Honda X-ADV


Honda's X-ADV crossover bike gets a comprehensive update:

Photos: Honda

More power for the engine plus an extended speed band and a revised gear ratio. In addition, there is finally Throttle By Wire Management including 4 standard driving modes as well as a refined Honda Selectable Torque Control and all this while maintaining fuel efficiency. The newly designed frame bears the newly designed cladding and new bench, which guarantees significantly improved floor accessibility. The slot has grown in size and offers an integrated USB charging socket. There is also a glove compartment now. The LED double headlight is equipped with daytime running lights; a 5-inch TFT display allows you to pair a smartphone via the new Honda Smartphone Voice Control System.

In the case of motorcycles, innovative concepts rarely lead directly to the emergence of a new genus. But Honda is focused on innovation: in 2016, a groundbreaking concept was presented that comes from a very different direction – the X-ADV.

How did the idea for this motorcycle come about? The basis is the characteristics of an ordinary adventure bike: robustness, the upright sitting position with the excellent all-round view and the remarkable all-round capabilities. Add to this the needs of a typical commuter: presumably he uses a scooter, perhaps even a motorcycle, to reach his workplace; in any case, a means of transport that is easy to handle, that is manoeuvrable, has a lot of storage space and is yet comfortable and efficient. Honda's engineers have combined the two, and in sum, something new has emerged.

The redesigned vehicle has a robust yet elegant look, similar to that of an SUV that feels at home both in the city and away from the city. Although the X-ADV is equipped with all the premium features that make living in the big city comfortable, it has the look, engine power and chassis to awaken adventurousness every time you ride.

The X-ADV is the essence of freedom in an exciting new form and has attracted a lot of attention in Europe. It became a real bestseller. As proof of the x-ADV's off-road capability, Italian racer Renato Zocchi took part in the Gibraltar Rally in 2019 with a slightly modified version of the motorcycle. After 7,000 grueling kilometres, he achieved the overall victory in the class 2!

For the 2021 model year, the X-ADV will be upgraded with a whole series of updates. The engine performance is increased, the weight is reduced and the styling is adjusted. In addition, it is once again gaining in practicality. All this makes the new X-ADV even more unique and attractive.

Model overview

An increase of 4 hp (3 kW) more peak power for the EURO5 engine of the X-ADV and an extended speed range by 600 rpm are probably the most important changes for the 2021 model. This is achieved by revising the valve control times and optimizing inlet/outlet efficiency. A shorter first, second and third gear transmission provides better acceleration, while a higher gear for the fourth, fifth and sixth gears allows for relaxed driving at higher speeds and efficient fuel consumption.

Throttle By Wire (TBW) comes with 4 standard driving modes that affect engine characteristics. You can choose from RAIN, STANDARD, GRAVEL and SPORT. In addition, there is an individually configurable USER mode. In addition, the X-ADV features the refined, now three-stage Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC). The dual-clutch transmission (DCT) with automatic switching patterns is linked to the driving modes.

A newly designed frame and detail improvements save 1 kg of weight. The x-ADV's cladding is sharper and more aggressively designed. The double LED headlight now lights up with daytime running lights (DRL), as with the CRF1100 Africa Twin.

To improve ground accessibility, the seat on the shoulders is recontoured. The storage space under the seat offers more volume and an integrated USB charging socket. Shifting the parking brake to the right side of the handlebars increases comfort and creates space for a useful glove compartment. The new TFT display features Honda's smartphone voice control system.

The 2021 X-ADV will be available in the following colors:

Grand Prix Red *NEW*

Graphite Black

Matt Beta Silver Metallic

Pearl Mud Gray


1. Motor

  • Throttle By Wire and an additional 4 hp (3 kW); Peak power of 59 hp (43.1 kW) and 69 Nm of torque
  • Increased speed range by 600 rpm
  • more pull-through thanks to short gear ratio 1-3, improved fuel efficiency thanks to long gear ratio 4-6
  • EURO5 compliant, consumption only 3.6l/100 km
  • 48 hp (35 kW) version available for holders of driving licence class A2

The design of the liquid-cooled SOHC-8-valve parallel twin motor of the X-ADV ensures a lot of power in the lower to medium speed range. Its relatively long-stroke architecture and specially shaped combustion chambers, in combination with the high-mass inertia crankshaft, produce a decent torque even at very low speeds. The forward tilt of the motor shifts the center of gravity downwards for optimal stability. In the course of the 2021 update, the engine has now become a total of 1.4 kg lighter.

Thanks to Throttle By Wire (TBW) and technical optimizations at the exhaust, the engine brings more power and turns up longer. The red speed range now only starts at 7,000 rpm. In addition to the increase in performance, the torque above 5,000 rpm remains stable for longer.

The peak power increases by 4 hp (3 kW) to 58 hp (43.1 kW) at 6,750 rpm, with a maximum torque of 69 Nm at 4,750 rpm. In parallel with the increase in performance, shorter gear ratios of the first, second and third gears improve acceleration from the standpoint. For a flying start at 30 km/h, the X-ADV requires 1.7s for 20m and 3.2s for 50m. The high-torque engine rotates at 60km/h at only 2,500rpm. The fourth, fifth and sixth gears are now a little longer. This improves fuel efficiency and makes the higher performance flexible.

Two balancing shafts counteract vibrations due to the higher speed inertia without compromising the typical "punching". This is due to the irregular ignition sequence of the engine with its crankshaft, which is crankhafted by 270°. Bore and stroke are 77 x 80 mm. Many components are designed to perform several tasks at the same time: the camshaft drives the water pump, while one of the balancing shafts drives the oil pump. The minimization of the moving engine parts makes the motor light, efficient and reliable.

The X-ADV consumes only 3.6 l/100 km (WMTC mode). For a fuel tank with a capacity of 13.2l, this corresponds to a potential range of 366 km.

The engine is now homologated for the EURO5 standard, which entered into force on 1 January 2020. Compared to the EURO4 standard, the exhaust gas regulations for engines have become significantly tightened. Requirements include a significant reduction in permitted carbon monoxide emissions, a reduction of more than 40% in total emissions of hydrocarbons, stricter detection of misfires and the introduction of a limit value for particulate matter.

2. Motor electronics

  • Throttle By Wire offers 4 standard driving modes; additionally individual adaptation by means of USER mode
  • Improved Honda Selectable Torque Control with 3 adjustable steps

Thanks to TBW, the X-ADV can be adjusted for the motor characteristics. The driver has 4 standard driving modes as well as an individually configurable user mode, which cover all driving conditions. The mode selection is made via the switch unit on the left side of the handlebars.

STANDARD offers a balanced average between engine power development, engine brake and HSTC intervention; the ABS regulates at the highest level.

SPORT means a sporty engine characteristic and engine brake with little intervention of the HSTC; ABS control at the highest level.

RAIN throttles on a low engine power development and engine brake; HSTC and ABS at the highest level.

GRAVEL offers high engine power development and engine brake with low HSTC and ABS intervention.

USER offers individual controls for engine power output and engine braking from low/medium/high between and low/medium/high/off for HSTC.

The Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) now offers much softer, finer control, as it can control the torque emitted at the rear wheel via TBW. There are three levels to choose from, in contrast to the previous version with only 2 levels:

Level 1 allows the minimum intervention for a controlled rotation of the rear wheel, for example on gravel. The level of intervention has been reduced compared to the previous system.

Level 2 is the default setting and provides safe traction for most driving conditions.

Level 3 provides maximum control on slippery roads

The HSTC can also be switched off.

3. Dual-clutch transmission (DCT)

 Different switching patterns depending on the selected driving mode

  • USER mode with 4 basic settings, from gentle to sporty

Honda's unique DCT technology is in its eleventh year of production. Since its launch, more than 140,000 DCT-equipped motorcycles have been sold in Europe. The dual-clutch transmission enables consistent, seamless gear changes up and down and unmatched driving comfort. The gearbox uses two couplings: one for starting and the first, third and fifth gear, the other for the second, fourth and sixth gears. The main shafts of the two couplings are interlocked in a space-saving manner to enable a compact design.

Each coupling is independently controlled by its own electrohydraulic circuit. When a gear change occurs, the system selects the target gear using the currently unused coupling. The first coupling is then moved out electronically while the second coupling is coupled in at the same time.

The result is a smooth, fast and seamless gear change. The dual clutch transfers the drive from one gear to the next with minimal drive interruption to the rear wheel. This minimizes the shock and nick movements of the machine, and the change is done directly and evenly. Additional advantages include.B longevity (gears cannot be damaged by incorrect shifting), preventing choking, stress-free driving in the city and reduced driver fatigue.

The DCT system offers two different driving concepts. On the one hand, the automatic setting with pre-programmed switching patterns, which constantly monitor the vehicle speed, the selected gear and the engine speed in order to ensure the optimal switching process. On the other hand, the manual gearbox adjustment for the gear change via the shifters on the left side of the handlebars.

Thanks to the TBW control, 5 automatic switching patterns are available. Level 1 is extremely comfort-oriented and linked to RAIN driving mode; the power is switched on and down at comparatively low speeds. Level 4, on the other hand, is linked to SPORT mode. Now the DCT switches up at higher speeds and switches off earlier to increase engine braking. Level 2 is linked to standard driving mode. Level 3 is located between standard and SPORT driving modes.

The GRAVEL driving mode uses the sporty "G" switching pattern. This has the additional property to reduce the slip on the rear wheel by the couplings working only when the throttle is fully open or closed. This gives the driver a more direct sense of traction on the rear wheel and has the ability to "slide" in a controlled manner. While this function used to have to be activated by the separate G-switch, it is now part of the new G-switching pattern of the DCT.

In USER mode, the driver can individually combine one of the DCT switching patterns with the preferred other parameters, such as power development, engine brake, ABS and HSTC.

4. Styling & Equipment

  • Sharper, slimmer and more aggressive styling
  • Smartphone connectivity via the new 5-inch TFT display including smartphone voice control system
  • New LED double headlights with daytime running lights
  • New screen improves wind and weather protection
  • Larger 22-litre storage space with glove compartment and integrated USB charging socket

The unique styling of the X-ADV, originally developed by Honda's R&D team in Italy, is fully redesigned and streamlined for 2021. Compared to the previous model, the new styling is more aggressive, sharper, cooler. Simply more X-ADV.

The newly designed LED double headlights now have daytime running lights (DRL). They automatically adapt to the intensity of ambient light and emit a bright, highly visible light, which significantly increases safety. All lighting consists of LEDs.

Thanks to excellent ergonomics, with a seat height of 820 mm and a 910 mm wide handlebar, the driver has a good overview of the traffic. The seat has a newly shaped, slimmer shoulder contour, which noticeably improves the ground accessibility. Depending on the occasion - commuting or traveling - the new screen of the X-ADV can be adjusted without tools in 5 positions from low to high to maximize or minimize airflow. The total height difference from the highest to the lowest point is 139 mm at an inclination of 11°.

Honda's new smartphone voice control system allows drivers to use their smartphones on the go. This allows him to make phone calls and check emails or control music and navigation. The information about the 5-inch TFT display is displayed. A headset is required for use; the smartphone must also be connected to the vehicle via Bluetooth. The system can also be controlled via the buttons of the left switch unit.

Robust handguards made of plastic keep wind and rain away and keep hands and levers in the terrain safe from rockfall. A 2.5 mm thick aluminium protective plate protects the underside.

The luggage compartment under the bench grows in volume by 1 l to 22 l and offers space for an integral helmet. It is illuminated with an integrated LED, the textured surface of which allows uniform illumination without dazzling. A USB charging jack replaces the 12V ACC jack. It is located at the back of the compartment. The actuation for the parking brake has been moved from the right panel further down to the right side of the handlebars, making room for a useful and easily accessible glove compartment. A standard mounted center stand with inclination sensor allows the X-ADV to be mounted on the slope without the risk of tipping.

The X-ADV with the standard Smart Key offers additional comfort. Simply stored in the driver's pocket, no further key is required for ignition, fuel cap and seat. Once the smart key is within range, the main switch can be operated. This gives the driver control over the ignition and steering lock as well as the fuel cap and the seat (each via two rocker switches). The Smart Key also unlocks and unlocks the optional Smart Top Case. In addition, the blinkers are activated via an "answer-back" function, which is also easily recognizable from a distance. A mechanism in the main switch prevents the handlebars from being forcibly unlocked.

The rear indicators of the X-ADV have an emergency stop signal function (ESS). With a negative acceleration of 6.0 m/s2 and a minimum speed of 53 km/h with the brake swayed at the same time, the warning indicators flash to warn other road users of an abrupt stop. In addition, the threshold is reduced to a negative acceleration of at least 2.5 m/s2 when the ABS is enabled.

The function also switches off automatically. In contrast to a simple timer, the system compares the speed difference between the front and rear wheels and calculates the time at which the warning flasher must be deactivated depending on the situation.

5. Chassis

  • New diamond steel tube frame saves weight and creates space
  • 41 mm Cartridge USD Fork and Pro-Link Swingarm
  • Radially mounted four-piston front brake calipers, 296 mm discs and ABS
  • 120/70 R17 and 160/60 R15 Front and rear tyres

A significant further development in the chassis of the X-ADV concerns the redesign of the diamond steel tube frame. Due to a careful reconstruction and using different pipe thicknesses, not only 1 kg compared to the previous frame is saved, but also valuable space for the storage compartment is created.

Steering head angle and trailing are set to 27° and 104 mm with a wheelbase of 1,590 mm. A steering angle of 39° (and a turning radius of 2.8 m) make the X-ADV very agile even in dense traffic. The suspension with long travel - 153.5 mm front and 150 mm rear - is adapted to a ground clearance of 165 mm. 236 kg total weight means a strong 3 kg less than the previous model.

The 41 mm USD fork with cartridge system ensures good handling in rough terrain. It has an adjustable traction stage and spring preload. The rear damper with adjustable spring preload is a single-tube construction and uses the Pro-Link lever system to actuate the aluminium swingarm, which has u-shaped cross-section arms.

The 17-inch front wheel and the 15-inch rear wheel are equipped with stainless steel spokes. The ideal prerequisite for moving the X-ADV comfortably even in rough terrain. Tires with block patterns increase driving stability. L-shaped valves facilitate air pressure control. The tyres have the dimensions 120/70 R17 front and 160/60 R15 rear.

Two radially mounted four-piston brake calipers grip the 296 mm discs and work with ABS.


A number of original Honda accessories are available for the new X-ADV, including:

Luggage rack at the rear

Smart Top Case

38-l-/ 50-l-Top Case with aluminum décor and colour-coordinated accents

Suitcase holder

Suitcase – right 26 l, left 33 l with aluminium décor and colour-coordinated accents

Ankle protection extensions

Fall bracket

Fog lights

Heating handles

Technical data




Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve, SOHC-Parallel-Twin, EURO5 compliant


745 cc

Hole & Hub

77 mm x 80 mm

Compression ratio


Max Performance

59 hp (43.1 kW) at 6,750 rpm

Max Torque

69 Nm at 4,750 rpm

Engine oil quantity

4.0 l



Mixture preparation

Electronic fuel injection PGM-FI

Tank contents

13.2 l


3.6 l/100 km







ACG output




Coupling type

2 multi-disc coupling packages

Gearbox type

6-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT)

Final drive





Diamond steel tube frame



Dimensions (L x W x H)

2,215 mm x 940 mm x 1,370 mm


1,590 mm

Steering head angle



104 mm


820 mm

Ground clearance

165 mm (minimum)

Weight (fully fuelled)

236 kg




41mm USD fork, 153.5mm stroke


Monoshock damper, Pro-Link swingarm, 120 mm travel




Spoke wheel


Spoke wheel

Rim size front

17M/C x MT3.50

Rim size rear

15M/C x MT4.50

Tyres at the front


Rear tyres




ABS type



296 mm double disc with 4-piston brake caliper


240 mm single disc with 1-piston brake caliper




5" TFT display


Smart Key System


LED + daytime running light (DRL)