With cross-over adventurous styling, the all-new Honda ADV350 uses aspects of the popular Forza 350 as its foundations mixed with some rather big bike feels to offer up something a little bit different in the mid-range Maxi Scooter market. But will people flock to this new A2-friendly scoot?

What is the ADV?

Back in 2017, out-of-nowhere Honda announced the X-ADV, a crossover adventure scooter, which looked to be the love child of an Africa-Twin and Forza 750. At a time when Maxi Scooters have long shared the same design principles, Honda really shook up the market by offering a larger scooter designed for off-road use that looked and performed great.

With their X-ADV being so well received, Honda has spotted yet another gap in the market, a very A2 licence friendly one – and now, we have the ADV350.

Now first and foremost, the ADV350 looks great and is clearly designed to look adventurous. From the windscreen, NT1100-like front fairing and LED lights, and long travel Showa suspension, it really does look the part, however, this really is a road-going scoot!

The Maxi-scooter market let’s face it, is one where the bikes share an awful lot of similarities, and I can’t help but feel the ADV350’s arrival will really give people a completely different choice when on the lookout for a mid-sized Maxi Scooter.

Styling

The ADV350 is a typical piece of Honda design. It mixes classy, ultra-modern, and sporty looks with a lot of practicality that’s set to give it a massive amount of appeal.

The ADV350 itself is a bike of almost two halves. At the front is the all-business adventure side, with a long narrow manually adjustable adventure bike-like windscreen, wide naked handlebars, knuckle protectors, and gorgeous front fairing (not too dissimilar to the NT1100 or X-ADV) with a large LED light, and even the decent negative LCD dash. As we venture further down, we then go on to those substantial gold Showa USD forks which really help the ADV350 pop.

When we work our way backward, we get to the more typical Maxi Scooter-like design aspects, which includes a step-through design with the tunnel for the fuel tank that then leads onto a large and comfy seat that’s perfect for pillion and touring use. Sitting at 795mm high, it’s a standard height for a maxi, but as these scoots are slightly wider, the shorter riders amongst us might be tiptoeing slightly when wanting to put their feet down.

Overall, I really like the styling of the ADV350. When I first saw it at Motorcycle Live 2021, I thought it looked alright, but with every day I’ve spent with it, I like it more and more. The Maxi Scooter market has got a little stale in recent years, but I really do like what Honda has brought to the market with this adventure crossover scooter.

Weight

A really cool feature is the fact Honda has comfortably been able to keep it under 200kg, in fact, thanks to that lightweight tubular frame it weighs in at just 186 kilos. This means that on the road it feels easy and light with nice responsive handling. When manually handling, again thanks to that lightweight nature, moving it around by hand, as long it is done respectfully, really is done with ease.

It might look sizeable and weighty, but Honda has really done well to keep it at a decent weight.

Technology

With great LED lighting all-around, a nice negative LCD display, which is well-positioned and clear to read, a USB Type-C charging port, traction control you can toggle on or off, optional Bluetooth connectivity via the app, and of course the smart key tech, the Honda ADV350 comes with a decent amount of tech as standard.

The smart key is very easy to use, and for me during the road test was perfectly reliable. It’s a great system that most people should get on absolutely fine with.

Engine

The engine on the ADV350 is exactly the same found in the Forza 350. This is no bad thing at all as this Honda ESP+ 330cc, liquid-cooled, single is pretty darn respectable in this category of scooter and kicks out 28.8 bhp at 7,500rpm and 31.5nm of torque at 5,250rpm. Yes, it is a single-cylinder, but there is a counterweight balancing shaft in there to help keep those vibrations at bay, and I have to say it really does.

The 330cc engine is very smooth and refined, even at speeds of 70mph+. I don’t think many people will be disappointed with how that engine accelerates either. Bearing in mind this is a 330cc Maxi Scooter, the ADV350 really does hold it's own very well and accelerates to the national speed limit nice and quickly. I went out riding this with the CMX500 Rebel, and the ADV350 really didn’t let itself down; it hung with the Rebel very well indeed. It may be an A2 and very beginner-friendly scooter, but I think many seasoned bikers will also enjoy what the ADV350 has to offer.

In regard to top speed, I think it will top somewhere around 95mph.

Fuel tank and efficiency

At 11.7 litres, the fuel tank on the ADV350 isn’t the biggest but coupled with an estimated 80-85mpg you’ll likely see a total range of around 210 miles on an entire tank.

Braking

Stopping that front wheel is a 256mm disc, accompanied by a 2-piston Nissin caliper. When we head to the back, we have a 240mm disc and a single-piston Nissin caliper, and of course, we also have dual-channel ABS.

On the road, the brakes are good and adequate but when needing to come to a solid stop you’ll find yourself using both brakes because the front brake doesn’t have enough quite bite on its own. That front brake is one area that could be slightly improved.

Suspension

Rocking those gold USD Showa’s at the front, the suspension looks great! The USD forks have 125mm of travel and admittedly give a slightly firmer ride than you’d expect. At the back, it's Showa again but on show this time we have twin shocks with reservoirs, which look awesome! How many times do you see shocks with reservoirs on a mid-range maxi!? The rear twin shocks offer up 130mm of travel and again it is a firmer ride.

The ADV350 is designed to look adventurous, but there are clear differences between the ADV350 and its larger sibling, the X-ADV. The ADV350 really is more of a road-going little beastie that’s best suited for light off-road use or unpaved roads (Honda state this themselves).

It has more of a typical road-going set-up with a 15” wheel on the front and a 14” wheel to the rear, which is quite typical for a larger urban scooter. However, while the X-ADV is further toughened with a metal belly pan, the ADV is left with plastic which kind of gives you the idea that this really shouldn’t see too much off-road use. Honda even uses the slogan ‘Adventure Spirit, Urban Style’ which summarises it rather well.

To further help those adventure looks Honda has opted for block pattern Metzeler tyres.

Storage

Under that large comfy seat, is 48 litres of storage space that can fit two full-face helmets – that’s pretty great going (do check yours for compatibility though). That’s not it either, on the back of the leg shield is a glove box which gives a further 2.5 litres of storage space and has a handy USB Type-C charging port too. If you need even more storage options, then of course you can look at optional extras such as Honda’s top box which works with the same smart key technology as the ADV itself!

Colourways and price

The ADV currently is available in three colourways, Silver, Grey and Red, so you can take your pick. But let’s get down to the business end of things now and see how much the ADV350 costs. Well, I’m thinking and hoping you’ll be impressed because the Honda ADV350 currently costs £5,699, which is exactly the same as the Forza 350.

Now, how does the price of the ADV350 compare against some of its big-hitting competitors? Well, the Yamaha XMAX 300 is about £251 more, the BMW C400 X is about £551 more, and the legend that is the Suzuki Burgman 400 is around £1,300 more! So, when you look at the current mid-sized Maxi Scooter market, I can’t help but feel they have priced the ADV350 very competitively.

Final thoughts

Well, to be honest with you I had a fantastic time on the ADV350! I have really been impressed by it and loved riding it for a couple of weeks. I am admittedly a Maxi Scooter fan and have been fortunate enough to ride a few in my time and think the ADV350 puts itself solidly in the shop window for those looking at an A2 licence friendly Maxi Scooter.

There is room for slight improvements, such as increasing the bite from the front brake. You could also argue it would benefit from a slightly larger fuel tank, around 13.5 litres or so, just to give it an extra bit of range to further set it up for touring. And if you really wanted to nit-pick you could have things like heated grips as standard. But these really are minor as, overall, the Honda ADV 350 is a fantastic crossover, Maxi Scooter.

It’s accessible, new rider-friendly, competitively priced, smooth, has a great level of spec and is generally good fun to ride. For me, the biggest thing is the styling. The crossover adventure looks really set it apart from most (excluding the BMW C400 X and coming soon Kymco DTX 360), but then again Honda has really done it their own way. I think with this approach Honda has done something very smart indeed. With the X-ADV selling in great numbers since its release, bringing in a mid-sized option makes a huge amount of sense, especially when it’s priced so well and looks so different.

How well will it sell? Only time will tell, but I can’t help but feel that the ADV350 will become a solid model in Honda’s line-up, it just ticks so many boxes!

Spec

Engine 330cc, 28.8 bhp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 11.7L
Brakes Front: 256mm disc with 2-piston Nissin caliper
Rear: 240mm disc with 1-piston NIssin caliper
Suspension Front: Showa Upside down
Rear: Showa Twin shocks with reservoirs 
Seat height 795mm
Weight 186kg
Price £5,699