Faster than a speeding bullet? More powerful than a locomotive? Capable of leaping tall buildings in a single bound? Honda’s PCX150 isn’t any of those things, but it can scoot. Faster than a speeding Prius? Check. As for tall buildings and locomotives, I recommend keeping the PCX between the former and away from the latter. But when it comes to acceleration, a simple twist of your right wrist is all it takes.
While the styling of the 2013 PCX150 is virtually identical to that of the ’11 model, which was simply known as the PCX, performance has improved. Basic engine design—a sohc, two-valve, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected Single—is the same, but displacement is now 153cc (up from 125) via a 5.6mm increase in bore. Stroke is unchanged.
Like its slightly lighter predecessor, the claimed 286-pound PCX150 is nimble and fun to ride around town, through congested traffic, around corners and right past the gas pump. I wasn’t able to verify Honda’s claim of 102 mpg, but 10 bucks will fill the 1.6-gallon gas tank and buy a latte.
Top speed is an indicated 70 mph, which the PCX is able to maintain without much trouble. Fourteen-inch wheels and a 51.8-in. wheelbase provide reasonable stability at that velocity, although, like me, you may want to grip the handlebar with both hands if you encounter deep rain grooves such as those commonly found on Los Angeles-area freeways. Stopping power is supplied by a three-piston caliper and a 220mm disc up front and a tried-and-true drum at the rear. The right lever works the front brake only; the left puts the squeeze on both systems.
A thickly padded, 29.9-in.-tall seat makes hopping aboard this user-friendly step-through easy, and flip-out passenger footpegs let you bring along a friend. Hoisting the PCX onto its centerstand at the side of the road or in a crowded parking lot is a piece of cake. Honda has also provided a sidestand.
When I stopped for lunch, the 25-liter underseat storage compartment easily swallowed my open-face helmet, light jacket and gloves; I had to take my backpack with me. If you have more stuff that you must leave on the bike, you can opt for a locking accessory trunk that offers a claimed 35 liters of storage space.
Retailing for $3449, the 2013 PCX150 is available in Metallic Black or Candy Red. It’s not super, but it definitely scoots!