2011 Honda PCX 2011 Honda PCX

2011 Honda PCX 2011 Honda PCX
First Impression
2011 Honda PCX
Quick, Light & Priced Right
by Scott Rousseau
Scooting around town aboard the PCX is great fun. It feels
light and steers quickly but exhibits excellent straight-line stability, and its suspension is plush and controlled at any speed
its little 125cc single can muster. The PCX’s analog speedometer registered an indicated 60 mph several times (even though,
since it displaces under 150cc, it isn’t freeway-legal), and we
never encountered any pavement undulations that were rough
enough to induce headshake.
Wheels, Tires & Brakes
T FIRST GLANCE, it might be difficult to gauge the importance of Honda’s all-new PCX (125cc) scooter in the marketplace, but the PCX’s reason for being is much clearer
when one considers that of the approximately 14.5 million twowheelers sold worldwide by Honda Motor Corporation each year,
55% of them are scooters—a significant market, to be sure—
with the mid-displacement segment ranking second in popularity only to the 50cc-and under segment.
The PCX is the first two-wheeler to be designated by Honda as
a 2011 model, and it is one of a handful of Honda models to be sold
in every market in the world. It’s also the first American-bound
two-wheeler to be produced in Honda’s Thailand factory. Naturally, the PCX is being heavily marketed to newcomers to the
sport of motorcycling—Honda projects a full 60% of PCX
owners will be first-time buyers.
Engine & Transmission
First-timers probably aren’t interested in complex technology,
and the PCX’s liquid-cooled, SOHC, fuel-injected 125cc fourstroke single-cylinder motor places emphasis on proven engineering with an eye toward spirited performance and fuel
efficiency. Its two-valve head, mild 11.0:1 compression ratio and
undersquare 52.4mm x 57.9mm bore and stroke offer plenty of
performance and excellent fuel economy. Utilizing Honda’s Programmed Fuel Injection technology (PGM-FI) gives the PCX
instantaneous and linear throttle response, offering plenty of getup-and-go while maintaining a claimed 110 mpg, compared to
“only” 100 mpg from its slightly smaller sister, the Elite 110.
With a 1.6-gal. fuel tank, that means that the PCX is good for
about 176 miles between fill-ups.
Like all of Honda’s scooters, the PCX transmits its power
through a Honda V-Matic belt-driven torque converter automatic
transmission, making for true gas-it-and-go simplicity.
The PCX’s 14" five-spoke cast aluminum wheels and IRC
SS-560 tires (90/90-14 front and 100/90-14 rear) clearly have
a positive influence on its handling. Compared to the 12"
wheels on the Elite 110, the larger diameter hoops offer plenty
of traction and road feel, minimizing the toylike feel exhibited
by scooters with smaller wheels.
Like the Elite 110, the PCX uses Honda’s Combined Braking System (CBS) that is linked rear-to-front only. Its single
220mm front disc brake is clamped by a Nissin hydraulic threepiston caliper that operates independently of the drum rear
brake when the throttle-side brake lever is applied. Applying
the lever on the left handlebar activates the CBS, which applies
one piston on the front caliper. In an effort to balance the system, Honda has incorporated a delay spring into the front caliper
that will not allow activation of the front brake before the rear
drum is applied. Our experience when riding the PCX was that the
front disc’s power is merely adequate when applied by itself,
while applying the rear and the front together produced excellent
stopping power without compromising feel, making it unnecessary to even apply the right brake lever—a good thing, as most
riders will probably apply the brakes in this manner anyway.
Ergonomics & Instruments
The PCX is as user-friendly as any scooter on the market. Sure,
it lacks the full step-through design of the Elite 110, but the PCX’s
seat height is a fairly low 29.9", making for easy mounting and
dismounting, and the seat itself is comfortable and also long
enough to carry a passenger, something the PCX can clearly handle, as it boasts a maximum weight capacity of 348 lbs. Its handlebar is also well-placed, enhancing the PCX’s riding position.
The PCX offers only a small storage compartment under the
dash, but its 25-liter underseat storage is generous, offering
enough space to swallow a full-face helmet while leaving plenty
of room for other various sundries. There is also a lockable helmet hook under the seat. We also like the fact that the PCX
incorporates both a sidestand and a centerstand, which offers
more flexibility when parking as well as loading and unloading
stored items.
The PCX’s instrumentation is rather sparse, offering only an
analog speedometer, fuel gauge, an odometer and a single tripmeter, along with water temperature and “check engine” indicator lights. We think it’s time that Honda (or another
manufacturer) seriously up the value of its scooters by offering
some sort of navigation system, which would be really useful in
urban confines.
Bottom Line
Chassis & Suspension
Beneath the PCX’s sharply styled bodywork lies a steel
chassis with a 51.4" wheelbase, a 27° rake and 3.4" of trail. In
order to lower the 280-lb. (claimed curb weight) PCX’s CofG,
its fuel tank is located under the floorboard. Its 31mm
hydraulic front fork provides 3.5" of suspension travel, while
Honda’s single-shock Unit Swingarm rear suspension boasts
just 2.9" of travel.
The PCX is available in Pearl White or Candy Red with an
MSRP of $3399, which includes a transferable one-year, unlimited-mileage limited warranty. It’s a solid performer that packs
a lot of utility into a sleek, stylish package that should prove to
be attractive to first-time buyers. But even if you’re an experienced rider who spends most of your time on surface streets
while moving about town, the PCX could be the hot ticket. Hmm,
perhaps it’s time for scooter shootout in MCN!
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