Sure, Honda’s updates to the burly Africa Twin may get all the headlines, but Big Red has also hinted at a big update to an unusual but popular model that raises some interesting questions, namely, would your ride a scooter on an ADV outing – if it could handle it?

That’s just one possibility Honda’s new-for-2022 X-ADV 350 scooter poses. Would you ride a twist-and-go machine with wire spoke wheels sporting knobby tires and long-ish travel suspension? The displacement bump means this thing can likely hit freeway velocities in most places – and perhaps comfortably so? Adventure Scooter touring? Maybe it’s about to become a thing.

The tech breakdown from early photos is simple enough: the 330cc liquid-cooled, EFI single cylinder power plant (likely sourced from the Euro-spec Forza 350 street scoot) will make about 30hp. Wide, spoked wheels will help soak up the bumps and some usual scooter amenities are likely also mixed in, such as a typical scooter-type automatic transmission (via belt and pulleys), underseat storage, and that accessible, step-through form factor. The front wheel also gains another brake disc and the rear looks like it’s gone to a monoshock from the 150’s twin boingers.

For many non-riders (and even seasoned riders), this probably looks like the ultimate city machine, especially if you’re tired of dodging potholes on your delicate Italian scoot or sport bike. Indeed, the original ADV150, which debuted in 2016, has been an unexpected hot seller in the Eurozone, where it gives lower-tiered licence holders freedom to roam crumbling urban grids while being cheap on insurance and getting a thousand miles to the gallon (give or take a few miles). Bumping it to a 350 should only increase the appeal, especially for riders wanting some ADV riding fun that are perhaps a bit short on inseam or are intimidated by the power and size of regular adventure motorcycles.

As a full-size ADV owner/rider and scooter owner (Vespa 250GTS, Yamaha Morphous), I’m certainly intrigued, and I’ve reached out to Honda to hopefully score a test unit when the machines arrive stateside, hopefully next year, if it even arrives stateside (here’s hoping). So far, it appears the 350 is destined initially for Euro markets, of course. Price? So far, no word. But if scoots are your thing, the X-ADV350 could be a good and fun thing.

And like many motorcycle riders, I got my start in street riding on a humble scooter and saved up those tips and minimum wages until I could afford a used big bike. Dismiss the X-ADV, Zumas and UBCOs if you want, but they are certainly feeder lanes to bigger machines and bigger adventures. And yes, they are a hoot to ride as well.

 

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