2016 Honda Adventure Motorcycles | Model Lineup Comparison Review / Specs – CB500X, NC700X, VFR1200X, Africa Twin CRF1000L

– Buyer’s Guide / Specs Comparison | MPG, Price, HP & TQ Performance Numbers, Weight, Seat Height and More! –

The Adventure Motorcycle market has grown tenfold the last few years and Honda keeps releasing new adventure model after new model to try and capitalize on this market that used to be a very small niche market. We have some all-new models as well as returning models for 2016 to the adventure bike lineup including:

  • Honda CB500X  | Price $6,499
    • Honda CB500X ABS | Price $6,799
  • Honda NC700X | Price $7,499
    • Honda NC700X DCT / ABS Automatic | Price $8,099
  • Honda Africa Twin 1000  | Price $12,999
    • Honda Africa Twin DCT Automatic | Price $13,699
  • Honda VFR1200X | Price $15,599
    • Honda VFR1200X DCT Automatic | $15,999

What is the difference between an Adventure Motorcycle and a Dual Sport Motorcycle? This topic has been beaten to death as of lately as more and more models are blurring the already fine line that differentiates what is considered an adventure bike compared to a dual sport bike. They are both capable of going on and off-road – right? When deciding which route to go and whether or not an adventure motorcycle or dual sport is better for you and what type of riding you do, you’ll have to weigh all the pros & cons. I mention a few of those below…


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Dual Sport Motorcycles… Typically, a dual sport model is an off-road motorcycle that has had lights, signals, horn, less aggressive knobbies etc thrown on it to make it street-legal so it serves as a “dual sport” model being able to ride both on and off-road. Dual sport motorcycles typically have a smaller single-cylinder engine that ranges anywhere from 250 cc up to 650 cc give or take. You give up some creature comforts that you would find on a typical or standard on-road motorcycle but as with any style of motorcycle you are going to have things that one style will do well compared to another etc. Since you’re giving up some of those creature comforts, you won’t be as comfortable while on the road but you’ll be able to go places off-road that a standard motorcycle won’t be able to.

Custom 2016 Honda CRF250L Yoshimura RS-4 Exhaust - DCR Cams - Race Tech Suspension

Adventure Motorcycles… This is where the blurred line can really come into play. An adventure motorcycle is typically a multi-cylinder engine ranging anywhere from 500 cc all the way up to 1200-1300 cc depending on the manufacturer and which engine configuration they use. Unlike the dual sport models that almost always have a single-cylinder engine – the adventure models have a multitude of different configurations ranging from v-twin engines to parallel-twin engines and twin-cylinder boxer engines. You also have the inline-four cylinder engines that stack up against V4 engines. Because of the larger engines and substantially more horsepower, paired up with less aggressive off-road tires the adventure models will eat up those highway miles a lot easier than your normal dual sport models. The adventure models are big girls though, with those big engines comes big weight. Excess weight is never your friend when it comes to riding off-road so naturally you’re not going to be able to flick around a big adventure motorcycle like you could a dual sport. Well, unless you’re a pro rider that is. Those guys can ride a 600 lb adventure bike and make it look like they are riding a CRF450R!

Should you buy an Adventure Motorcycle or a Dual Sport Motorcycle? If you’re riding more off road than you will on the road then a dual sport will be more up your alley. If you plan on taking long trips and or heading to off-road areas that are quite a long ways away, an adventure motorcycle may be your best bet as it will eat up those highway miles a lot better than a dual sport motorcycle. In return, you’re going to be a lot more comfortable but like I mentioned above you do give up some of the off-road capabilities when going with an adventure model over a dual sport.


 

HP & TQ / Weight / Power-to-Weight Conparison Chart @ Bottom of Page


Below, I’ll go over all of the different models that Honda has for 2016 in their Adventure Model Lineup starting with the CB500X and ending with the mac-daddy Africa Twin and of course everything in between. I won’t do a very detailed review on each model below as I have a separate review page for each model which covers any and every single spec, feature, picture you could ask for. I’ll include the link below each model for those Detailed Review Pages.

Honda Adventure Motorcycles / Bikes - Africa Twin CRF1000L, VFR1200X CrossTourer, NC700X, CB500X


2016 CB500X

The smallest displacement adventure motorcycle from Honda for 2016 starts with the CB500X. It shares the same engine, transmission, frame etc as its cousins the CBR500R and CB500F but the CB500X has different suspension with added clearance and travel for off-road use as well as different handlebars. The styling is also different between all three of those models. Ever since its introduction in 2013, Honda’s CB500X has been a breakaway favorite with riders. That’s no surprise to anybody who’s ridden one: the CB500X is an adventure-style motorcycle that delivers comfort, versatility and a can-do attitude at a surprisingly affordable price. And to make a great choice even better, the 2016 CB500X features a bucketful of improvements this year.

2016 Honda CB500X ABS Review / Specs - Adventure Bike / Motorcycle - CB 500X / CB500F / CBR500R

Some may balk at the idea of it only being a 500 cc class engine (technically 471cc) but this lil guy packs more of a punch than what you would think out of its parallel-twin DOHC engine. You can check out the performance numbers below and how the CB500X stacks up against the other models from Honda as well as the competition.

The CB500X’s upright handlebar position naturally accommodates a wide variety of riders and makes it comfortable enough that you could use it for everything from “adventure” riding to logging a lot of miles touring and also have fun using it as a daily commuter without it being uncomfortable. Speaking of commuting and  riding in the city, these are a blast thanks to their light-weight and seating position as you can dodge and weave like you’re on a sport bike but without the negative points that come from owning a CBR. You can adjust the compact windscreen to varying heights (plus it’s 100mm taller this year), and the larger-capacity fuel tank is carefully shaped to give the rider an unrestricted riding position. All in all, the CB500X is hard to beat for the rider that wants to occasionally hit some dirt roads and or trails in stock form. You will need to throw some modifications at it if you plan to really use this bike as an “adventure” bike and do some real off-road riding so-to-say. That’s the case with the majority of adventure motorcycles on the market though as they give up some of their off-road capabilities to be a little more friendly on-road than your typical dual-sport motorcycles.

2016 CB500X Changes: A restyled LED headlight and taillight, a hinged fuel-tank filler cap, front suspension that’s now adjustable for spring preload, and a front-brake lever that’s adjustable too.

2016 CB500X Performance Numbers:

  • 2016 CB500X Horsepower Rating: 49.6 HP at 8,500 RPM
  • 2016 CB500X Torque Rating: 31.7 lb ft TQ at 7,000 RPM
  • 2016 CB500X Power-to-Weight Ratio: 0.116
  • 2016 CB500X MPG Rating: 71 Miles Per Gallon
  • 2016 CB500X Fuel Range: 326 miles Per Tank

2016 CB500X Model Options / Pricing:

  • 2016 CB500X Price / MSRP: $6,499
  • 2016 CB500X ABS Price / MSRP: $6,799

2016 CB500X Misc Specs:

  • 2016 CB500X Seat Height: 31.8 inches
  • 2016 CB500X Weight: 427 lbs
  • 2016 CB500X Fuel Tank Size: 4.6 gallons

2016 NC700X

The next step up from Honda in the adventure motorcycle lineup for 2016 is the NC700X. The NC700X made its debut back in 2012 and has went unchanged until 2016. The NC700X offers the long-travel suspension, agility and commanding riding position of an adventure bike in an overall package with high standards of stability, braking and engine performance. One cool feature that a lot of the time goes unnoticed is that the NC700X has been designed with a secure internal storage space large enough to accommodate a full-face helmet, located where you would typically find the fuel tanks.

At the heart of the NC700X is a purpose-built engine and transmission package. The liquid-cooled, in-line 2-cylinder 670 cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine is a lightweight and compact unit with a low center of gravity. It offers a very usable power delivery with strong levels of torque at low to medium rpm combined with low exhaust gas emissions and outstanding fuel economy that comes in at 64 MPG.

2016 Honda NC700X Review / Specs - Adventure Motorcycle / Bike - NC 700X DCT ABS Automatic Option

Automatic Motorcycle / Transmission Option: 2016 NC700X DCT: On the NC700X there is the option to enjoy this motorcycle with Honda’s innovative Dual Clutch Transmission, offering both manual gear shifting and fully automatic functionality – a suitably advanced and versatile core for an innovative new motorcycle. If you opt for the 2016 NC700X automatic model, you also get Honda’s Combined Anti-Lock Braking System (C-ABS).

2016 NC700X Changes: A larger windscreen for better weather protection; new, tougher-looking bodywork; a new front-brake caliper; and a new pentagonal muffler for a sharper look and a sound you’re bound to love. The new luggage compartment holds even more, a full 22 liters, and comes with a new “utility rail” and a storage hook inside the lid. Available in two versions—the conventional six-speed, manual-clutch transmission remains one choice, while a second version is available with an updated version of Honda’s exclusive automatic Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT). Even the tires are easier to service, thanks to new “L”-shaped valve stems.

2016 NC700X Performance Numbers:

  • 2016 NC700X Horsepower: 51 HP
  • 2016 NC700X Torque: 45 lb/ft TQ
  • 2016 NC700X Power-to-Weight Ratio: 0.108
  • 2016 NC700X MPG Rating: 64 Miles Per Gallon
  • 2016 NC700X Fuel Range: 236 Miles Per Tank

2016 NC700X Model Options / Pricing:

  • 2016 NC700X Price / MSRP: $7,499
  • 2016 NC700X DCT Price / MSRP: $8,099

2016 NC700X Misc Specs:

  • 2016 NC700X Seat Height: 32.7 inches
  • 2016 NC700X Weight: 474 lbs / DCT 500 lbs
  • 2016 NC700X Fuel Tank Size: 3.7 gallons

2016 Africa Twin CRF1000L

Say hello to the baddest of the baddest Adventure Motorcycles that Honda has released to date – the 2016 Africa Twin CRF1000L! The Africa Twin nameplate had and has a lot to live up to so when Honda decided it was time to bring this model back from the dead and into the 21st century, it couldn’t be a flop. It was to hold true and be one of Honda’s so-called flag-ship models. Throughout the development of the CRF1000L Africa Twin, the search for the optimal blend of off-road performance, touring comfort and agility was a constant theme. One motorcycle consistently impressed with its usability, poise and handling both on road and in the dirt: the original XRV750L Africa Twin. It proved a worthwhile benchmark when set against today’s myriad choice of adventure bikes. The machine that now bears its name may share no common part with the old model but, on road or off-road, it inherits to the full the essence and spirit of what made the XRV750L Africa Twin so popular way back in the ole’ days.

The essential features of an adventure motorcycle: strong engine, tough chassis with long travel suspension, upright riding position and wide handlebars help ensure its usability whatever the terrain. This practicality has been key to the popularity of these machines: they are easy to ride, comfortable and adaptable, at home on the road whether touring mountain passes and highways, or filtering through jammed city streets. And when the desire for a true adventure takes hold, they’re capable of traversing great swathes of distance after the tarmac runs out.

2016 Honda Africa Twin CRF1000L Adventure Motorcycle / Bike - Specs, Horsepower & Torque, Release Dates, Prices, Accessories

The “go anywhere” approach starts with the engine, which has to perform in off-road situations as well as on-road long-range touring, and all points in between. The CRF1000L Africa Twin’s 1000 cc parallel twin power plant draws heavily on Honda’s off-road race experience in the form of the CRF250R/450R competition machines, and uses the same four-valve Unicam head design for compact overall dimensions. A lightweight cast camshaft – using the same materials as the CBR1000RR Fireblade – operates the valve train, and twin spark plugs fire the fuel/air mixture in each combustion chamber.

Automatic Motorcycle / Transmission Option: 2016 Africa Twin DCT: Honda’s unique Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) will be available as an option on the CRF1000L Africa Twin, with the use of a common crankcase keeping the width the same as the manual transmission version. It features the standard manual mode – allowing the rider to operate gear shifts through triggers on the left handlebar – and two automatic modes. D mode offers the best balance of fuel economy and comfort cruising. S mode has now been revised to give extra levels of sports performance, with three different shift patterns to choose from: S1, S2 and S3. Of course, DCT for the CRF1000L Africa Twin is also fully equipped to operate in an adventure environment, with off-road functionality enhanced by the G switch positioned on the right side of the instrument panel. Pushing the G switch in any riding mode improves traction and machine control – all-important for off-road riding – by reducing the amount of clutch slip during gear changes. Further new functionality for the DCT system comes in the form of incline detection, by means of which the gear shift pattern is adapted depending on the grade of any incline to provide optimum control.

2016 Africa Twin Performance Numbers:

  • 2016 Africa Twin Horsepower: 93.9 HP 7,500 RPM
  • 2016 Africa Twin Torque: 72.3 lb/ft TQ 6,000 RPM
  • 2016 Africa Twin Power-to-Weight Ratio: 0.182
  • 2016 Africa Twin MPG Rating: 64 Miles Per Gallon
  • 2016 Africa Twin Fuel Range: 248 Miles Per Tank

2016 Africa Twin Model Options / Pricing:

  • 2016 Africa Twin Price / MSRP: $12,999
  • 2016 Africa Twin DCT Price / MSRP: $13,699

2016 Africa Twin Misc Specs:

  • 2016 Africa Twin Seat Height: 34.3 inches (standard position) / 33.5 inches (low position)
  • 2016 Africa Twin Weight: 511 lbs / DCT 534 lbs
  • 2016 Africa Twin Fuel Tank: 4.96 gallons

2016 VFR1200X

The VFR1200X is Honda’s range-topping adventure / sport-touring motorcycle. 2016 marks the 1st year for the Honda VFR1200X in the USA. This model has been known around the world for a few years now as the Honda CrossTourer. Honda decided it was finally time to grace us with its presence in the USA and is dubbed the VFR1200X on our side of the shore dropping the CrossTourer nameplate.

Before bringing VFR1200X to the USA Honda decided to make a few changes improving comfort while also evolving its existing technology and applied new touches. With Honda’s Selectable Torque Control, the system allows the rider to select three different levels to control engine torque and resultant drive to the rear wheel; the system can also be switched off. Honda’s six-speed DCT gearbox received software refinements to deliver an even more intuitive and natural performance, whether on highway or back road. The seat was modified to improve rider comfort and facilitate easier ground reach and a ‘wave’ design ignition key was set as standard.

2016 Honda VFR1200X Review / Specs - Adventure Motorcycle / Bike - CrossTourer VFR 1200 X

Equipped with a 1,237cc V4 engine, advanced chassis and electronic package with Combined ABS, Traction Control System (TCS) and the option of Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) gearbox – the VFR1200X has firmly planted a flag at the high-performance end of the adventure segment. Speaking of that 1200 cc class V4 engine, have you heard the exhaust note of Honda’s V4 engines with an aftermarket exhaust? If not, I highly suggest you click over to YouTube and search the term “VFR1200F exhaust” or “VFR1200X exhaust”. Trust me… You will thank me! Of course opinions will vary depending on the person and what they like when it comes to engines and their distinct exhaust notes but to me the tone of that 1200 engine in the VFR sounds amazing. At times I wish I could come up with a better descriptive word than just “amazing” haha but that’ll do.

Automatic Motorcycle / Transmission Option: 2016 VFR1200X DCT: The 2016 VFR1200X DCT model takes everything that’s great about the VFR-X and throws Honda’s industry-first automatic Dual Clutch Transmission. Three basic modes of operation are available. MT mode gives full manual control, allowing the rider to shift with the handlebar trigger control buttons. Automatic D mode is ideal for city and highway riding, and achieves optimum fuel efficiency. Automatic S mode is sportier and the ECU lets the engine rev a little higher before shifting up, giving greater performance. It also shifts down sooner when decelerating for extra engine braking. For 2016, within S Mode, there are now three different engine maps to cover a wider range of sporty riding scenarios and preferences. In either D or S mode DCT offers immediate manual intervention if required – the rider simply selects the required gear using the up and down shift triggers. At an appropriate time DCT seamlessly reverts back to automatic mode, depending on throttle angle, vehicle speed and gear position. Further new functionality for 2016 means that the system is able to detect uphill and downhill slopes and adapt its shift pattern schedule accordingly.

2016 VFR1200X Performance Numbers:

  • 2016 VFR1200X Horsepower: 129 HP @ 7,750 RPM
  • 2016 VFR1200X Torque: 93 lb/ft TQ @ 6,500 RPM
  • 2016 VFR1200X Power-to-Weight Ratio: 0.211
  • 2016 VFR1200X MPG Rating: 47 Miles Per Gallon
  • 2016 VFR1200X Fuel Rank: 266 Miles Per Tank

2016 VFR1200X Model Options / Pricing:

  • 2016 VFR1200X Price / MSRP: $15,599
  • 2016 VFR1200X DCT Price / MSRP: $15,999

2016 VFR1200X Misc Specs:

  • 2016 VFR1200X Seat Height: 33.5 inches
  • 2016 VFR1200X Weight: 612 lbs / DCT 625 lbs
  • 2016 VFR1200X Fuel Tank: 5.68 gallons

How do the 2016 Adventure Motorcycles above stack up against the other Touring, Cruiser, Sport, Dual Sport models from Honda for the 2016 model year? Here’s a chart breaking them all down…

* Models in RED are clickable links for more detailed specs on the model, pictures, videos etc.

Model Year Model Name Horsepower Torque (ft/lb) Weight Power-to-Weight Ratio
 2016  Ruckus 50  4.3 HP  3.3 TQ  194 lb  .022
 2016  Metropolitan 50  4.4 HP  179 lb  .021
 (2015)  Grom 125  9.7 P  8 TQ  225 lb  .043
 2016  MSX 125  9.7 HP  8 TQ  225  .043
 2016  Forza 125  14.8 HP  9.2 TQ  348  .043
 2016  CBR125R   13.1 HP  7.7 TQ  302 lbs  .043
 2016  CB125F   10.5 HP  7.5 TQ  282 lbs  .037
 2016  PCX150  13.3 HP  10.3 TQ  286 lb  .047
 2016  Rebel 250  18.2 HP  12.4 TQ  331 lb  .055
 2016  CRF250L  22.8 HP  16.2 TQ  320 lb  .071
 (2015)  CRF250M  22.8 HP  16.2 TQ  320 lb  .071
 2016  Forza 300  25.5 HP  19.2 TQ  422 lb  .060
 2016  CBR300R  30.4 HP  19.9 TQ  357 lb  .085
 2016  CB300F  30.4 HP  19.9 TQ  348 lb  .087
 2016  CB500F  49.6 HP  31.7 TQ  414 lb  .119
 2016  CBR500R  49.6 HP  31.7 TQ  423 lb  .117
 2016  CB500X  49.6 HP  31.7 TQ  427 lb  .116
 2016  Silver Wing  50 HP  39.9 TQ  541 lb  .092
 2016  CBR600RR  113 HP  48.7 TQ  410 lb  .276
 2016  CBR650F  86 HP  46.5 TQ  461 lb  .187
 2016  CB650F  86 HP  46.5 TQ  454 lb  .189
 2016  XR650L  40 HP  25.1 TQ  346 lb  .116
 2016  NC700X  51 HP  44.3 TQ  474 lb  .108
 2016  NC750X  54 HP  50.2 TQ  485 lb  .111
 2016  NC750S  54 HP  50.2 TQ  478 lb  .113
 2016  NM4 (NC700JD)  46.9 HP  44.3 TQ  562 lb  .083
 2016  Vultus NM4 (NC750JD)  54 HP  50.2 TQ  540 lb  .100
 2016  Integra  54 HP  50.2 TQ  525 lb  .103
 2016  CTX700N  46.9 HP  44.3 TQ  478 lb  .098
 2016  CTX700  46.9 HP  44.3 TQ  494 lb  .100
 (2014)  NT700V / Deauville  64.8 HP  48.8 TQ  562 lbs  .115
 2016  Shadow Phantom 750  40.5 HP  47.9 TQ  549 lb  .074
 2016  Shadow Aero 750  44.7 HP  47.2 TQ  560 lb  .080
 (2015)  VFR800F Interceptor  105 HP  55 TQ  529 lb  .198
 2016  VFR800X CrossRunner  100HP  55 TQ  533 lb  .188
 2016  CB1000R  125 HP  72.3 TQ  485 lb  .258
 2016  CBR1000RR  168 HP  84.1 TQ  440 lb  .382
 (2014)  CB1100  88 HP  68.6 TQ  540 lb  .163
 2016  Africa Twin  93.9 HP  72.3 TQ  511 lb  .184
 (2015)  VFR1200F  167 HP  95.1 TQ  589 lb  .286
 2016  VFR1200X  129 HP  92.9 TQ  611 lb  .209
 2016  CrossTourer  127.4 HP  92.9 TQ  611 lb  .209
 (2013)  Sabre 1300  67 HP  78.9 TQ  664 lb  .100
 2016  Stateline 1300  67 HP  78.9 TQ  672 lb  .100
 (2015)  Interstate 1300  67 HP  78.9 TQ  712 lb  .094
 2016  Fury 1300  67 HP  78.9 TQ  663 lb  .101
 (2014)  CTX1300  88 HP  78.2 TQ  724 lb  .122
 (2012)  ST1300  116 HP  84.8 TQ  730 lb  .159
 2016  Gold Wing 1800  118 HP  123.2 TQ  904 lb  .131
 2016  Gold Wing F6B 1800  118 HP  123.2 TQ  844 lb  .140
 2016  Gold Wing Valkyrie 1800  117 HP  123.2 TQ  752 lb  .156

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