The ever-popular PCX125 scooter gets a complete style upgrade for 2018, with natural new contours interspersed among the traditional PCX flowing design lines. It also receives a new tubular steel duplex cradle frame, new wheels and tyres and an upgraded rear suspension. Plus ABS, and an engine that produces more peak power while maintaining outstanding fuel efficiency.
The PCX125 is one of the quiet success stories of Honda’s two-wheeled line-up, having clocked up sales of over 140,000 units in Europe since its arrival in 2010. Its success is down to a formula Honda has had many years’ experience in perfecting: its strong, modern design allows it to slip elegantly into a style-conscious urban lifestyle, while compact dimensions ensure it can plot a path through busy traffic – and park – with ease.
The sit-in riding position, underseat storage for a full-face helmet and all-round build quality provide the ‘X’ level of Personal Comfort which give the PCX its name. And not to forget, outstanding value for money – both at purchase and throughout ownership – has always helped underpin the PCX’s popularity.
In 2010, the PCX was the first two-wheeler in Europe to feature Idling Stop technology; two years later it became the first scooter in Europe to use Honda’s ultra-efficient enhanced Smart Power (eSP) engine. In 2016 it gained EURO4 compliance and now, to keep ahead of the pack in an ultra-competitive marketplace, for 2018 the PCX125 is receiving a major design update, brand new chassis and more power for its engine.
- Model Overview
Eye-catching looks have always been key to the PCX125’s appeal, and for its 2018 upgrade upgrade natural contours and subtle chamfers give an even stronger substance to its trademark ‘flowing’ style. But there’s function too; more freedom to move for the rider, increased underseat carrying capacity and crisp LCD instrumentation to match the LED head and tail-lights.
A new tubular steel duplex frame maintains the PCX’s around-town agility while improving handling; redesigned wheels save weight, and wear larger tyres. The shock absorbers feature tri-rate springs and extended travel.
While maintaining its outstanding fuel efficiency, the engine makes more peak power, thanks to redesigned airbox, inlet and exhaust, without sacrifices at the bottom of the rpm range.
- Key Features
3.1 Styling & Equipment
- New style blends natural curves into the PCX’s flowing design
- Strong visual identity from new LED headlight and position lights
- New, smart, easy-to-read inverse LCD instrumentation
A design signature of the PCX125 has always been the bodywork – with its strong character line and ‘block’ primary paint colour – flowing together as a whole, front to rear.
The new PCX125 expands on the theme, and employs new, natural contours of continuously varying curves, delivering a strong visual statement with an upmarket feel. Again, the smooth, large areas are painted in the primary colour and link front to rear without interruption, and the lower bodywork is also much more integrated into the overall styling.
Another detail redesign is the engine cover and airbox inlet, which are styled together as integrated parts. Finished in metallic silver, the engine cover emphasizes a solid mechanical strength; above it a black cover – which incorporates the air inlet – is elegantly shaped with a mixture of firm lines and softer curves.
From the front, the PCX125 also stakes out a strong identity; the LED headlights and razor-thin position lights slant independently upwards, with LED indicators discreetly filling out the upper, outer tips. This new ‘face’ also changes subtly between high and low beam. The slim LED rear tail light/indicator unit is still two-tiered, but larger in size for increased visibility.
The rider’s view of the cockpit has been enhanced – the use of black against chrome around the handlebars adds a premium touch, as do chromed, tapered handlebar bar ends. The large left hand fairing pocket will easily hold a water bottle or drinks can and now has an extended lid (compared to the old design) to allow the rider to access the contents easily. It also contains a 12V AC adaptor.
Seat height is up 4mm to 764mm, but still very manageable with a ‘straddling’ height of 540mm; the new bodywork allows the floor area to extend forward, giving more legroom. Both the seat and fuel lid are opened via one-touch switches (the seat itself has a sprung hinge, so it stays up when open) and the ignition has a key shutter for extra security.
Internal capacity of the underseat storage has been increased 1L to 28L, with no increase in body width, and will easily hold a full-face helmet. The owner’s manual and tool kit are now located on the underside of the seat.
A new central console design presents all the information neatly and concisely in an easy-to-read format. An inverted LCD displays the speed, while other information available includes odometer, trip meter, fuel gauge, average fuel consumption and Idling Stop indicator.
The 2018 PCX125 will be available in four colour options:
Pearl Cool White
Pearl Nightstar Black
Matt Carbonium Grey Metallic
Pearl Splendor Red
- Brand new steel duplex frame design
- Rear shock absorbers moved back, with upgraded springs and longer stroke
- Lighter 8-spoke wheels replace the 5-spoke design
- Larger tyres improve handling and fuel economy
The 2018 PCX125 has a new chassis; the tubular steel ‘underbone’ design of the previous model has been replaced with a full steel duplex cradle.
This has improved the machine’s handling ability and feel, without losing the in-town manoeuvrability the PCX has always been famous for, plus its user-friendliness and relaxed riding position. Also (for the first time on a Honda scooter) a plastic main fairing stay has replaced the steel structure used before; this, and the frame redesign has shaved 2.4kg from the structure, further aiding agility.
Wheelbase is 2mm shorter at 1,313mm, and steering geometry remains the same, with 27° rake and 86mm trail. Overall kerb weight is 130kg. Both front and rear wheels are lighter and use thinner rims, with an 8-spoke (rather than 5-spoke) design.
The front also employs a hollow hub; it weighs 7% less (0.2kg) while the rear saves 11% (0.5kg). Tyre sizes are also larger, 100/80-14 front and 120/70-14 rear (as opposed to 90/90-14 and 100/90-14) and combined with the new wheels not only ensure lighter handling but also contribute to the improved fuel economy through reduced tyre deflection.
The 31mm front forks are unchanged with 89mm axel travel, but the rear shock absorbers are re-sited more towards the rear of the machine; they now use tri-rate (rather than dual) springs for a smoother ride, whether on rough city streets or out of town.
Stopping power is provided by the two piston caliper 220mm front disk brake, and 130mm rear drum brake; single-channel ABS operates on the front brake.
- Produces more peak power with no loss of bottom-end torque
- New intake and exhaust design delivers the high-rpm gain
- Fuel economy of 112 mpg gives a 250 mile tank range
The SOHC, liquid-cooled two-valve 125cc enhanced Smart Power (eSP) engine powering the PCX125 offers compact durability with excellent performance away from the lights plus quiet, smooth operation and reduced CO2 production.
At this stage of its development more power at high rpm – with no loss of torque down low – was the target for improved performance in higher speed ranges. Peak power is now up .4 bhp to 12.05 bhp @ 8,500rpm, with peak torque of 11.8Nm @ 5,000rpm.
To achieve the gain the airbox now has a 1L larger volume than the previous design (achieved thanks to the rear shocks moving backward). The intake is positioned to the left and the location and profile of internal parts has been revised to allow the smoothest airflow path possible.
Up 2mm to 26mm diameter the throttle body also takes in more air, while the exhaust internals have been optimised to improve flow and feature a larger, three-way catalyser.
The compact radiator – integrated into the exterior of the right-side crankcase – uses a new shroud design with a larger volume at the two exhaust ports to improve transmission of hot air. This enhancement means a smaller fan – down 7mm to 125mm in diameter, with revised blade shaping – delivers highly efficient cooling without the need for a larger radiator to deal with the extra heat generated by the increased power.
Also redesigned are the left side crankcase and the drive/driven pulley wheels of the V-Matic continuously variable transmission, which are now larger and feature revised profiles expanding the range of gear ratios. This change maintains acceleration in the low-speed range (compared to the previous model) and delivers linear – and stronger – acceleration at mid- to high-speed. It also reduces belt friction, which contributes to the outstanding 47.6km/litre fuel efficiency (without Idling Stop, WMTC mode). This results in a tank range of over 400km thanks to the 8.0 litre tank.
Selectable Idling Stop automatically stops the engine running after three seconds at idle and re-starts it instantly as soon as the throttle grip is twisted. It’s seamless in use thanks to ACG and the swing-back system that returns the crank to its position before air intake, and a decompression mechanism that negates cranking resistance from compression.
The Idling Stop system has functionality to ‘read’ the battery charge and turn itself off to avoid excessive drain. The battery itself is a large, long-life YTZ8V unit.
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.
Greatly contributing to the engine’s fuel economy and performance is its layout, which is built around a host of low-friction technologies. An offset cylinder reduces friction caused by contact between piston and bore, efficiently transmitting combustion energy to the crankshaft. A compact combustion chamber and optimised ignition timing combines with efficient cooling of the combustion chamber to aid resistance to ‘knocking’. Bore and stroke is set at 52.4 x 57.9mm, with compression ratio of 11.0:1.
A ‘spiny’ cast-iron 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 range of accessories are available for the 2018 PCX125, including windshield, 35 litre top box, top box carrier, U-lock, heated grips and outdoor scooter cover.