Many of us may not have been born yet when Honda had their ad campaign slogan, “You meet the nicest people on a Honda”. That marketing campaign was conceived to contrast to the 'bad boy' image of motorcyclists back in the day, and encourage more people to ride motorcycles, particularly a Honda. It had left a lasting image not only for its riders but also for Honda motorcycles itself. To me, it gives a sense that the nicest motorcycles available are Hondas, and one of them could be the new PCX 150 premium scooter.
The PCX 150 is powered by a liquid-cooled 150cc EFI engine and produces 14.6 ps @ 8,500 rpm. Seat height is roughly the same height (764 mm) as a 2 or 3-year-old toddler. People with a short inseam, particularly many of our lady rider friends, won't have a hard time riding the PCX. As with riding ergonomics, the handle bar is positioned just right for me, complimenting the PCX's comfortable seat. It's so comfortable that riding until the fuel tank dries is a walk in the park.
For acceleration, well, we have not timed the PCX during its stint with us, but I can assure you that it is fast. The fastest we got was 120 kilometers per hour but I reckon it can still go beyond it if given more road. The Honda PCX 150 also handles pretty well on corners, especially with its stock 100/80-14 front and 120/70-14 rear Michelin Pilot tires and I never felt any chassis flex.
While the front brake is a disc with a dual piston caliper and ABS, the rear is still a drum brake but has a pretty decent bite.
The PCX 150 also boasts of Honda's Smart Key that is comparable to an RFID for added security. That means there's no need to insert a key. There isn't even a keyhole. The technology uses radio frequencies to detect the smart key. Honda's Smart Key also features a scooter locator that emits a beep from the PCX to help you find it in a crowded parking area.
Another thing that I liked about the PCX 150 is the huge (28-liter) underseat carriage. It can fit a full-face helmet with more to spare for other assortments, making installation of a top box unnecessary.
I love that the front console box — under the left handle bar — has a built-in power outlet. Unfortuantely, it cannot be locked and is a risk on the part of the rider, e.g.: when you unintentionally leave your phone or wallet. Not 2 minutes after I parked the PCX in front of a McDonald's to buy some chow, that some street kids immediately opened the console box to scrounge for useful items.
The instrument panel is also all LED, displaying all the essential info that the rider needs including drive belt maintenance interval.
I'm not a fan of retro-Italian or modern looking scooters, but I have to give it to Honda for pulling off a nice looking scooter that did not go overboard.
All the lights are LED, and the tail light has this striking “X” look. Although the step board is a far cry from what you see on a typical scooter, it doesn't destroy the overall look of the PCX.
With a combined fuel economy of 44.7 kilometers per liter, we were just a few liters shy of the Honda's claimed 51.3 kilometers per liter, which is very impressive for a 150cc scooter. With an 8-liter fuel capacity, I would have traveled 357 kilometers with just one top up, which also makes the PCX 150 an ideal touring companion. The Idling Stop-Start system can also help in extending that fuel range and it works by automatically shutting the engine off after 3 seconds on a traffic stop, then with just a twist of the throttle, the system will start the engine back to life again (more detailed explanation from Honda here).
Is this the nicest scooter Honda ever created? Well, It is very fuel efficient, it has lots of legroom, comfy seats for the rider and pillion, is stylish and so on and so on. But, the PCX 150 could have been the perfect scooter if the rear brake was also equipped with ABS as standard. But, it is one of the nicest scooter creations of Honda if you would ask me.
Nevertheless, Honda is on the right track for making scooters safer and economical to ride. I wish my wife would buy me this scooter.