HONDA PCX125 / PCX150
The Honda PCX was announced in fall 2009 as a new global model for Honda and a 125cc version was confirmed as an early 2011 USA model in May 2010. Honda skipped the 2012 model year, but introduced the more powerful PCX150 as an early release 2013 model in both USA and Canada. After another brief hiatus, Honda announced a heavily updated 2015 PCX150 (right) for North America based on the same frame and motor, but with new bodywork and updates to the motor and feature set.
The PCX stands as Honda’s most advanced mid-sized scooter design aimed at higher end global markets. The PCX reaches high levels of refinement, as Honda continues to spend a considerable amount of effort developing this global model. Instead of grabbing generic bits like the hand controls from their parts bin, Honda has been busy creating a new generation of parts that we’ll likely see used for years to come in various models.
Globally Honda introduced the PCX in late 2009, although it didn’t make it to the USA until spring 2010 where it was badged a 2011 model. Both 125cc and 150cc versions were produced but only the smaller variant headed to the USA. Honda USA skipped the 2012 model year as they made the switch to the larger PCX150 model, which arrived mid-2012 as a 2013 model. This more powerful PCX150 was mostly the same machine, but with an entirely different bottom mounted motor. Similar to the 2013 tale, Honda again skipped the 2014 model in the USA while they prepped a new version of the PCX. This heavily updated PCX150 (below right) launched in July 2014. This 2015 model is a fairly substantial departure from the 2013 model with a wide range of updates to the powertrain in addition to all new bodywork. The frame is the same as are some parts like the wheels, suspension and handlebars, but huge number of parts are new. The story in Canada parallels the USA chronology, but Canucks missed out getting the first PCX in 2011.
The PCX is a Thailand built scooter featuring Honda's latest engine technology. This includes fuel injection, liquid cooling, engine auto shut off when stopped (except on USA models) and the world's first ACG (alternating current generator) electric start in a 125-150cc scooter. This ACG starter is ultra compact and virtually silent - similar to that found on the Ruckus and Metropolitan. With this latest technology, the PCX125 / PCX150 achieves excellent fuel economy. Honda claims 110mpg and most owners report getting reasonable close to that (ie. 90-95mpg) which is awesome for a mid sized scooter. Milage improved slightly for 2015 with the switch to lower rolling resistance tires, even less drag and reduced electrical load from the switch to LED lighting.
The 125cc PCX engine is rated at 11.1 HP, while the larger PCX150 gets a 152.9cc motor putting out 13HP (2013) or 13.4 HP (2015). The top speed of the PCX125 is 59-60mph, while the PCX150 accelerates nicely to 60mph and wanders all the way to 70mph. Both PCX’s are electronically RPM governed (62mph PCX125, 70mph PCX150), but they’re mostly out of steam by the limit so removing this only increases downhill speeds.
Besides the extra displacement, the PCX150 adds additional drivetrain bearings to lower friction by 20% in the V-Matic CVT. The cylinder area of the motor is also revised with an offset cylinder (again lower friction), lighter weight piston and tiny splines on the cylinder sleeve to reduce oil consumption. The core motor remained the same for 2015, but many small tweaks were made so be careful when purchasing parts.
Design and Amenities
The 2015 PCX has a generous glovebox replete with a 12V power socket, while earlier models make do with a smaller and non-wired glovebox. Underseat storage is similar across model years, with room under the seat for most full face helmets. This space is decent considering the PCX has a large 14” rear wheel competing for space, but it’s not quite as big as some scooters. Honda’s original PCX seat has been widely criticized by owners, so the 2015 PCX150 gets a thicker and spring loaded seat that does away with the “hump” and is claimed to be an improvement in comfort at a small cost to storage space.
The gauges on the PCX are a very nice setup, with a central analog speedometer and a smaller digital display that showed fuel, odometer and trip odometer. The PCX also has an engine temp light and a check engine light, the latter of which is rare amongst scooters. For 2015 Honda updated the gauge setup (not shown) and added a clock and a hazard light. Also changed for 2015 was the lighting, which moved to all LEDs (including
the headlights) to reduce power demand. Rather than 55 watts, the new LED headlights burn only 5.4 watts (low beam) or 9.6 watts (high beam). Honda went all out with the switch to LEDs, and added an illuminating ring around the key insertion area (not shown).
The PCX boasts all sorts of neat little touches that make this a quality machine. For one, the separate switch beside the ignition allows you to easily open either the underseat storage area or the fuel cap when you’ve got the key inserted (see pic). There’s no need to torque the key to one extreme (and risk bending the key on cold mornings) to unlock a spring loaded latch like you find in other scooters. The rear pegs are another nice touch. They deploy outwards when needed, but otherwise integrate in the body.
Other noteworthy features include a 220mm, 3 piston front disc brake, alloy rims and the inclusion of both a centerstand and side stand. In North America, color options for the PCX have varied between black, white, brown and red over the years (year by year color options are listed at the bottom of the page). Pre-2015 gauges shown below.
Originally the PCX slotted into Honda's lineup between the 108cc Elite and the larger 150cc SH150i. Honda set the 2011 MSRP at $3399 which was a lot cheaper than the SH150 ($4499). The SH150i didn’t stick around after 2010 however, and Honda bumped the PCX to 153cc for 2013 which made it freeway legal in the entire USA for just $50 more ($3449).
The PCX design is reminiscent of Honda's larger maxi-scooters with the lack of a traditional (complete) floorboard. The PCX is still intended as a step-through and thus is considered a scooter, but it does blur the line between a scooter and a small motorcycle like many other larger scooters are doing. This is a trend that will likely be continuing as the line between scooters and motorcycles is blurred. The PCX looks more like a mini Silverwing than anything else.
Not too many other manufacturers have sold scooters this small without a traditional floorboard. Kymco’s Downtown 200i is one scooter that uses a similar approach, while Genuine’s Blur 150 / 220 also competes pretty closely. Suzuki’s smaller Burgman 200 also fills a similar albeit more luxurious niche.
The PCX is a stylish and exceptionally practical scooter. It’s very well built, boasts a full package of the nice amenities and has a top speed that makes it useful on most roads and even the interstate if you have the 150cc version and a little bravado. Honda has put together a really well rounded scooter with good power, good looks, excellent milage, a reasonable MSRP, strong brakes and a generous amount of storage. It’s easy to see why it won the 2013 MSG Scooter of the Year award for best new scooter.
OWNER REVIEWS (23) - Browse the PCX 125 / 150 Owner Reviews REVIEW - Add a Review of Your PCX
* Amazing milage
* Newest and most advanced Honda design
* Sharp style
* North American’s don’t get the idle stop feature found overseas
* Glovebox needs a lock
* Seat (pre-2015)
PCX Honda Owners Manual - Helpful info and basic info for your PCX.
Honda USA 2011 PCX 125 Brochure (2 page pdf)
MotorscooterGuide Forums - Visit the forum on this site to chat about scooters
PCX Review - Nice review of the PCX 125 by Motorcycle USA
HondaPCX.org - Helpful forums devoted to the PCX
* Engine:125cc or 152.9cc, 4-stroke, SOHC, 2-valve, liquid cooled single
* Power (125cc): 11.1hp, 8.5 lbs/ft torque
* Power (153cc): 13.0 HP (2013) or 13.4 HP @ 8500 RPM (2015), 10.3 lbs/ft @ 5000 RPM
* Compression: 11.0:1 (125) or 10.6:1 (153cc)
* Bore x stroke: 52.4 mm x 57.9mm or 58.0mm x 57.9mm (153cc)
* Fuel system: PGM-Fi with autochoke
* Starting: Electric
* ACG Output: 343 watts
* Ignition: Digital with electronic advance
* Transmission: Honda V-matic
* Front suspension: 31 mm hydraulic fork with 3.9” travel
* Rear suspension: 2.9” travel (125), 3.1” travel (150)
* Front brakes: Single 220 mm disc, 3 piston caliper and CBS
* Rear brake: Drum with CBS (combined braking system)
* Seat height: 29.9”
* Wheelbase: 51.4" (125), 51.8” (150)
* Weight: 280 lbs (PCX 125), 286 lbs (2013 - 2015 PCX 150)
* Tires: 90/90-14 (front), 100/90-14 (rear)
* Fuel capacity: 1.6 Gallon / 6 Liter (2011-2013), 2.1 gallon / 8 liter (2015)
* MSRP: $3399 - 3449 (USA)
2011: Pearl White, Candy Red
2013: Metallic Black, Candy Red
2015: Metallic Black, Pearl White
2013: Asteroid Black Metallic (same as USA’s Metallic Black), Pearl Himalayas White with Maple Leaf Red interior
2015: Candy Noble Red, Bright Bronze Metallic