Wednesday, September 17, 2014

2011 Honda PCX Scooter Review

July 3, 2010 by  
Filed under Motorcycle Reviews

Go to the “Honda PCX” Overview Page

Right up front, we want to say that scooters are a lot of fun.

They also make a lot of sense.

2011 Honda PCX Scooter Review

Unfortunately, many people will never know this until they actually throw a leg over one and spend some time darting through city streets and neighborhoods, where stop-and-go traffic is the rule and inner-city parking is expensive.

The mid-sized 2011 Honda PCX is a good argument against this general lack of scooter knowledge. In a nutshell, it’s easy to ride, it includes the basic must-have features, and it’s affordably priced.

Taking a quick walk-around, it’s imbued with styling cues from Honda’s sport bike line-up, which includes sport-style five-spoke wheels and a blacked-out windscreen set against Pearl White or Candy Red body work.

As with most scooters, throwing a leg over the PCX is easy. It’s 29.9-inch seat height, low center of gravity, and well-placed controls give it a familiar and comfortable feel, and the gently stepped seat helps to keep the rider firmly in place under acceleration. It also feels light, so it’s a confidence builder for beginner riders who are mounted up and ready to roll it off the center stand.

2011 Honda PCX Scooter Review

The cockpit itself is clean and uncluttered, and everything is ergonomically designed for a natural reach to the controls. The instrument display includes a dial-type speedometer, bar-type fuel gauge, digital trip meter and odometer, and a small storage compartment is located on the lower left side of the console. Speaking of which, there’s enough under-seat storage for a full-faced helmet, and those who need additional cargo space can purchase an accessory trunk and mounting base through their Honda dealer.

2011 Honda PCX Scooter Review

The angled windscreen has a relatively low profile, but it provides commendable wind protection, Also, the mirrors are easily adjusted and free of vibration, so the rear view is clear and unobstructed.

The PCX is powered by a liquid-cooled four-stroke engine displacing 125cc and its fuel-injection system includes an automatic enrichment feature for cooler climates. With the ignition turned on and the rear brake lever squeezed, the Honda starts gently and idles quietly.

2011 Honda PCX Scooter Review

The engine is matched to Honda’s V-Matic transmission. As with any belt-drive CVT, there’s a very slight delay from fully closed throttle to actual acceleration, but it’s gentle and easily modulated, and there’s more than enough oomph in the PCX if the throttle is turned far enough.

Aggressive drivers in powerful cars or SUVs can out accelerate the PCX from a stoplight, but generally speaking, the fleet-footed PCX has enough performance to stay ahead of the four-wheeled crowd, especially in heavy inner-city traffic.

When accelerating up steep hills, the power of the PCX is not overwhelming – it is, after all, a 125cc scooter – but it never feels stressed and the power is more than adequate for real-world traffic conditions. On one particular hill climb, we topped it out at an indicated 51 mph with the throttle wide open, and reached 61 mph on a flat section with the rider crouched behind the bars.

2011 Honda PCX Scooter Review

Notably, Honda estimates that riders who aren’t trying to test the performance limits of the PCX can squeeze 110 miles per gallon from the four-stroke single. With a 1.6-gallon fuel capacity, that equates to 176 miles of riding.

As for stopping power, the three-piston 220mm front disc and rear drum brakes are strong, and the lever pull firm. The brake levers are not adjustable, so riders with smaller hands will need to reach a little farther, but that’s really nitpicking at this price point.

Like its SH150 sibling, the PCX is equipped with Honda’s Combined Braking System (CBS). In essence, when pulling the rear brake lever, the system automatically engages the front disc brake to provide balanced braking power at both ends. Although it’s not visible to the rider, the mechanicals include a “delay spring,” which prevents the front disc from engaging before the rear drum. The activation is so smooth that it’s imperceptible to the rider, but a firm pull on the rear brake lever leaves no doubt that the front disc is working.

The handling is light, precise, fluid, and stable at the speeds the PCX is able to generate, no doubt aided by its 14-inch wheels. Combined with its inherent low center of gravity, it’s also easy to maneuver through parking lots.

With 3.5 inches of travel at the front and 2.9 inches at the rear, the suspension does a good job of soaking up bumps, dips and potholes, and the overall ride is comfortable and pleasant.

2011 Honda PCX Scooter Review

A quick and informal model comparison suggests the PCX might have some advantages over its direct competitors. Both the Yamaha “Zuma 125″ and “Vino 125″ are less expensive (by $200 and $500 respectively), and both are lighter. But both of those models have air-cooled engines and smaller wheels (12-inch for the Zuma and 10-inch for Vino). But the 2011 Honda PCX is close to $1,000 cheaper than the “Vespa LX150″.

The Honda PCX, on the other hand, looks more upscale and “complete” with its sporty body work and larger wheels. At $3,399, it’s definitely worth a look.

Go to the “Honda PCX” Overview Page

# # #

SPECIFICATONS:

Engine Type: 125cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke

Bore and Stroke: 52.4mm x 57.9mm

Compression ratio: 11.0:1

Valve Train: SOHC; two-valve

Induction: PGM-FI with automatic enrichment

Ignition: Digital with electronic advance

Transmission: Honda V-Matic belt-converter automatic transmission

Suspension:
Front – 31mm hydraulic fork with 3.5 inches of travel
Rear – Unit swingarm with 2.9 inches of travel

Brakes:
Front – Single 220mm disc with three-piston caliper
Rear – Drum with CBS

Tires:
Front – 90/90-14
Rear – 100/90-14

Wheelbase: 51.4 inches

Rake: 27.0°

Trail: 86mm (3.4 inches)

Seat Height: 29.9 inches

Fuel Capacity: 1.6 gallons

Estimated Fuel Economy: 110 MPG

Colors: Pearl White, Candy Red

Curb Weight: 280 pounds

Line Break

Author: Ron Nordyke (1 Articles)

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Comments

5 Responses to “2011 Honda PCX Scooter Review”
  1. avatar Harry says:

    Nice style, good economy, all the bits you need on a scooter including low weight. It should be a good buy…

  2. avatar Jack Morris says:

    Finally, some one took time to do a thorough review with great pictures. I am a
    76 yr.old
    Suzuki Burgman 400 typeS rider who is looking for a smaller scoot that I can handle easier. This is an answer for Me.

  3. avatar Dave Warham says:

    The PCX arrived in the UK at the start of 2010, I bought one of the first to arrive at my local dealers (Essex UK) in June 2010.

    It’s actually based on the 50cc Honda Zoomer (you might call them a Rukus in the US) with the same direct crank mounted starter/generator system that allows the traffic-stop feature to function. It works well, with the stop start system engauged the motor will cut out after 3 seconds idling and start instantly the moment the throttle is opened. This feature can be switched on and off from the right hand cluster where you would find the kill switch on a motorcycle.

    So far I have covered about 1000 miles in mixed commuting/shopping and weekend runs and have been very impressed with the little scoot.

    The optional screen is very worthwhile as it improves top speed and protects against weather – the front end is very low and the rider very exposed to the elements without the screen.

    Handling is very stable and is one of the best balanced 2 wheelers I have ridden in 35 years of motorcycling. The 14″ wheels being a perfect compromise between balance and keeping the size if the scoot small. the tyres are also tubless so puncture repairs at the roadside are much easier using a ‘Stop and Go’ tyre plugger kit.

    With the addition of a top box (case?) you have the ability to store 2 helmets safely when popping to the shops and plenty of room for carrying home the groceries afterwards. Keep chilled and frozen foods in the top box as the underseat bin does get warm.

    The top speed is regulated to 67mph and this speed can be achieved regularly on the open road, it’s more comfortable to hold the bike at 65 on the throttle as the limiter cuts power and it feels like the bike is being pushed backwards by an invisible hand.

    I am 5’10″ the size is perfect for me, taller riders may feel cramped after being in the saddle for any length of time. In common with maxi-scooters you have 2 positions available for your feet – flat on the floor or streached out forwards like highway pegs.

    Passenger comfort is very good with nice wide footpegs that fold away when not in use. The pillion has a good view as the seat is raised at the rear, the grab rail remains useful even with the top box in place.

    In terms of open road performance for a 125 it’s very good indeed, both the PS125 and the SH125 make slightly more power but are considerably more expensive and have very restricted legroom. For my daily commuting ride of 30 miles half is on motorway (highway) where the scoot has no difficulty keeping ahead of the truck traffic and will easily filter between the congestion when getting into town. You need to keep a close eye on the speedo, the engine note does not change as the bike speeds up so it’s easy to pick up a camera ticket.

    Linked brakes work from the left lever whilst the right is front brake only. Pushed hard it’s possible to lock either wheel in the dry but there is no tendency to tip over the front wheel; the long wheelbase keeps things stable.

    Economy works out at 115 miles to the imperial gallon, this is about 135 miles before the last block vanishes from the LCD fuel gauge. There is still fuel in the tank but it takes a brave soul to push on when the gause shows empty. Instrumentation is simple with a nice classic style speedo and a resettable trip/odo – no clock though, and this is a usefull accessory to have.

    For the home mechanic this bike is easy to maintain, the centre stand keeps the bike nicely stable whilst performing oil swaps – there is a washable screen filter so it will pay dividends to swap the oil every 1000 miles. The spark plug is easily reached from an access pannel on the left and as the water cooling systen is integrated to the engine there are no perishable hoses to cause problems in the years ahead. Tappets would be more of a challenge as this is a bodywork off job but with just one cylinder this should not be too difficult. Having fuel injection and electronic ignition carb cleaning and points setting are a thing of the past. The motor starts instantly hot or cold.

    Overall it’s one of the best little bikes I’ve owned and I have owned and ridden far on all sorts of small bikes from a 1966 CM90 Supercub to last years 125 Innova which took me and camping gear from home in the UK to Spain and back (2100 miles) in 8 days – buy with confidence.

  4. avatar admin says:

    Great Review – Thanks Dave!

  5. avatar Andy says:

    What is the maximum weight that this bike will carry? I’m 5’9 and weigh about 240. Looking at this bike as a commuter for work in very light city/backroad traffic.
    Any information would be great

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