By Scott Araujo
So a little while back Jalopnik reported that Honda had a concept adventure scooter. More recently they reported that the bike is going into production for 2017. Awesome! Wait, what exactly is an adventure scooter?
It's got small wheels, right? No, by the looks of it I'd say those are full size motorcycle wheels, maybe even a true off road 21" up front. It's got a a small motor, right? No, with a 745cc engine mated to a DCT I'd say it's beyond maxi-scooter territory. But it's got the motor mounted to the swingarm so it will kind of handle like a scooter, right? No, chain drive.
Ok, but it's an "adventure" ... whatever it is. So tall bars and offroad capable, right? Yes! And sadly no. It does look to have tall bars, so let's give it that. But adventure bikes tend to have hearty spiked footpegs right under the seat so you can stand right up, grab the tank between your knees, and wiggle that bike over anything in it's path. So we're finally in scooter territory with a no tank step through design and forward placed, plastic covered footboards, exactly what you don't need to navigate an off road obstacle. (Sigh)
I think it's just a morph/retread of the NC750. But where the NC750 was an adventurey looking motorcycle thing with lots of storage but street tires and not not too much actual off road capability that was really a scooter under the covers, this is a scootery adventurey looking thing with less storage space and not too much actual off road capability but gnarly knobby tires you could never be in a position to actually use. I'd like it better if had a motor about half the size. Then it would be a quirky toy you could bomb down fire roads with but still pick it up easily when you dropped it.
It does look cool, but that doesn't always translate into sales for Honda. I forget who wrote it but they nailed it when they said, "Honda builds bikes for customers they wish they had." (See this example.) If nothing else, let's give Honda some credit for thinking outside the box and actually letting their designers run with an idea to see how it plays out.
All that said, if you gave me the keys I'd ride it like I stole it.