As the larger capacity version of Europe's best-selling powered two-wheeler, the PCX150 has enjoyed strong sales success throughout Europe, thanks to a formula Honda has had many years' experience in perfecting. The strong, modern design allows it to slip elegantly into a style-conscious urban youngster's lifestyle, while compact dimensions ensure it can wriggle through busy traffic – and park – with ease. Perhaps most importantly, it represents great value for money, in terms of initial affordability and low running costs, thanks to very competitive pricing and the engine's performance and fuel efficiency.
Two years ago, the PCX150 was equipped with the new low-friction engine codenamed eSP: "enhanced Smart Power". For 2014 – and building on the winning formula – Honda's engineers, led by Large Project Leader (LPL) Yamaguchi san have not rested on their laurels. Their new PCX150 – which goes on sale in the spring of 2014 – is more stylish, even more fuel-efficient and features a host of detail upgrades to facilitate life on the move in a busy city environment.
A smart, sporty look, without increasing size but with improved comfort, was a key factor in the new PCX150's design. The development team also wanted to add value and practicality; many detail improvements are in response to owner feedback. All lighting is now LED, saving electrical drain on the engine and a hazard button has been added, as well as a clock in the dash and integral 12V AC adaptor.
Perhaps most importantly the PCX150 is now even more fuel-efficient achieving 47.4km/litre without Idling Stop (WMTC mode) thanks to the addition of low rolling resistance tyres and further friction reduction within the engine. A larger 8litre fuel tank (up from 5.9 litre) means that a range of over 375 kilometres is possible from one fill-up.
And not only is the upgraded PCX150 more cost efficient to own: it continues to offer outstanding purchase price value plus the high build quality, reliability and durability Honda And not only is the upgraded PCX150 more cost efficient to own: it continues to offer outstanding purchase price value plus the high build quality, reliability and durability Honda scooters are known for.
Yamaguch-isan, Large Project Leader PCX150:
"I have worked on many motorcycles – including the Transalp, Varadero and FMX – but this was my first scooter so I enjoyed the opportunity. It was not without worry! Because the PCX150 has been such a popular model, to make it better while keeping its spirit was a big challenge. But we worked hard and I am proud of our new PCX150; we have added logical upgrades and once again improved the fuel efficiency – saving money – for Europe's city commuters."
PCX: Personal Comfort 'X' level
Styling & Equipment
The 2014 PCX150's dynamic look reflects the advanced technologies that go into its production and includes many detail changes to enhance both usefulness and comfort. It's still a compact form, however, maintaining its traffic-busting ability. The riding position remains a sit-in style and hugs the rider securely; the passenger backrest has been removed to allow more freedom.
Compact dual LED headlights add a sporty edge and maintain light distribution with the arrangement of low-high-low beams. The indicators, taillight and license plate light are also LED, reducing electrical drain on the engine. A hazard function has also been added.
The left hand fairing pocket is larger in size and will happily hold a water bottle or drinks can. It also contains the 12V AC adaptor for charging a phone – a useful additional feature. There's under seat storage for a full-face helmet and the stepped seat itself now has a sprung hinge, so it stays up when open.
Seat height is a very manageable 760mm with a 'straddling' height of 540mm. Both the seat and fuel lid are opened via one-touch switches and the ignition key receives a key shutter. A central console presents all the information within a neat, concise design. Speed is shutter.
A central console presents all the information within a neat, concise design. Speed is displayed by a luminous needle moving around the outside of the LCD panel, which contains an odometer, trip meter, fuel gauge, plus the additional fuel efficiency meter and clock.
The PCX150 has to provide handling nimble enough to deal with jams but also a stable and comfortable experience for rider and passenger at all times, including highway use. Its durable tubular steel underbone frame, short 1,315mm wheelbase and steering geometry – rake of 27° with 86mm trail – are unchanged and combine to create just such a platform. Kerb weight is 130kg.
The turning radius is a tight 2m, allowing for easy manoeuvres in tricky spaces, while 5 spoke 14" cast aluminium wheels add stability and rider confidence. Special tyres – with a compound designed to reduce drag – are fitted, and in conjunction with the lowdrain LED lighting contribute significantly toward the improvement in fuel efficiency. The front is a 90/9014, the rear a 100/9014.
With 100mm stroke 31mm telescopic forks soak up uneven surfaces and further aid rider confidence; twin rear shocks give 75mm stroke through an aluminium swingarm. Honda's Combined Brake System (CBS) operates between the front 220mm front disc/threepiston caliper and 130mm rear drum, distributing some braking force to the front when the rear brake is applied for smooth, progressive brake performance.
The lightweight and compact liquid-cooled SOHC two-valve 149cc engine powering the PCX150 offers durability with excellent performance away from the lights – 050m takes just 4.9s – plus quiet, smooth operation and reduced CO2 production. Peak power and torque are 10.0kW (at 8,500rpm) and 14.0Nm (at 5,000rpm).
Critical of course is its impressive fuel economy, and the reductions to the engine's internal friction – less electrical drain and built-in fuel pump – plus reduced rolling resistance from the tyres mean that the PCX150 now returns 44.0km/l (without Idling Stop) in WMTC mode. This results in a tank range of over 350km thanks to the 2.1 litre increase in tank size to 8.0 litres.
The engine layout is built around a host of low-friction technologies working in harmony. An offset cylinder reduces friction caused by contact between piston and bore efficiently transmitting combustion energy to the crankshaft. A compact combustion chamber and PGM-FI fuel injection optimises burning velocity and cooling performance, tailoring torque characteristics to suit the rpm ranges typically used in urban situations.
Optimised ignition timing combines with efficient cooling of the combustion chamber to aid resistance to 'knocking'. A 300cell catalyser is sited in the exhaust. A 'spiny' castiron sleeve – with tiny surface extensions – keeps in check any distortion of the inner bore diameter. This design lowers tension in the piston ring, reducing friction. A shell-type needle bearing is used for the rocker arm shaft while small and light rollers work in conjunction with cam profile and valve spring load.
A compact high-efficiency radiator – integrated into the exterior of the right-side crankcase – employs a small, light fan, reducing frictional losses and lowering drag. Rolling resistance within the transmission unit is reduced by the use of three low-friction main bearings, all designed to deal with the loads they individually receive.
The electronically controlled brushless ACG starter is an integrated component mounted directly on the end of the crankshaft, serving as starter motor and alternator. It spins the engine directly, eliminating any noise from gear engagement or meshing.
The selectable Idling Stop function automatically stops the engine running after three seconds at idle and restarts it instantly as soon as the throttle grip is twisted. It's seamless in use thanks to ACG and the swingback system that returns the crank to its position before air intake, and a decompression mechanism that negates cranking resistance from compression.
Updated for 2014, Idling Stop now has functionality to 'read' the battery charge and turns itself off to avoid excessive drain. The battery itself is also a larger, longlife unit, from YTZ7S to YTZ8V.
A VMatic wide-ratio continuously variable transmission employs a quiet, durable drive belt, manufactured from high-elasticity rubber, delivering efficient drive to the back wheel.