The 750cc Honda X-ADV Proves That Looks Can Be Very Deceiving

The 750cc Honda X-ADV being ridden off-road

You’ve undoubtedly come across phrases such as, “Looks can be deceiving” and “Never judge a book by its cover”, the 750cc Honda X-ADV is a perfect example of this. It is an Adventure motorcycle that looks like a Maxi-Scooter but under its comparatively austere clothing is the performance of a middleweight bike.

It would have been impossible to imagine a bike without a clutch lever when I first started riding motorcycles. How times have changed and technology advanced. Honda now has a couple of Automatic motorcycles, opening up biking to a whole new user; one is the X-ADV.

The Honda X-ADV is a 750cc machine classified as an Adventure bike but looking like a Maxi-Scooter. This cross over design is possibly the future platform Honda wishes to use when integrating electric motors into their range. It is a good looking machine offering many benefits to the rider, such as the TFT screen, Riding Modes and long-travel suspension.

Rider taking the bike from the tarmac onto an off-road track

You get an excellent riding position where you can have your feet in a few locations to allow comfort and riding style. I liked the choice of having my legs down like my normal motorcycle riding position, then being able to sit back on long stretches of road and put your feet forward, taking the stress off knees.

Shielding you from the elements to a degree is the small windscreen, that despite its size, cuts wind blast a lot but not much rain. It is effective against spray from the road and other vehicles, so your visor or goggles do remain clearer, a considerable benefit.

A closeup of the buttons and instrument panel on the Honda X-ADV

The bike can be taken anywhere, into a city with congested roads, along open B-roads and even off-road. I tested it in all situations, and it performed well on the streets, but when I ventured off the tarmac, its tyres hamstrung it. The X-ADV has the ability and technology to offer superb riding on dirt, mud, and gravel, but it needs the correct tyres to allow this at the highest levels. For improved traction off-road, the bike requires knobblies and then combined with the excellent suspension, it will enable complete adventures.

Through the 5 inch TFT screen, you can adjust the engine performance via riding modes. One mode is for Gravel specifically to aid the rider and give them more active involvement in the experience when off-road. Sport Mode opens up the 750 cc engine for full power delivery and, as I found out, an exhilarating ride with rapid acceleration. Riding modes can easily be selected via the button on the left-hand bar controls.

The X-ADV is so economical that I was getting about 65 mpg which is extraordinary for a 750 cc machine; this must be due to its lightness and efficient engine. Another thing you will discover is the lack of noise, both when you start the bike and when riding.

It is incredibly quiet, and power delivery is smooth due to the lack of gears. When you pull away, you engage D for drive mode as you would in an automatic car, then twist the throttle. It does feel weird to start with, but you soon love how easy it is. However, you have to keep remembering that the left-hand lever is now a brake and not for the clutch.

Looking into the underseat storage area on the bike

Honda has put in a lot of storage and features for the rider and improve their X-ADV experience and safety. Daylight Running Lights are fitted as standard and fit within the main headlight. Under the long and comfortable seat is space for a helmet or your shopping, but a top box can be fitted for even more usability. It is a practical and versatile machine; it even has a USB charging port under the seat, so your smart device can be secure and charged while you ride.

I have a gripe about the ergonomics on the handlebar controls. Now I like a big horn button on my motorbikes to let motorists and pedestrians know if they are endangering me. Sadly the X-AdV’s is small and doesn’t sit in the ideal place where my thumb can naturally push it. The indicator switch, again for me, is tucked away to allow for the display control buttons. (See image) I prefer the switch to be located more proud of other controls because it is used so frequently you want your thumb to go to it, time after time.

A close-up view of the button layout on the left handlebar

The 750 cc Honda X-ADV has proved so popular that the Japanese firm is launching a 350 cc version in 2022. I see this as a good move allowing more riders to move from 125 cc Learner machines to higher capacity easy to use bikes. The X-ADV 750 cc can be restricted to facilitate A2 licence holders, and once the owner has gained their A1, they can return it to full power.

I had a great time on the Honda X-ADV; it has enough power to give you fast riding combined with agility and decent handling. Filtering is easy as the bike is narrow, light and responsive, so adjusting direction, braking and getting back up to speed are intuitive. I can confirm, you can have plenty of fun on and off-road.

The Honda X-ADV in a studio setting with a white background

Honda X-ADV – Where and How?

The Honda X-ADV is priced at £11,000, and is available for 2022 in five colours, with three option packs you can upgrade to. The colours are Graphite Black, Silver Metallic, Pearl Deep Mud Grey, Grand Prix Red and Harvest Beige.

The options packs are titled Adventure, Travel and Style.

  • The Adventure Pack focuses on off-road style and durability, improving your safety and experience. Knuckle guard extensions, side pipes, fog lights, leg deflectors and rider steps are included.
  • For Travelers, the pack maximises carrying capacity for the long haul and includes Side Panniers (including Pannier Bags and Aluminium Panels). A benefit of this pack is the heated grips which I would have loved during my loan; the Smart Top Box and centre console bag are also excellent additions.
  • The Style Pack is for you if you want to showcase your X-ADV. Machined handlebar clamps, enhanced floor panels, side covers and parking lever (and cover) enhance the standard machine.

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