Yeah, I know it's not an "Adventure" bike, but it is a Honda, and the engine feels a bit like a V-Twin!! I posted the piece below on another forum, and I thought someone may find it of use or interesting...
Well, I finally managed to get a test ride on an Integra today, I had to travel 80 miles for it, but as I was taking my daughter back to Uni as well, I killed 2 birds with one stone! Happily, it was a bright, sunny day, chilly with a strong breeze. The Red machine I rode looks nice and feels well put together, as Honda's should
First thoughts on seeing the bike for the first time was how compact and y it is, no hassle whatsoever slinging my right leg over and plonking myself down on the ... “Geez, that’s hard”, seat! Happily it seemed Ok after 40mins All the controls as they say, came easily to hand apart from the stupid horn and indicator combination, with a massive switch for the horn above the indicator switch that is tucked away underneath. Not good until you have used the bike for quite a few miles I would suggest...
Firing the bike up and straight away a surprise as the engine felt more V-twin like than I thought it could, in spite of all the stuff in the brochures about the crank layout etc, and pulling away after I sorted out the drive switch it felt a lot like my old Transalp! Nice. It pulled away with a nice throbbing motion and straight away the DCT was saving fuel..... 20mph and I was in 4th!
For the first few miles, I left the bike in “Drive” auto and let the bike do the work while I sorted out how the bike felt and what have you. Urban use and you would slap in in auto and leave it there all day, until you started “stop’n go” and then “sports” mode was useful as it meant a better getaway in the traffic lights grand prix. Once I got the feel of the bike, I left the bike in drive on auto and used the DCT manual switch to drop a gear when needed for acceleration and latterly, for dropping into a bend or an overtake.
Ride was OK, nothing to set the world alight on the short ride I had, and I can see why some have criticised Honda’s budget suspension,but nothing new there, but the front end can be easily sorted, the back... again can be sorted, but after spending £7500, should you have to?? I would question that the bike would tour 2-up with luggage without some work too. I only did very modest bend swinging, but it was enough to tell me that it knocks spots off the Swing, suspension is better and those big wheels win out...
Performance was fine, not a sports bike, but that wasn’t what I wanted, enough low end power to pull away strongly and 80 was easily reached on the M’way I found, where it was stable and well planted. The protection was disappointing from the screen and I suspect most will go for a Givi aftermarket screen with “wings” to keep wind and rain off their mitts PDQ. The fairing lowers will disappoint any scooter rider as they really need the deflectors to keep the legs out of the wind blast.
The big killer to my placing a possible order down on my return from the ride was the ergonomics of the bike. I am 6ft and there is simply not enough room downstairs for my 31” legs, and size 10 feet! My knees knock the rear of the fairing and the footrest at the front is way too small to put your foot on in a proper “feet first” manner. So your feet are pretty well constrained in the same way as a footpeg, possibly OK for a motorcyclist, but any scooter rider will laugh at it. Try tucking your feet to the back of the foorboard for a more "attacking" stance, and your knees are chattering against the plastics!
I think the Integra will suit a shorter rider, say 5’8” and as I said to my SO on my return, if she passed her test and wanted a first proper tourer, it would be about perfect. For me, not a hope.
Personally,I think Honda have cocked up and missed a chance with the Integra. Anyone moving from a Burgman or Silverwing maxiscoot will find far too many compromises as will bikers looking for a commuter type machine. I wanted the positive areas of a compromise that the Integra seemed to offer, but it wasn’t to be. Put the engine/gearbox technology which is superb, into a better form factor*, maybe I will look again.
Thanks to Hunts of Manchester for the ride out and hospitality on their Open Day.
*For xrv readers, this will be a properly modded NC700x!!