NEW HONDA'S FOR AMERICA - 2013 PCX150 AND METROPOLITAN
Honda USA Announces All New 2013 Metropolitan and More Powerful PCX150
Nearly five months after announcing a pretty thin 2012 lineup of scooters, Honda USA threw out a surprise press release today announcing the return of the PCX and Metropolitan. Making the return of these scooters even sweeter is the news that Honda has made changes to both models to make them even better machines.
We’ll deal with the new PCX150 first because the changes are quicker to discuss. Simply put, the PCX is back for 2013 and features an updated 153cc motor. The basic motor is the same, but the bore is up from 52.4mm to 58mm which boosts displacement 28cc to a total of 152.9cc. Compression is down slightly to 10.6:1 (from 11:1) but regardless the new motor should significant best the PCX125’s 11.1 ponies.
Top speed should rise from 60mph to about 65mph unless Honda forgot to remove the old 64mph rev limiter. Most likely Honda tweaked the gearing to keep the redline the same RPM but raise the redline speed to around 70mph. American’s still don’t get the idle stop technology that Honda includes in many markets to shut off the engine after 3 seconds and re-start it in an instant when the throttle is twisted.
With the changes to the engine comes a tiny (0.4”) increase to the wheelbase, six extra pounds (to 286lbs) and an extra 0.2” of rear suspension travel to a total of 3.1”. The rest of the scooter is unchanged, which is to be expected since it was only sold here for one year previously (2011) as Honda skipped the 2012 model year. The largest impact of this change is that the PCX150 is now interstate legal in the USA, which makes it a more practical machine. The Candy Red color sticks around for 2013, but Metallic Black replaces Pearl White as the other color option.
The 2013 Metropolitan didn’t receive mere tweaks to its mill, it gets an entirely new frame and fuel injected motor plus many other updates. The style of the Metropolitan is completely overhauled, with no body panels left unchanged. The front end received the biggest changes, as the headlight was restyled and moved up from the leg shield to the headset. The new look is more reminiscent of Vespa’s LX model and less like Yamaha’s Vino. The front fender looks to be carried over from the previous (2009) Metropolitan but the rest of the body is new. The lines are freshened up and the rear flanks are raised up a bit higher to show more of the rear wheel. Also new are the gauges, handlebars, blinkers, locking ignition cover and seat.
Honda made the Metropolitan even more practical for 2013 with the new PGM-Fi (fuel injected) engine and additional storage options. Honda added a storage cubbyhole
in the leg shield which isn’t quite as good as a glovebox but its better than nothing. Honda also included a hook above the cubbyhole in addition to the large under seat storage area which carries over.
The motor in the updated 2013 Metropolitan is an all new design with few details currently available. The biggest news for this new motor is the addition of fuel injection. That should boost milage moderately. Honda is claiming 117mpg for this new motor, which is 3mpg better than their claim for the old carbureted engine. This motor is still a 2-valve design with the same bore and stroke as the old GET2 motor, but it’s obviously a new design as the engine is now bottom mounted to the frame and it’s no longer liquid cooled. Honda’s specs say this new engine is liquid cooled, but it sure looks like an air cooled motor and a bit of research reveals this engine is almost certainly Honda’s AF70E air cooled motor rated at 4.5 HP @ 8250 RPM.
With all these changes, it seems like almost everything is new but a few bits do return. These few returning items include the hand controls, rims, rear suspension and brakes. The basic frame does not return for 2013, as the new Metropolitan now uses a steel tube frame instead of the high end aluminum frame found in the outgoing Metropolitan. Maybe that’s how they shaved $50 off the MSRP.
Overseas, Honda announced the updated PCX150 for some markets (ie. Thailand) about 2 weeks ago. The new Metropolitan is going to be sold as the ‘Giorno’ in Japan. It was just announced March 28th for the Asian markets.
The new Metropolitan is going to be a really compelling scooter. In addition to adding fuel injection and reworking the styling, Honda also lowered the price $50 to $1999 and added more storage. The downsides are the switch away from liquid cooling and the move to a steel tube frame. Color options for the 2013 Metropolitan are Pearl Black, Pearl Black/Red and Pearl White. Don’t be mislead by the silver and brown Japanese market models shown. The new 2013 Metropolitan is expected in showrooms in June, while the PCX150 is going to show up later in the summer.
What do you think? Dig ‘em? Are these the scooters you want Honda to offer in the USA?