The Adventure segment has been on a tear, and Honda felt the time was right to extend its ADV tendrils into the scooter scene with the 2021 Honda ADV150. A concept contest among Honda’s various global motorcycle design teams spawned the ADV150. Each market’s needs were reflected in their designs, and the Thai team’s off-road themed scooter won the day.
Honda’s latest ADV-styled scooter is exactly that — a Honda PCX150 with longer travel Showa suspension, 5.1-inches up front, and 4.7-inches in the rear. It also features a larger ABS-equipped 240mm disc brake at the bow and a drum brake without ABS in the stern. The brakes lack feeling, and power is biased to the rear, but there’s no issue of getting you stopped in a hurry. Plus, it has Honda X-ADV (not sold here) and Africa Twin-inspired dress to spice it up.
Big Red sees the ADV150 as an urban dicing, dirt-road capable scooter. But if the developing world has taught us anything, it’s that scooters don’t need an ADV moniker to tackle the dusty trail, and a lot of their pilots do it while wearing sandals, too.
The ADV150’s 149cc single-cylinder engine has enough gumption to put 55 mph on the LCD instrument panel relatively quickly. I even saw 65 mph displayed, but roll-on power has waned by then. With a centrifugal clutch, all you need to do is twist the grip and go. It’s fuel-efficient, too, averaging upward of 75-plus mpg.
Balance and handling are more than grin educing, and the claimed curb weight of 294 pounds is hidden by its ultra-low center of gravity. The ADV150 whips around mountain curves and tight parking lots intuitively, and the suspension can manage a relatively groomed dirt road easily. Big hits are felt through the stiffer rear end.
Block patterned, model-specific tubeless tires grip well on tarmac and keep it together off the pavement, though they aren’t thrilled with sand. A comfy 31.3-inch seat height and backswept handlebar keep you in an upright, comfortable, and commanding riding position, and the toolless two-position windscreen deflects a noticeable amount of air in the up position.
Meanwhile, a 2-liter storage compartment with a 12-volt charging port can hold your phone and other items. There’s 27-liters of storage under the seat, but most full-face helmets won’t fit. Three-quarter and half-face helmets shouldn’t be an issue. The scoot also uses Honda’s Smart Key fob to activate the main knob, letting you start it, unlock the seat compartment, or release the fuel lid.
Save for a little less under-seat storage than I’d like, the ADV150 checks all the boxes for a commuter scooter. Not to mention the opportunity to leave some Africa Twin riders scratching their heads on a dirt road.
2021 Honda ADV150 Specs:
Base Price: $4,299
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, single, OHC, 2 valves
Bore x Stroke: 57.3 x 57.9 mm
Transmission: V-matic, automatic centrifugal dry
Final Drive: Belt
Wheelbase: 52.1 in.
Rake/Trail: 26 degrees/3.4 in.
Seat Height: 31.3 in.
Claimed Wet Weight: 294 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 2.1 gals., last 0.34 gal. warning light on
MPG: 86 AKI min (avg) NA