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New 2022 Honda ADV350 – Maxi scooter test for commuters

The advent of the ADV350 was a natural step after the great and unexpected success of the X-ADV 750. Honda decided to set its own course, and although not everyone has followed it, it turns out that such machines are needed. How is the ADV350? “SUV among scooters” is empty words or truth? I had the opportunity to check it out in Sicily.

Perché?

Why did Honda choose Sicily instead of Spain, for example, where the temperature was warmer? Perhaps this is due to the fact that the Japanese manufacturer has a factory in Italy where Forza models are produced. The engines arrive from Thailand and are assembled in Italy, especially Atessie, which is on the east coast, near Rome.

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Why SUV between motorcycles? I remember when I was at the EICMA exhibition and Honda introduced the X-ADV 750 model, I hit my head without understanding why we were running half way to Milan to see the innovation. I suspect there were many like me, but in the end it turned out that since its launch, this Honda NC750 powered maxi motorcycle has hit 44,000. customers around the world. In 2021, it was … Honda’s best-selling model.


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ADV350 vs. Forza 350

One might think why who needs ADV350 when we have Forza. In fact, the engine is the same here, with a displacement of 298 cc and a maximum power of 29.2 hp. Then we have similar differences, although not all of them make sense. Honda’s biggest boast is that the ADV350 has a low-slung front suspension with dual rear shock absorbers and external reservoirs. Front suspension travel is 125 mm and rear travel is 130 mm. The rear shocks work with a one-piece aluminum swingarm. For this combination, we have wheels with a diameter of 15 inches at the front and 14 inches at the rear, which are wearing Metzeler Karoo tires.

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The only thing I still don’t understand is that the Forza 350 has electric window height control, and the ADV350 has to be adjusted manually. The person driving the presentation said that if electricity was used, the front end would be wider and more exposed. The only question is what tourist equipment is about to protect against the wind?

The electronics are still on the line. Driver aids are ABS with Emergency Stop Signal and Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC). The ESS system automatically activates the turn signals in the event of emergency braking, informing other road users that they should also slow down. The HSTC, in turn, controls the rear wheel and, in the event of a skid, controls the fuel injection to stabilize the scooter.

Finally, we have such wonders on board as an additional trunk with a volume of 50 liters, which is connected to the keyless system of the motorcycle. A very useful solution, although to say that the unlock button is not intuitively placed is an understatement. There is also a 48 liter storage compartment with the possibility of dividing the space with a special plastic piece. This makes it easier to prepare the luggage space under the seat. The manufacturer boasts that there are two useful helmets there and this is not true, because my HJC F70 Carbon in the large size made the seat difficult to close. I suspect it all depends on the shell size, so I won’t dwell on that point any further.

The last gadget is a multimedia system with the possibility of voice control using Honda’s special software. Just pair the three in a headset, phone and Honda ADV350 to be able to use voice commands. Unfortunately, at the moment, the application is only available to owners of Android smartphones, so as an owner of the Apple ecosystem, I did not have the opportunity to try it.

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ADV350 vs. Sicily with a rider of the right weight

The copy of the scooter I was given did not have an easy life. I am still in the so-called winter form, and the work was more limited by the quality of the Sicilian roads, which you can feel like in Poland. Interestingly, when sitting down I was not in a situation where the compression of the suspension was felt in any way. The position is very natural and comfortable, during the longest journey my thighs or knees did not hurt, and these are completely useless. In fact, the ADV350 immediately felt at home. The show should be great, but it didn’t fight for my attention. The buttons on both sides of the steering wheel were placed so that the most important of them – the corner and the turn signal – were pressed intuitively after a short time.

After driving the first corners, I was worried about whether we would like the ADV350, all because of the tires. The Metzeler Karoo took a long time to warm up, and it was slippery before it warmed up. This made me wonder if I could visit the local hospital after entering the winding mountain road. Once they warmed up, I was able to start cornering with more confidence and I have to admit that the suspension on the ADV350 works.

The main point of the deal here is the lack of pushing on bumps, which is a problem for many scooters. You may feel discomfort when flying over uneven surfaces at high speed, but this is more acceptable. Surprisingly, while flying full fire through the gravel, I was not in a situation where the front or rear would reach the end of their endurance and finish.

Here, by the way, the performance of the motorcycle is also visible, which aroused mixed feelings in me. On the one hand, the front displays did not seem stable, but on the other hand, the Honda did not make strange noises when driving on bumpy roads.

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The next step is braking and general driver assistance. When it comes to brakes, the situation is similar to that of the Honda CR-V when it was equipped with a brake system from the Jazz model, and of the previous generation. The ABS system works, and the emergency braking system as well, but at high speeds, a little panic appears in situations where there are targets.

SUV among maxi scooters

Just as Yamaha came up with the joker series, Honda decided to go for maxi motorcycle SUVs. In terms of cars, these types of cars are used to take children to school or go shopping. As for the ADV350 it may be the same, after all, it is a weaker model than the X-ADV 750, although it can easily develop highway speed and the engine does not make sounds begging for mercy. In my opinion, Honda should, however, choose soft and regular road tires.

The scooter has a width of 895 mm, which allows it to squeeze freely between vehicles. We had the opportunity to test it in one of the cities of Sicily when we encountered heavy traffic and had to push our elbows. In the event of blocking the intersection, the Honda ADV350 allowed me to effectively get out of the situation, nimbly squeezing between the stopped cars from the sharp right lane to the left.

With the accessory case, the cargo capacity of the Honda ADV350 is very good for its class. Thanks to this, you can pack two people for a trip of a few days and in comfort, without having to throw away the gear to get to your destination. High ground clearance and very good suspension means you can leave the tarmac without fear if you feel like it, although of course you should avoid roads worthy of the Africa Twin model.

Regardless of whether you are looking for a great scooter that will help you get things done in the city or you want to travel comfortably, the Honda ADV350 is definitely one of the best addresses you can find. Of course, there are poor imitation attempts, but there can only be one queen.

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