You saw it first in our EICMA coverage: An oddball step-through built on Honda’s Integra 750 scooter platform. Now, it seems that concept, known at the time as the “New City Adventure,” is headed for production.
Italian website Omnimoto has published a video of what appears to be a production version of that machine bombing around city streets. The video seems to have been pulled, but its existence appears to confirm suspicions: Honda is once again building an adventure scooter. The machine in the video was slightly different from the concept scooter — different handguards and windshield, for starters — but the scooter’s geneology is pretty clear.
(UPDATE: See the video on YouTube here).
This direction is nothing new for Big Red. Their CT110 and similar step-throughs made off-roading seem easy and accessible in the 1970s and 1980s; many are still in use around the globe, particularly in the “postie bike” role in Australia (see also: Nathan Millward). More recently, their 49 cc Ruckus and its 250 cc brother, the Big Ruckus, offered a slightly more aggressive take on scooter life.
However, while those step-throughs offered (or pretended to offer) at least moderate off-road capability and minimalist ruggedness, this new scooter (supposedly Honda will call it the X-ADV) seems to be aimed in the same direction as modern adventure bikes. There’s a comfortable seat and lots of plastic bodywork to go with those knobbies.
Ground clearance does seem impressive for a scooter, but that traditional scooter foot-forward riding position will make off-roading a bit tricky, and the DCT transmission certainly won’t be for everyone. At least it does have spoked wheels, instead of cast rims.
Can we expect to see it in Canada, if it’s built? It’s unlikely. The Integra was never sold in North America, and as a general rule, the public isn’t clamouring for twist-and-go adventure machines. Auto versions of Honda’s Africa Twin and NC700X have been greeted with some suspicion in our market, so an adventure scooter might not be that popular.