Rear Seats on PCX
First, I climbed on the PCX's rear seat. This was my first experience getting on behind a woman rider who was already astride a bike or, in this case, scooter. The PCX's low seat and easy reach to the ground left Risa, who stands 168cm tall, with nothing lacking in the way of confidence sitting on and holding up the . However, when I, at 180cm tall and weighing 85kg, swung my leg over the rear seat, which sits a bit higher than the rider's seat, I first worried that my extra weight might topple over the scooter. However, Risa said that she wasn't particularly bothered when I got on. My immediate impression was that the PCX not only offers an easy reach to the ground, but also excellent balance in that situation, indicating that the engineers designed it for a solid foot plant, which would be an important factor for commuters, as well as added peace-of-mind when a rider sits on the seat and places his or her feet on the ground. If the bike were to lurch here, then the rider might get overly nervous, even on the move.
We started our ride on a busy street. Soon after turning at the first intersection, we stopped at a red light. I asked Risa if she was okay, and she replied, "This is easier than I thought it would be, with fewer distractions."
That sounded good, so I concentrated on evaluating the ride on the rear seat.
The instant I sat down, I discovered the seat's surface area and fit to be good. The fold-out passenger steps are shaped to integrate nicely with the scooter's stylish good looks, and flip out easily for passenger use. The steps are positioned for a comfortable seating position, and contribute greatly to the PCX's overall sense of stability. However, while waiting for the light to change, I found I had to take care not to let the toes of my boots bump into the rider's (Risa's) lower leg. When on the move, there was no contact at all.
Under acceleration, I felt that the seat offered an appropriate mix of firmness and shock absorption to securely support my weight. Further, the space at the front and rear seemed well separated to keep me from interfering with Risa's riding. There was also ample seating area forward and back to allow me to move my bottom around and not get locked into one, eventually uncomfortable position.
The stylish, boomerang-shaped tail section surrounding the back of the seat also doubles as the grab rail, and its attractive form lends a sporty touch to the PCX's overall body design. Also impressive is the detailed consideration given to the design of often overlooked parts, including the ergonomic shaping of this tail section to give it a comfortable hand hold that's easy to wrap one's fingers around at virtually any position without any limitations. That played a big part in reducing fatigue by allowing me to sit in a relaxed posture, particularly when combined with the spacious rear seating area, which offered ample room front and rear to shift my weight during acceleration and braking.
When we came to a bumpy stone-paved road, I found the PCX offered a much more comfortable ride than I first expected, including both its suspension and engine response. Being able to comfortably ride tandem through town is an important feature in a commuter. The ride was remarkably smooth, without feeling any unpleasant engine vibration or rough bumps in the road through my bottom. In fact, it was so smooth that I felt I could relax and ride forever in these conditions. The view from the rear seat wasn't bad, either. I was again reminded that the rear seat's comfort depends on a combination of good positioning, sufficient seating space, etc., which all come together to determine a bike's overall strengths.
Risa noted, "I was surprised to find that the PCX was quite a bit easier to ride than I first thought it would be." As you know, she was riding a mid-sized scooter with a big 85kg man sitting behind her. She continued, "My riding position while carrying a passenger was remarkably relaxed. Since the PCX is only a 150cc-class scooter, I prepared myself to feel cramped with a passenger behind me, but its surprising spaciousness made it easy to maneuver. I also expected that riding double on this class of scooter would be slow and difficult, but the engine had enough power available that I felt that even two-up touring on it might be possible. Creating a positive mood is one of the most important factors of bike performance.
I've ridden pillion on other makes of scooter in the same class before. One time, it was a two-up ride with two sizeable men on the bike, and when I climbed onto the rear seat, the front of the scooter became noticeably lighter and appeared to be somewhat unstable. Because of this, I still remember straining my hands to hold onto the skinny grab bar, and gripped it so hard that it hurt my fingers.
And although the size of the seat itself was not especially small, it seemed to transmit engine vibration and rear suspension movement more directly to the rear saddle than to the rider's seat. If issues like this are not made clear, it makes me feel uneasy. Honestly, I didn't feel like riding double again after that experience. Even 125cc-class models have such large differences between people wanting to ride them and not wanting them at all. Is this only due to differences in cost? No, differences in manufacturer's consideration play a big part, a factor which became instantly clear this day.
This bike is the naked version of the CBR250R, and its wedge-like shape reveals impressive sports bike-like styling. Its rear seat is also slightly taller than the rider's seat.Next