You read that right. With the video above Honda is teasing an August 30 debut for the production version of their City Adventure scooter concept we first saw at EICMA last year. I’ll be honest, I thought they were kidding when the concept debuted, but I guess the joke is on me.
From the little snippets and peaks we get in the video, it would appear that Honda have stayed very close to the City Adventure concept in the actual production scooter. Knobby-ish dual sport tires and angular lines set this bike apart from the Integra, the existing scooter this new bike is based on. That’s good pedigree, as the 750cc Integra has long been on our list of bike’s we’d love to see come to the USA. Yet beyond tires and lines, we’d expect this as-yet-unnamed adventure scooter to retain the taller ground clearance and longer-travel suspension of the EICMA concept.
The question most of you are probably asking is why? Why does this scooter exist in the first place? It’d be easy to dismiss this Honda adventure scooter as Honda trying (along with many other OEMs) to squeeze every last dollar out of the adventure bike trend. However, to call adventure bikes a trend is probably too soft at this point. This segment appears to be here to stay. People want bikes that can go more places. Whether they ever actually utilize that added off-road capability is another question entirely.
I’ll admit, I used to be part of the “adventure bikes make no sense” chorus until I spent a weekend bombing down gravel roads on a BMW G605GS. That was that. I was hooked.
What I’ve come to understand about the adventure segment since then is that most of the criticism leveled against ADV bikes is from:
A) People who haven’t actually ridden them (I was guilty of this)
B) People who couldn’t fathom riding anything but a dirt bike off-pavement
C) People who didn’t think there was anything appealing about off-pavement riding in the first place (that was me too)
Funny enough, those criticism have been pretty consistent since BMW invented the adventure segment three decades ago. Without going all ADV fan boy on you, I’ll just say this: there’s something genuinely fantastic about a bike that can take you pretty much anywhere in comfort.
Now back to this Honda Adventure scooter.
I think the case you can make for this bike, at least in concept, is the same case you can make for an adventure-class motorcycle. It’s got the power, size and assumed creature comforts to make long days in the saddle not just possible, but enjoyable. Whether you’re on pavement or off, a bike you can live with for a dozen hours at a time opens up a lot of fun riding opportunities. Add to that even a basic capability to handle off-pavement terrain and those horizons just get wider. Even if you never leave the road, there’s something really wonderful about a street bike with a lot of suspension travel. Dodging potholes is fun, but running over them with impunity is even more fun. I can attest to that personally.
Does Honda have a winner here? It’s way too early too tell. We also don’t know if this bike would even come to the USA. Honda does know what they’re doing in this space, however. This year their Africa Twin debuted to overwhelming critical praise, even for the “automatic” DCT version. Some in the press even reported preferring the auto version of Honda’s liter adventure bike when piloting properly rugged off-road tracks. Add to that the long term prospects of maxi-scooters in general, and I can’t help but wonder how long it will be before BMW unveils a C650GS adventure scooter of their own. Perhaps in this case, Honda has beaten BMW to their own punch.
What do you folks think?
Hat tip to Asphalt and Rubber for finding this video.