While the F and R were designed for a global average rider, the X is an ever-so-slightly bigger bike that aims to please the (taller) average European. Its seat is 25mm higher, its forks 20mm longer, its ground clearance 15mm higher, and its wheelbase 10mm longer. All of which makes for a bike that feels just little bit more grown up than the F. (Of course, at my not-so-towering 5’7”, it meant my heels were off the ground just enough to make manoeuvring the 195kg bike a watchful affair.)
It’s a comfortable bike – the handlebars curve up to meet your hands, instead of summoning them down to their level, and you sit upright on a wide and supple seat, looking down at an amber-lit dash (the F’s is blue and the R’s red) that offers such niceties as a clock and fuel consumption figures, but unfortunately, no gear position indicator.
The engine is the same 471cc, 47bhp parallel-twin that does duty in the F and the R. Though wearing a silver-coloured coating rather than black, it has the same untimidatingly linear power delivery, same brisk acceleration and torque-rich roll-ons, same approx-115mph top (I saw a max of 110) as its brothers. It’s a good, healthy engine – not madly exciting, but capable enough for most (sensible) needs, economical and forgiving.
Honda promises 28 km per litre, or 79.5 mpg, for a 485km (302 mile)
tank range. When we stopped for a fuel top-up after 88.5 km (55 miles) of spirited riding, my bike took on 4.1 litres – that’s 21.6km/l, or 61.3 mpg; a still-respectable 373 km (233 mile) tank range. Needless to say, if you ride more sedately, you’d see significantly better numbers. And while on the topic, a hinged fuel tank cap would be handy.
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