Honda ADV350 (2022) | New Adventure Scooter Full Review

Honda ADV350 2022 adventure scooter review

Billed as the do it all adventure scooter and brand-new for 2022, we try out the Honda ADV350 scooter.

Details
Manufacturer:
Category:
Maxi Scooters
Price:
£ 5599
Overall
Not rated

Debuted at EICMA 2021, we got a first look at the newest ‘brand-new’ scooter to be released from Japan as the wraps were pulled. Promising the usual style, class & reliability of a scooter but with the added flair of off-road style & ability, we were given the chance to review the Honda ADV350.

Whilst it is certainly a 'new' scooter in so far as there is no previous generation to the ADV350 family, it absolutely has siblings of which it borrows a few ideas. Namely being a culmination of the Forza 300/350, X-ADV (which itself has sold 44,000 units since 2017) & ADV150 (for the Asian market) - naturally, you can see where the ADV350 gets its name.

Billed as an off-road capable scooter, the ADV350 is a chance for the local city riders to benefit from meatier suspension, a stiffer frame, and the promise of exploring out past the urban sprawl. 

Honda ADV350 Price and availability 

Available in dealers now, the adventure-scooter-lite is priced up at £5,599 and decked out in a choice of ‘Spangle Silver Metallic’, ‘Mat Carnelian Red Metallic’, and ‘Mat Carbonium Grey Metallic’ (as you can see in the photos). 

That price goes up if you include the heated grips kit (£220), a smart top box (£610) and other bits & pieces (covers & backrests etc). In my mind, none of the accessories are vital and you get a complete scooter for your money. Though you get standard knuckle guards, I do enjoy a heated grip… so I'd go for that in a heartbeat. Personal preference.

Against the rivals, it’s reasonably well priced - the Yamaha XMAX 300 is £5,850, Suzuki Burgman £6,799. Even when pitted its ‘home rivals’ the much larger X-ADV is £10,949, and Forza 350 a tad cheaper at £5,469. 

Engine

Jumping to the engine, the ADV350 is powered by a liquid-cooled 330cc eSP+ single that you’ll also find in the Forza 350 & SH350i. 

Power outputs are an A2 compliant and all-around friendly 29 bhp at 7500 rpm & 31.5 Nm / 23.2 lb-ft of torque. Torque delivery is smooth and instant, with a building power that is perfectly suited for scooting around town. If looking for a commuter that'll spend some time on motorways and the like, this'll be happily sat smoothly cruising at 70 mph for long periods.

In fact, smooth is the perfect way to describe this motor - with its counterweight balancer shaft, vibrations are to a minimum when you’re fully pinning the throttle and asking the belt final-drive all of the questions. 

A dedicated HSTC button (1-2-off) controls traction to the rear wheel, and power is put to a CVT drive as opposed to the (heavier) DCT option as seen on the X-ADV. The CVT does the job here, getting you to a top speed of around 90+ mph, if you need that pace.

Take that power off-road, and you’ll find it able to bound down lighter off-road trails - though, in all honesty, it was more fun getting to the byways than actually riding on them. I’ll get to the off-road capabilities in a moment.

Suspension and Brakes

As a result of its adventure namesake, the ADV350 is afforded some impressive tools for clambering off-road - most visibly the Showa suspension. 

Braking power is provided by Nissin calipers on a single 256mm disc up front & 240mm disc at the rear, with 2-channel ABS that’d intervene to chatter away on sand and loose surfaces. The bite was mild, but the brakes were still fresh and being bedded in - and towards the end of the test period they were working nicely. 

At the front is an impressive 37mm USD motorcycle-style Showa fork with 125mm travel. Compared to the Forza 350 it’s a noticeable improvement, with the Forza given piddly little 33mm forks with 100mm travel (I say piddly, that’ll do the town riding bit with aplomb). 

Moving to the rear, you have a twin Showa shock setup, triple rate springs with remote reservoir and 130mm travel. 

Tying it all together is a tubular steel frame with an aluminium swingarm, and the total weight is around 186kg all held low down on the scooter - which has 145mm ground clearance. 

Road feel is impressive for a scooter, rigid response but a little firm over standard road bumps in some environments - but always predictably so in its defence. Mid-corner it’s composed, and despite my apparent naysaying, you can certainly take it off-road if there’s a local byway you fancy a go at. 

Which moves us to…

Off-road ability

It’ll do the off-road bits as well as a scooter ever could, and as Toad found out on the X-ADV last year, it’s a similar surprising experience turning your hand at off-road scooter riding. 

With a nice low down grunt, motorcycle-spec suspension, wide bars, and even block-pattern tread on tubeless Metzeler Karoo Street hoops, you’re in a good place to ride down a few light trails. 

Though personally, I can’t shake the feeling that you’re still on a scooter on foreign territory, mostly due to that scooter riding position riding down a bumpy trail. If you were to drop it, 186kg is on the heavier side - but then again, the weight is low down. You can’t really stand up when off-road on this, as your feet would slip about on the boards.

There's a little lane near me that's a sandy rat-run that the ADV350 eats up, so in a way you could say the added hardware does unlock all roads. Delivery drivers would certainly do well on this!

For me it’s all about understanding the limitations here - you’re not going to be buying this as your sole byway machine for weekend rides - it’s still primarily an inter-town & city commuter with added adventure style.

Scooter features & style

That takes me nicely to scooter features. As a road-based scooter, it works seriously well. 

With full LED lights all-around, visibility and road presence ensures you’re seen and able to see. Sat on the 795mm seat - even for a taller rider like me it was comfortable - and it’s narrow in the middle to you can reach the floor easily. When turning at full lock my knees did hit the bars, but there’s nothing a bit of leg dangling doesn’t fix (plus I’m tall). 

The screen adjusts to four positions totalling 133mm of adjustment - in the raised position it blocks the majority of gusts well, and when ducking for cover you’ll see a lovely and easy to read LCD display - which you can connect your phone to if you’d like.

You’ll also see a well laid out switchgear with all rider buttons on the left side, and a keyless ignition dial in the centre. On the keyless system, it’s simple and proves how keyless ignition can be perfect when done right.

But the best bit, for me, is the storage. 48 litres under-seat storage is enough for two lids, or plenty of cargo with a dividing plate to section off two slots. On the left side of the front cowl you’ll find a push-to-open ‘secret’ 2.5 litres of storage with a USB-C socket to charge a device. 

In terms of economy and fuel range, the 11.7 Litre tank is frugal and good for around 200+ miles, with indicated 66 ish MPG displayed. Officially Honda says 211 miles, which could be pretty true-to-life if riding normally. When parking up you have both a kickstand and centre stand to choose from.

You’ll have enough space for a pillion with accompanying grab-handles and a nice flat seat for them to grab onto. The bonus suspension travel factors in here too, by giving you that bit more travel when riding two up. No, I’m not making a comment on your pillion rider's weight.

Like & dislike 

To sum things up, I really like the build quality and style of the ADV350 - mostly because of the adventure additions which introduces some light byway ability, it’s incredibly fun to ride on the B-roads, and the huge storage space is always handy. 

At times the suspension did feel a little too firm for a scooter that’ll likely spend most of its time on roads. Some may say it’s a bit too weighty for an off-road scooter, and the UK market may not fully appreciate it for what it can do. 

Verdict

Scooterists after a machine that’ll do the commute, provide a bit of fun on the B-roads, and give the option for some trail riding will be immensely pleased by what the Honda ADV350 can offer. 

Benefitting from motorcycle-spec suspension, a tried-and-tested 330cc motor unit, and plenty of stylish charm, this scooter really does impress as a do-it-all machine. 

Though given a fork in the proverbial road, twisty B-road or byway trail, on this I’d always pick the twisty backroad. The AD350 won’t be the best-suited tool for a weekend of byway hunting, and though that’s not quite the end goal, it does make the 'adventure bias' a bit of a marketing USP over a functioning adventure scoot.

In my mind, Honda has allowed the X-ADV to successfully pioneer a new segment of motorcycle by merging two distinctly different areas of riding - adventure bikes & scooters. With the bigger sibling making incredible sales figures in Europe, the ADV350 was inevitably due to be introduced to provide an option for those who want the ease of riding a 125cc, but with the larger capacity and guile a light-middleweight brings. 

It stands up to the first impressions I had when finishing my first ride. Ultimately it’s top fun, yet retaining the sensibility of a commuter scooter - and with the bit of flair from the adventure segment.

Thanks again to Honda, head to their site for more spec and offers. 

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