HONDA PCX125 / PCX150


The PCX is Honda’s leading mid-sized scooter design aimed at higher end global markets. As such, the PCX is perhaps the most refined and well engineered mid-sized scooter in the North American market. The PCX debuted in North America for 2010 as the PCX 125, and has undergone several generations since. It remains on sale as of 2019 as the PCX 150.
2019-Honda-PCX-150-matte-black

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. Globally both 125cc and 150cc versions were produced but it was the 125cc variant that headed to the USA for 2011.

Honda USA skipped the 2012 model year as they made the switch to the larger engined PCX150 model, which arrived mid-2012 as a 2013 model in both the USA and Canadian markets. This more powerful PCX150 was mostly the same machine, but with an entirely different bottom mounted motor. This first generation body style is shown below. All generations of the PCX look pretty similar, but some unique attributes of the first generation are the widely hated small backrest (aka “the hump”) on the seat, and an upward sloping top edge of the black siding.

PCX_CandyRed_2011

Honda again skipped the 2014 model year while they prepped a new version of the PCX. This heavily updated PCX150 (below) was launched in July 2014 as a 2015 model. While the second generation of PCX looks similar upon first glance, it was actually a major departure from the first generation with all new edgier bodywork and a wide range of updates to the powertrain. The frame is the same, as are some parts like the wheels, suspension and handlebars, but enough parts are new to call this a second generation.

Some unique identifiers of the new style include the downward sloping top edge of the black siding and a larger vent hole in front of the side radiator extended almost to the side pegs.

2014hondaPCX150gal2

The third generation of the PCX launched for 2019. Again, the style updates were subtle but the changes were expansive. The 2019 PCX 150 is all new including a new frame, bodywork and overhauled engine. This generation adds a nice LCD for instrumentation, optional ABS up front, improved handling via wider tires and re-tuned suspension.

This generation is a bit easier to tell apart than the previous two, as the black siding is now much smaller with a brushed metal accent, the headlights have a body colored slash across and the sides of the scooter have muscular ridges. The new rims are also an easy identifier. Overall, the style is less edgy and more sculpted.

2019-Honda-USA-PCX150

Motor

The PCX is built in Thailand 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.

pcx-Honda-150-3-2
With this latest technology, the PCX125 / PCX150 achieves excellent fuel economy. Honda claims 110 mpg and most owners report getting reasonable close to that (ie. 90-95 mpg) which is awesome for a mid sized scooter. Milage improved slightly for 2015 with motor tweaks, lower rolling resistance tires and even less drag and reduced electrical load from the switch to LED lighting.

Thus far, four substantially different motors have been used in North American PCX scooters. The first was a 125 engine (2011), then a larger bore 153cc version of that engine was offered (2013), which was then substantially updated (2015 - 2018) before being heavily overhauled for 2019 with a host of changes including a slightly smaller bore to 149cc.

The 125cc version is rated at 11.1 HP, while the larger 153 cc motor puts out 13 HP (2013) or 13.4 HP (2015 - 2018). Honda continued to use some parts of this engine for 2019, but it was heavily overhauled. The 2019 PCX 150 uses a slightly smaller bore (by 0.7mm) so displacment declines to 149cc. However, top end power is said to be improved from improved flow through the intake, air filter and exhaust. The 2019 power specs are 13.3 HP at 8500 RPM and 10.3 ft-lbs of torque at 5000 RPM, which is nearly identical to the previous generation, but Honda says the power curve has been broadened.

honda-pcx150-storage
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 added 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. In all generations, Honda has declined to bring their idle stop feature to North America.

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 got a thicker and spring loaded seat that did away with the “hump” and is claimed to be an improvement in comfort at a small cost to storage space.

honda-pcx125-gauges


The gauges on the PCX are a very nice setup. The 2011 - 2018 models used 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).

For 2019 Honda completely overhauled the instrumentation and went with a much larger LCD offering most of the important information including some neat extra like average fuel consumption.

2019-Honda-PCX-Gauges

honda-pcx150-ignition
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.


Discussion
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 in 2015). Over the years the pricing has remained low, with a 2019 price of $3699 or $3999 including optional ABS.

Honda-PCX-USA-2019-BronzeThe 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. More recently, Yamaha has started competing head on with their nice SMAX 155. However, the PCX is the more refined and stylish machine, so it continues to outsell the SMAX.

Overall, 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 a lot of effort into creating 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
MSG Scooter of the Year award for best new scooter in both 2013 and 2015.

OWNER REVIEWS (42) - Browse PCX Owner Reviews            REVIEW - Add Your Review


Pros:
* Amazing milage
* Newest and most advanced Honda design
* Sharp style

Cons:
* North American’s don’t get the idle stop feature found overseas
* Glovebox needs a lock
* Seat (pre-2015)

Links:
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
JustGottaScoot PCX Review - Always the best scooter reviews on the web
HondaPCX.org - Helpful forums devoted to the PCX

Key Specs: PCX 125 (2011)
* Engine: 125cc 4-stroke, SOHC, 2-valve, liquid cooled single
* Power: 11.1hp, 8.5
lbs-ft torque
* Compression: 11.0:1
* Bore x stroke: 52.4 mm x 57.9mm
* Fuel system: PGM-Fi with autochoke
* Starting: Electric
* Ignition: Digital with electronic advance
* Transmission: Honda V-matic
* Front suspension: 31 mm hydraulic fork with 3.5” travel
* Rear suspension: Dual shocks, 2.9” travel
* Front brakes: Single 220 mm disc, 3 piston caliper and CBS
* Rear brake: 130mm drum with CBS (combined braking system)
* Seat height: 29.9”
* Wheelbase: 51.4"
* Dry weight: 280 lbs
* Tires: 90/90-14 (front), 100/90-14 (rear)
* Fuel capacity: 1.6 Gallon / 6 Liter
* MSRP USA: $3399

Key Specs: PCX 150 (2013 - 2018)
* Engine: 152.9cc, 4-stroke, SOHC, 2-valve, liquid cooled single
* Power: 13.0 HP (2013) or 13.4 HP @ 8500 RPM (2015 - 2018), 10.3
lbs-ft @ 5000 RPM
* Compression: 10.6:1
* Bore x stroke: 58.0mm x 57.9mm
* 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 3.5” travel
* Rear suspension: 3.1” travel (150)
* Front brakes: Single 220 mm disc, 3 piston caliper and CBS
* Rear brake: 130mm drum with CBS (combined braking system)
* Seat height: 29.9”
* Wheelbase: 51.8” (150)
* Dry weight: 286 lbs
* Tires: 90/90-14 (front), 100/90-14 (rear)
* Fuel capacity: 1.6 Gallon / 6 liter (2013) or 2.1 gallon / 8 liter (2015 - 2018)
* MSRP USA: $3499
* MSRP Canada: $3899 - $4099

Key Specs: PCX 150 (2019 - Present)
* Engine:149cc, 4-stroke, 80 degree, SOHC, 2-valve, liquid cooled single
* Power: 1
3.3 HP at 8500 RPM, 10.3 ft-lbs torque at 5000 RPM
* Compression: 10.6:1
* Bore x stroke: 57.3mm x 57.9mm
* Fuel system: 26mm throttle body, PGM-Fi with autochoke
* Starting: Electric
* Transmission: Honda V-matic
* Front suspension: 31 mm hydraulic fork with 2.4” travel
* Rear suspension: Dual shocks, 3.3” travel
* Front brakes: Hydraulic single 220 mm disc, 3 piston caliper, optional ABS
* Rear brake: Mechanical 130mm drum
* Seat height: 30.1”
* Wheelbase: 51.8”
* Wet weight: 289 lbs
* Tires: 100/80-14 (front), 120/70-14 (rear)
* Fuel capacity: 2.1 gallon / 8 liter
* MSRP USA: $3699 / $3999 (ABS)

USA Colors:
2011: Pearl White, Candy Red
2013: Metallic Black, Candy Red
2015: Metallic Black, Pearl White
2016: Dark Candy Red, Steel Grey
2017 - 2018: Pearl White, Dark Pearl Blue
2019: Bright Bronze Metallic


Canada Colors:
2013: Asteroid Black Metallic (aka USA’s Metallic Black), Pearl Himalaya’s White with Maple Leaf Red interior
2015:
Candy Noble Red, Bright Bronze Metallic
2016: Matte Techno Silver Metallic (aka Steel Grey in USA)
2017:
Dark Pearl Blue
2018: Pearl Jasmin White
2019: Bright Bronze Metallic