Honda is bringing adventure bike style down to a size we have never seen before. Brand new for 2021, the Honda ADV150 takes traditional scooter styling to a new level, but is it actually off-road capable?
The new ADV150 is powered by a liquid cooled, 149cc four stroke engine, and has an automatic belt drive transmission. Although it is an all new scooter, it uses the same engine you can find in Honda’s PCX150 scooter (the city-going model) which has been around as a global model since 2011.
A slight issue
Sticking with the classic scooter theme I threw a leg over the Honda ADV150 with basically no gear (besides a helmet), and that turned out to be a pretty big mistake. Unfortunately while recording the review, I hit some water, then some gravel, and covered the front brake a tad too much while trying to turn around, and ended up dumping the bike.
I was totally unhurt, but I the front-left turn signal was a casualty of the spill. Some super glue took care of that, and after I went home to retrieve my leathers, I was ready to restart the review.
As one commenter said on the video below: “Good lesson given on wearing the right protection.” That is definitely true.
Every time I hop on a scooter, I’m instantly reminded of how easy they are to ride. The ADV150 weighs just 298 pounds wet and ready to ride, and has a decently low seat height of 31.3 inches. It should be relatively easy for most riders to flat foot the ADV150, which is great since I believe this scooter will be many buyer’s first two wheeled machine, so it should give new riders lots of confidence.
It has plenty of power to keep up with traffic — I topped the ADV150 out at 67 mph — but is not too fast or complicated to the point where it will scare new riders away. There’s no gears to shift, you just twist and go.
Is the Honda ADV150 a practical option?
Usability and utility is why you’re going to buy this scooter. The underseat storage is massive. I was able to fit my open-face helmet under the seat with lots of room to spare. I was also able to shove my backpack under the seat full of cameras, a hoodie, my lunchbox, and a few other odds and ends. There is also a small storage cubby below the handlebars which was perfect for holding my phone, wallet, and the bike’s smart key fob.
This little Honda is super easy on fuel too. It has a 2.1 gallon tank, and I was averaging above 85mpg in my tesing. Given that most trips taken on the ADV150 will likely be limited to a couple of miles at a time, I think the range is outstanding.
The suspension is cool, and you’ll definitely get some questions about it from other riders when you fill up for gas. Up front, the ADV150 uses a 31mm telescopic fork, with a class leading 5.1 inches of suspension travel. In the rear you get twin Showa shocks with triple rate springs and remote piggyback reservoirs, giving you 4.7 inches of suspension travel. I did find a stretch of bumpy dirt road which was great for testing the suspension out. The ADV150 is no dirt bike, and I definitely bottomed out the suspension when trying to jump the thing, but the suspension is comfortable for a relaxing, slow ride down a dirt road.
Worth it over the PCX150?
Sure, the ADV150 comes nowhere close to the Africa Twin. The styling matches a little bit, but no surprise here, they are on polar opposite ends of the motorbike spectrum. I don’t think anybody actually believes that the ADV150 can really go on a full-fledged adventure, but I definitely had fun exploring Boulder on this machine knowing that it can venture off pavement once in a while. Is it worth $600 over the standard PCX150?
In my mind, yes, it is.
You are basically paying for a styling package that makes the machine look much younger and adventurous than its cousin, the PCX150, which is well worth it in my mind. I ride a motorcycle to have fun, and my bike needs to look like its ready for fun when I walk up to it, which the ADV150 does. All in all, the Honda ADV150 is a perfect little scooter for new riders living in close quarters. It’s easy to maneuver, park, can carry lots of cargo, is easy on fuel and the wallet (with an MSRP of $4,299), and that all makes for an amazing city combo. If I still lived in my native Philadelphia or downtown Boulder, I’d definitely be shopping for one of these.