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ADV BikesHonda X-ADV Scooter Beats Field of ADV Bikes in Gibraltar Race

Honda X-ADV Scooter Beats Field of ADV Bikes in Gibraltar Race

Think you can beat this scooter on your Adventure Bike? Think again!

Published on 07.12.2019
Riding a maxi scooter in what many call the ultimate Trans-European off-road adventure rally may sound like a strange choice, but to Paris-Dakar veteran Renato Zocchi it made perfect sense. “Many would never imagine it,” he says, “to run with something no one would have chosen to do a race like this, side by side with the single-cylinder and twin-cylinder enduros.”

His results at the finish of the Gibraltar race — 1st in Class 2 (601cc – 950cc) and 7th overall — are a big win for Honda’s crossover X-ADV 750. Even more so when you consider Zocchi and his ADV scooter were competing against a field of hardcore adventure bikes in Class 2 ranging from the KTM 950 Super Enduro and 790 Adventure R to Husqvarna’s 701 Enduro and BMW’s F 800 GS Adventure.

Gibraltar Race Map

This was Zocchi’s second time at the Gibraltar Race on Honda’s X-ADV 750 crossover – a race that covered over 7,000 km and 14 grueling stages. He says he owes his success in this year’s race partly to lessons learned on his first attempt, but mostly to improvements made to the adventure scooter. Some upgrades came from Honda via new model year upgrades that included more advanced electronics, most notably the addition of the G-switch, Honda’s Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), an off-road mode that optimizes power and traction control for adventure-riding conditions.


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While he kept the engine and chassis stock, Zocchi worked with Rollfactory and Honda Italy’s racing department to raise the bike’s frame in order to provide the ground clearance necessary to race the technical conditions along the Gibraltar’s route from the Baltic Sea to the Atlantic. He added an SC-Project exhaust system and Öhlins dialed in the X-ADV’s suspension. Lastly, BARTubeless wheels were added and shod with Anlas Capra X tires.

Honda X-ADV Scooter beats dual sport and adventure bikes at Gibraltar race.

Honda ADV-X Scooter beats dual sport and adventure bikes at Gibraltar race.

Now in its fourth year, the Gibraltar Race is known for its challenging conditions: Fourteen consecutive dawn departures, difficult navigation on courses 300 to 600 kilometers in length, most of it dirt roads and singletrack. During this year’s event temperatures ranged from 35 to a scorching 120°F, taking a massive toll on both riders and their machines. Zocchi says that it was only because of the technology and extreme reliability of the Honda that his victorious finish was possible.

Gibraltar Race Map
2019 Gibraltar Race Route.

It might have also had a little something to do with the multi-titled national champion and seasoned Paris-Dakar racer’s skills, but definitely a feather in Honda’s cap as well. To top off his victory, Zocchi allowed himself and his steed a day of rest, then mounted up the X-ADV and rode it 2,000 kilometers to his home near Milan.

For the time being we will have to watch this interesting machine from a distance as there are no plans to bring it to North America anytime soon.

Photos by Rally Cool! Photography

Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

Author: Jamie Elvidge
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Louie
Louie
July 15, 2019 7:07 am

Brilliant! … would love a scoot like that!

greenboy
greenboy
July 15, 2019 9:22 am

I bet lots of big tough riders are trying to ignore this article/news!
; }

Michael Rizzo
Michael Rizzo
July 17, 2019 11:24 am

Goes to show its not the bike its the rider….

Billy Bayou
Billy Bayou
July 17, 2019 10:37 pm
Reply to  Michael Rizzo

A professional rider on a tricked out “750 scooter”-hardly a real world scenario. Too youtubby for me

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
July 19, 2019 6:39 am
Reply to  Billy Bayou

Not sure what you mean. How many of the bikes running this race in the top 10 are “real world scenario bikes”? RIDE RED!

Peter
Peter
July 18, 2019 1:00 am

I have seen similar reports elsewhere and don’t understand the fuss – I can’t see what makes it a scooter in any conventional sense of the term. Even Honda’s website describes it as a motorcycle, which is what it is.

Now, if you want off road scootering, then this is it, from the SSDT https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x33t8o3 Believe me, that step is much bigger than it looks on film.

Bob
Bob
July 20, 2019 7:59 am

No X-ADV availability in the USA.

wfo75080
wfo75080
August 1, 2019 6:16 am

Here in the USA a scooter isn’t really a motorcycle. That bike would never be considered a scooter in the USA!

huls
huls
August 2, 2019 3:14 am

Why is it called the Gibraltar race?

Peter
Peter
August 2, 2019 4:10 am
Reply to  huls

To wind up the Spanish?

Jamie Elvidge
Jamie Elvidge
August 2, 2019 6:30 pm
Reply to  huls

The first race in 2017 ended in Gibraltar, and even though there is a new course each year the name stuck (just like Dakar).

David
David
August 21, 2019 5:42 am

May I ask what tyres you have fitted? I have this bike and I can tell you that from my experience is more the courage of the rider than the bike (weight limitations aside). I have done more offroad with my 125cc scooter than most of the GS owners that never touched a single dirt track…

Jamie Elvidge
Jamie Elvidge
August 21, 2019 10:27 am
Reply to  David

He applied BARTubeless wheels/Anlas Capra X tires.

David
David
August 21, 2019 10:33 am
Reply to  Jamie Elvidge

Ok I see, so he didn’t use the default wheels. Thanks

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