Honda | 2021 Honda X-ADV | First impressions & ride video

2021 X-ADV reveiw

We’ve just taken collection of the updated 2021 Honda X-ADV, here are our first thoughts after 50-miles

THE Honda X-ADV has undergone its most significant update since its launch, with the 2021 model boasting a revised engine, new styling, and more tech for this year.

It’s a bike that has always eluded this particular road-tester, but not for the want of me trying to ride it. The problem was, the old X-ADV was a big bike, not that this version isn’t, but in truth, I just couldn’t safely get on the bloody thing!

The scooter-style running boards were quite wide, increasing the step over of the bike to such a point that this 5’7” road-tester just couldn’t get on-board. For 2021 that has changed though and the bike has a more contoured seat and slimmer running boards. Yes, it is still a stretch, but I can get the tips of both feet down when I come to a stop, and an almost flat foot when I lean to one side. That’ll do donkey!

2021 Honda X-ADV walkaround

New 2021 Honda X-ADV Walkaround | First Look to the New Honda X-ADV 2021 |

Jumping on the X-ADV for the first time it is immediately clear it is not just a scooter. The riding position is more focused and much less laid-back than that. The bars sit quite close to you and your back is almost straight. It’s compact and comfortable.

Up-front, the newly redesigned and sleeker fairing includes an Africa Twin-stylee TFT screen that is extremely trick-looking. It’s not touch-sensitive like the CFR1100L, although it is a smorgasbord of information. Like the Africa Twin, there is a lot going on there, and to start with, you do have to hunt out the info you need. With the slick new TFT you also get Honda Smartphone Voice Control, meaning riders with a compatible smartphone and Bluetooth headset can make and receive calls and listen to music while they ride.

The oily bits of the bike have also been updated, with the main point of note being an increase in power and a broader spread of torque for the new model. The Euro5 unit makes 4bhp more than before produces a gutsy 51lb-ft @ 4,750rpm. Out on the road that translates into brisk acceleration, with the new DCT shifting schedules within the 2021 bike making the most of what’s on offer. Look, with 57bhp on tap and a kerb weight of 236kg, the performance was never going to be record-breaking, but it doesn’t feel slow, and the new DCT is markedly better than any of the other DCT systems I’ve used.

I’ve never been totally won over by DCT, I can totally see the benefits of it though, and why for some people it just makes sense. What I can say though, is that the system on the 2021 X-ADV is the best I’ve come across. I don’t know whether it’s the updates made for this year, or just that in this application it makes total sense to have it… maybe a bit more time in the saddle will answer that question.

We’ll be taking the X-ADV for a bit of an on and off-road adventure next week. It’s a big day planned with around 300-miles in the saddle on the cards. Stay tuned for a full review and video update once we’ve got back.

For more information on the new 2021 Honda X-ADV, click here.