That rider demographics are changing all over the world is a fact, and motorcycle manufacturers are aware of this. This explains the plethora of choices riders have today in the market, from small displacement scooters to fire-breathing track missiles.

As a bike maker, Honda has sometimes trod a different path, as can be seen from its willingness to delve into niche machines that serve a very specific market, like the CX500, or to challenge the superiority of another manufacturer, like in the case of the CBR1100XX Blackbird. One thing Honda has always tried to push forward is the automatic gearbox in a large displacement motorcycle.

Back in the 1980s, a few manufacturers tried to push automatic gearbox motorcycles, reasoning, correctly, that some riders simply do not wish to worry about gear changing and matching engine revs. Some riders will argue that manual clutching and shifting is the very essence of motorcycling, and they would be 99% correct in saying so.

But, there are those who simply want to enjoy the thrill of motorcycle riding, without the associated barrier of entry that precise gear shifting entails. With a currently ageing rider population in the US, and elsewhere in the world, but still wanting the speed and power of a big engine on two-wheels, Honda has created the NC-series, and now, the X-ADV super scooter.

In Europe, where the adeventure-bike image sells well, a machine like the X-ADV makes marketing sense. During the Honda Asian Journey, paultan.org writers were given the opportunity to take the X-ADV for a spin, and here’s what we thought of it.

As a super scooter, the X-ADV is the latest addition to Honda’s range of two-wheelers that carry its Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT). These include the VFR1200 sports-tourers, NC and CTX series motorcycles, as well as the CRF1000L Africa Twin.

At the first approach, we were quite taken with the looks of the X-ADV, with all its folded angles and blended bodywork. Clad in a racy red/white/black colour scheme – the other colour option shown on the day was silver – the X-ADV we tested did look the part.

Getting on the X-ADV, we found it splayed the legs of our 168 cm-tall tester a little, but scooting forward a little in the seat allowed both feet to get toe-down. The 820 mm tall seat of the X-ADV was thickly padded, and stepped in the rear in typical scooter style.

A nice touch was the two-tone faux leather used, with the red panel on the pillion seat mimicking a seat cowl, and giving the X-ADV a very sporty look. The seat itself is raised by using the remote switch located below the on/off rotary switch in the centre of the dashboard.

The seat lifts up on a hydraulic strut, and storage space underneath is in the order of 21-litres while the fuel tank is a 13.1-litre affair, accessed via a separate remote switch. Getting up-and-going on the X-ADV is a keyless affair, and the super-scooter is switched on by the afore-mentioned rotary switch.

Thumbing the X-ADV to life, the scooter starts in neutral, unlike typical small scooters where the CVT gearbox is immediately “live”. A thumb switch on the right has three positions – ‘N’, ‘D’ and ‘S’ – which, in car parlance, translate to neutral, drive and sport.

Putting the X-ADV’s six-speed gearbox (final drive is by chain) into drive gives a full automatic mode, with no rider intervention required from the rider. Thumbing the switch a little further to the left gives sport mode, which gives the X-ADV’s engine slightly more aggressive fuel mapping, and manual selection of gear, done with separate + and – switches on the left handlebar pod.

Taking the X-ADV off the standard-fitment centre stand, we became aware that the it is no lightweight. On the scales this adventure-styled scooter weighs in at a claimed 238 kg.

So, if you’re a little limp-wristed, be aware the X-ADV will take some muscle to move around and get on and off the centre stand. However, riding around the tight turns of the test track, we did find the X-ADV to be quite nimble and very chuckable into the corners.

Starting off on the X-ADV, the throttle take-up is a little sudden, so gently feed the power in. The rider will get used to it over time and this is not a negative for the X-ADV, just be aware that the power from the 745 cc, liquid-cooled parallel-twin comes in quickly, and the right wrist will need to get accustomed to the throttle response.

Once on the move, the X-ADV feels quite sprightly with its 50 hp and 68 Nm of torque, and the seat allows for the rider to find a suitable place to accommodate the reach to the handlebars. The floorboard allows for two foot positions, flat or feet-forward.

We preferred the feet flat position for sporty riding, and placing the feet forward allowed for some relief during the longer ride. However, we did note that feet-forward position put a little more pressure on the base of the spine, and elected to just keep switching foot positions for variety and relieve the tedium of sitting in one position.

As stated earlier, chucking the X-ADV around in corners was quite fun, and the suspension showed just a touch of wallow in high-speed corners. One thing we didn’t quite like was running out of ground clearance on the left side, but in the X-ADV’s defence, this was in a very, very tight left-hand corner, at some silly speed too.

Using the throttle response on the X-ADV to best advantage, we found it behaved best left in D, and working the right wrist. The DCT gearbox was smooth accelerating up the rev range, and downshifts when we closed the throttle were barely perceptible.

On the road, we would be surprised if you touched anything down more than just occasionally, as the X-ADV is designed pretty much for rough-surfaced streets. Comfort and compliance is helped in part by the spoked-wheeled 17-inch front and 15-inch rear tyres, and the pre-load adjustable front forks and rear shock absorber.

Braking on the X-ADV is good, with twin brake discs in front clamped by radial-mount Nissin callipers and a single disc in the back. Not sports bike good, but more than enough to encourage late charging into corners.

Potential X-ADV owners, take note – the right hand brake on the rear wheel is nicely progressive, and enough to bring the scooter to a halt. The left hand brake, which we tried out of curiosity, is vicious, and best saved for emergency stops. Two-channel ABS is standard.

Inside the cockpit, a large monochrome LCD screen displays all the necessary information, and a separate panel located on the handlebar mount displays a set of status lights. Other mod cons for the X-ADV include a five-position height adjustable windshield and handlebar brush guards.

We found the X-ADV to be a lot of fun to ride, and we certainly liked its handling and upright seating position. Late corner heroics and front wheel in the air antics are pretty much the X-ADV’s forte.

There was no official word on pricing for the 2017 Honda X-ADV, or if it would be likely to make its appearance in Malaysia, but we can say the official word is “maybe.” In the UK market, the Honda X-ADV retails for 9,599 pounds sterling (RM53,581), so if it does come here, don’t expect it to be cheap.