeonholed into one, or even two specific categories? Do you go for one of the Euro-centric maxi-scoots like BMW’s C 650 GT? It’s a proper scooter with a large, 647 cc, twin-cylinder engine that brings a claimed 44 kW and top speed of 112 mph to the table along with decidedly adult looks, nothing as fun and whimsical as the face the X-ADV presents to the world. Traction control and anti-lock brakes are constant across the board, so neither gain anything there, but at the end of the day, the swingmount drive system clearly marks the Beemer as a scooter. The C 650 GT also breaks the 10 K mark with a £10,050 price tag, but that’s largely a symbolic threshold as the X-ADV resides just below it.

Could I go for a standard motorcycle, or maybe even an adventure bike? There are some out there with automatic transmixxers, but they chill in Honda’s stable right next to the subject of today’s piece so I’m calling them exempt. I could grab a 750-ish whatever from wherever as well, but it just won’t hit the exact same spot in the market as the X-ADV. Let’s just call it something unique under the sun and call it done.

He Said

“As form follows function, the X-ADV is attractive enough, but if I’m honest, it’s ugly as a mud fence. Too many features seem to contradict their neighbors, and even if we don’t get hung up on what to call it, it just doesn’t look right to me; kinda’ like a scooter that decided to “identify” as a scrambler.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “This is sort of a scooter-cycle. I love the DCT . With the motorcycle engine, it’s more along the lines of the NC750. The handbar is nice and wide with that very scooter-ish upright riding position. You have all the convenience of the scooter — no clutch, twist-and-go, footboards, and underseat storage – with the power of a proper motorcycle. The underseat storage isn’t overly impressive, but there’s room for a full-face helmet and it has a power outlet to charge your electronics. Getting stuff in and out of the storage cubby feels a little cramped, but the space itself is okay enough. So this is a little more motorcycle-ish than an Integra and more scooterish than, say, a DCT-equipped Africa Twin.”

2018 Honda X-ADV Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Liquid cooled, L2, SOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Displacement: 745 cc
Bore x Stroke: 77 x 80 mm
Compression Ratio: 10.7:1
Max. Power Output: 40.3 kW (54 hp) @ 6,250 rpm
Max. Torque: 68 Nm (50.2 lb-ft) @ 4,750 rpm
Carburetion: PGMFI
Starter: Electric
Clutch: Wet multiplate Hydraulic / Wet multiplate Hydraulic Dual clutch (DCT)
Transmission Type: 6 speed
Final Drive: Chain
Chassis:
Frame: Steel Diamond
Caster Angle: 27°
Trail: 104 mm (4.1 in)
Suspension, Front: Adjustment
Suspension, Rear: Prolink with Rear Shock Preload adjustment
Wheels, Front/Rear: 17 inch / 15 inch
Tires, Front/Rear: 120/70 R17 / 160/60 R15
ABS System Type: 2 Channel
Dimensions & Capacities:
L x W x H: 2,245 x 910 x 1,375 mm (88.4 x 35.8 x 54.1 in)
Wheelbase: 1,590 mm (62.6 in)
Seat Height: 820 mm (32.3 in)
Ground Clearance: 162 mm (6.4 in)
Curb Weight: 238 kg (524.7 lbs)
Turning radius: 2.8 m (9.2 ft)
Oil Capacity: 4.1 L (4.3 qts)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 13.1 L (3.5 gals)
Fuel Consumption: 27.5 km/l (64.7 mpg)
Electricals:
Battery Capacity: 12V 11.2 AH
ACG Output: 420W @ 5,000 rpm
Instruments: Digital
Headlight: LED
Taillight: LED
Details:
Colors: Candy Chromosphere Red, Digital Silver Metallic, Matt Bullet Silver, Pearl Glare White, Grand Prix Red
Price: £9,959

References

BMW C 650

2017 - 2019 BMW C 650 Sport / C 650 GT
- image 752232

See our review of the BMW C 650 Sport & C 650 GT.

Honda’s Triple-Threat Automatic Transmission Program

Honda's Triple-Threat Automatic Transmission Program
- image 758078

See our article on Honda’s DCT Transmission.

Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports

2018 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports
- image 752995

See our article on the Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports.

Honda Integra

2016 - 2018 Honda Integra
- image 781503

See our review of the Honda Integra.

Honda NC750X

2018 Honda NC750X
- image 771521

See our article on the Honda NC750X.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: honda.com, bmwmotorcycles.com

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