New 2021 Honda PCX Scooter Buyer’s Guide | MPG, Price, Top Speed Info + More!
| New 2021 PCX160 / PCX150 Changes = Added Performance and more… |
What started out as the PCX125 here in the USA, quickly morphed into the PCX150 with multiple changes throughout its run as one of Honda’s best selling scooters. Now, for 2021 Honda has taken the PCX150 that so many loved around the world and really created the best version of this scooter possible with many new changes from top to bottom. The 2021 PCX150, isn’t the 2021 PCX150 any longer as Honda has changed its name to just the 2021 Honda PCX. In some other corners of the world it is also being called the 2021 Honda PCX160 with them rounding up the engine size due to its new and larger displacement of 157cc. The previous PCX150 went through multiple engine variations ranging from 153cc, down to 149cc in 2019 to where we land at today with 157cc. We’ll dive more into all of those changes and more below on the new 2021 Honda PCX scooter and then I’ll offer my take on it at the bottom of the page and would love to hear your opinions too!
Key 2021 Honda PCX VS 2020 PCX150 Changes / Upgrades: The PCX gets significant upgrades that include new, elegant styling, advanced equipment and a larger, 157cc engine that is freeway-capable. A redesigned chassis further enhances the experience, offering reduced weight and improved cornering performance. Styling, convenience and safety are addressed through features including all-LED lighting, a larger, 30-liter under-seat storage compartment and Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) plus even more that we’ll get into below…
Quick 2021 PCX Info (for those in a hurry):
- 2021 Honda PCX Model Options / Variations:
- 2021 Honda PCX
- 2021 Honda PCX ABS (ABS comes as standard equipment for select countries but for the USA, it is an option)
- 2021 Honda PCX Price / MSRP: $3,799
- 2021 Honda PCX ABS Price / MSRP: $3,999
- 2021 Honda PCX Release Date: March 2021
- 2021 Honda PCX Colors: Pearl White
- 2021 Honda PCX Horsepower: 15.8 HP @ 8,500 RPM
- 2021 PCX VS 2020 PCX150 Horsepower Comparison:
- 2020 PCX150 15 HP @ 8,500 RPM
- 2021 PCX VS 2020 PCX150 Horsepower Comparison:
- 2021 Honda PCX Torque: 11.1 ft/lb TQ @ 6,500 RPM
- 2021 PCX VS 2020 PCX150 Torque Comparison:
- 2020 PCX150 10.3 TQ @ 6,500 RPM
- 2021 PCX VS 2020 PCX150 Torque Comparison:
- 2021 Honda PCX MPG: 106 Miles Per Gallon (45.2 km/l)
- 2021 Honda PCX Weight: 286 lbs (ABS 288 lbs)
- 2021 Honda PCX Fuel Tank Size / Capacity: 2.1 gallons
- 2021 Honda PCX Seat Height: 30.1 inches
- 2021 Honda PCX VS 2020 PCX150 Price Increase: +$100 (The 2020 PCX150 jumped from $3,699 to $3,799 on the 2021 PCX160)
- 2021 Honda PCX Changes: Yes, explained above and below…
2021 PCX Review Contents:
- 1. | Introduction / Overview
- 2. | Key Features
- 2.1 | Styling & Equipment
- 2.2 | Frame / Chassis / Suspension
- 2.3 | Engine
- 3. | Accessories
- 4. | My Opinion / Your Thoughts?
- 5. | Technical Specifications
1. Introduction / Overview
Always highlighted by a stylish design and enjoyable performance, Honda’s PCX lineup has long been the ideal choice for riders who want to have a little fun while getting around. Thanks to its liquid-cooled engine and smooth lines, the PCX turns heads wherever it goes, while also offering great range and considerable comfort through its well-tuned chassis and dual rear shocks, now featuring 3.7 inches of travel. With a light curb weight of 286 pounds, a nimble 51.7 inch wheelbase and a low 30.1 inch seat height, the PCX is an easygoing scooter that brings an element of enjoyment to any ride.
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.
Since it was introduced abroad in 2009, the PCX125 (as it was called then) has always been about a high-quality, relaxing scooter experience. It grew to a 150 in 2009, with the fuel-sipping eSP engine. LED lighting came five years later, and the PCX150 was first offered to U.S. customers in 2015. A new double-underbone frame structure offered an improved ride starting in 2018. For 2021, it has been renamed as the PCX.
2. Key Features
2.1 Styling & Equipment
- Bodywork completely redesigned
- New LED headlight features signature running light
- More room under the seat; USB charging socket in the glove box
- Smart Key operation of ignition and seat opening
A consistent design signature of the PCX scooter lineup has always been the bodywork – with its strong character line and ‘block’ primary paint color – flowing together as a whole, front to rear. For the 2021 update the theme continues – but bolder and crisper, with a heightened sense of the futuristic style that has always been part of the PCX appeal.
And full, premium LED lighting also sets the PCX apart from the crowd. The headlight is new and features a signature running light with 5 narrow flash lines positioned in parallel. It’s matched to an X-shaped taillight using multi-optic technology to give an intense, 3D effect.
The seat is contoured for both rider and passenger comfort and the footrest area was extended forward and outboard by 30 mm each, resulting in a riding position that is adaptable to riders of differing body sizes. Seat height comes in at 30.1 inches, but is very manageable with a ‘straddling’ height of 21.3 in.
The swooping lines also hide more storage capacity under the seat. An extra 2.4L brings the total volume up to 30.4L – perfect for a full-face helmet, and more.
A new, wider gauge setup has a high-visibility LCD display in the center and displays a wider range of easily readable information. As before, a fuel-consumption readout, clock, speedometer, odometer, trip meter and fuel gauge are all supplied, and now a low-battery voltage warning light and V-belt replacement time indicators have been added. The meter shape matches the scooter design’s relaxing image, and the three-dimensional bezel structure looks stylish even when the meter is not lit.
Wide, chrome handlebars are a PCX signature. Mounted in traditional clamps (with newly optimized rubber density) they offer excellent leverage around town and are a neat retro touch. The engine cover has also been redesigned to match the scooter’s design lines.
2.2 Frame / Chassis / Suspension
- New steel frame offers durability with nimble handling
- Twin rear shocks feature larger spring diameter and longer stroke, improving comfort
- Stylish new wheels complement the re-style; larger tire sizes enhance handling
Hidden beneath the PCX’s updated styling is a chassis with significant changes, aimed at reducing weight, improving handling and increasing the comfort for which this scooter was already known.
The new PCX has a redesigned duplex steel cradle frame designed to deliver the durability needed for the rigors of urban life, without losing the in-town maneuverability the PCX has always been famous for, plus its user-friendliness and relaxed riding position.
A simplified frame structure delivers a comfortable ride and good cornering performance by optimally balancing weight reduction and rigidity. Using CAE analysis, engineers optimized pipe diameters, material selection, material thickness and joint locations. The changes resulted in a weight reduction of over a tenth of a pound, aiding vehicle handling and maneuverability.
The rear grab rail has a new shape and thickness for improved passenger hand grip and reduced weight (.44 pounds). By cutting weight of components that are located far from the vehicle’s core engineers further centralize mass for improved handling and maneuverability.
Wheelbase is set at 51.7 in., with 26° 30’ rake and 79mm trail. Overall curb weight comes in at 286 lbs and the optional ABS system only adds 2 pounds, bumping it up to 288 lbs for the PCX with ABS. The aluminum wheels (14-inch front, 13-inch rear) have been completely redesigned with five Y-shaped spokes for optimum rigidity balance, contributing to a safe, comfortable, smooth ride. The tires have also been redesigned with a wider profile—100/80-14 front, 120/70-14 rear—and the increased air volume contributes to good linear handling performance and a comfortable ride.
The 31mm telescopic front forks now offer 3.9 inches of travel, while the twin rear shocks have 3.7 inches of suspension travel (up by .4 in.), and use heavier weight springs for a smoother ride on rough city streets.
Stopping power is provided by the twin-piston front caliper and 220mm disc, matched to a 130mm rear drum brake; an optional single-channel ABS system operates on the front brake for the PCX ABS model.
As before, the large 2.1 gallon fuel tank is located under the floorboard, contributing to a low center of gravity and enhanced riding traits.
- New, larger, more powerful eSP+ four-valve, water-cooled SOHC engine
- Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) also applied for 2021
- Piston-cooling oil jets—technology used in high-performance models like the CRF450R motocrosser—are adopted for 2021
- A number of friction-minimizing technologies maximize engine efficiency.
For 2021, the PCX gets a larger cylinder bore (up from 57.3 mm to 60.0) and a shorter stroke (down to 55.5 mm from 57.9), resulting in a 157cc displacement (up from 149cc). Not only is the new engine freeway-capable, but the short stroke reduces sliding friction and improves compression ratio (up from 10.6 :1 to 12.0:1) for enhanced power. Also, the PCX engine’s head now has a four-valve layout, enhancing intake and exhaust efficiency for improved power.
The 2021 Honda PCXs new, enhanced Smart Power Plus (eSP+) four-valve, water-cooled SOHC powerplant delivers 15.8 horsepower @ 8,500 RPM, with peak torque of 11.1 @ 6,500 RPM.
An additional technology, new to the PCX, to boost rider confidence in wet conditions and other situations with limited traction is Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) which works in the background to deftly manage rear wheel traction. The system monitors wheel-speed sensors and throttle opening and, when slip is detected, intervenes by limiting engine torque. A ‘T’ indicator flickers on the dash when HSTC is actively reducing wheelspin, and the system can be turned off completely.
Honda’s eSP+ low-friction technologies are found throughout the engine; clever packaging of items like the oil pump (which is built into the crankcase) help to further ensure efficiency. A compact combustion chamber and PGM-FI fuel injection – with 28mm diameter throttle body, 2mm larger – optimizes burning velocity and cooling performance. The inlet system has been redesigned and has a high-capacity 4.9 liter air cleaner.
The crankshaft has been redesigned to be more rigid, and a roller bearing was adopted, reducing the crankshaft flex generated by inertial force and combustion energy at high rpm. The result is reduced noise and vibration. An offset cylinder reduces friction caused by contact between piston and bore, efficiently transmitting combustion energy to the crankshaft. 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 new hydraulic cam chain tensioner further improves engine efficiencies by reducing internal vibrations and improving fuel economy.
Piston-cooling oil jets—technology used in high-performance models like the CRF450R motocrosser—are adopted for 2021. Engine oil is sprayed on the underside of the piston, aiding cooling and preventing knocking while also enabling ignition timing advance for enhanced power output. A number of friction-minimizing technologies maximize engine efficiency. For example, a new hydraulic lifter operates the cam-chain-tensioner so that the tensioner reduces chain vibration and mechanical noise, while improving fuel efficiency.
A 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. An optimized clutch – and pulleys – complement the performance increase. The transmission shaft has also been upsized, improving the clutch’s vibration characteristics for smoother acceleration from stops from Honda’s low-friction V-Matic automatic transmission.
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 PCX exhaust system has also been redesigned, with the catalyzer repositioned to better clean exhaust gases, allowing good power while protecting the environment.
A selection of genuine Honda Accessories are ready to customize the 2021 PCX150, including:
- Tall Windscreen
- Rear Trunk
- Trunk Base
- 1 Key Inner Cylinder
4. My Opinions / Your Thoughts?
Call me crazy… And most of my friends probably will if they read this but this little gem is something I’m looking forward to getting my hands on and riding the new 2021 Honda PCX (PCX160) scooter! I’m not what you might call a “scooter guy”. However, I can appreciate something that is a blast to monkey around on and that is something these small scooters are good at. I’ve been selling Honda scooters since 2007 and I’ve seen a few flops in my time, products I couldn’t wrap my head around whether it be due to their design or pricing or about a million other things. Being 100% honest, it’s not often that I can say Honda has been consistently killing it with a certain model and the changes they’ve introduced to it and all the while still keeping to its roots with pricing and not pricing it out of the market.
The Honda PCX scooter has been on a roll for many years now and it has been “good” since day one but they keep making it better and better. Honda didn’t just throw BNG (Bold New Graphics) on the PCX scooter for 2021, they went ham with loads of changes from top to bottom, to really make this scooter stand out even more. They didn’t just change a small thing here and there, they really put this bike under the scalpel as you can tell from the changes we talked about above. I have yet to ride the new 2021 PCX but I have ridden every model year to date and have seen the generational changes and see how they felt on the road and this one has me excited to throw a leg over it. I’ll be updating this page soon, after I get a chance to ride the 2021 PCX160 in April!
Quick and odd question while I have your attention. Does anyone else wonder why this is being called a 2021 model year when Honda released the 2022 Ruckus and Metropolitan scooters on the same day? Is it a big deal? No but it makes me curious as to what decisions go on behind the scenes to decide that. Their scheduled release dates are a month apart, the PCX in March and then the Ruckus / Metropolitan are slated for April. That one month delay doesn’t mean that is why though as on the same day that these were announced, Honda also announced the 2021 CBR300R with a scheduled release date for April. What makes one model announced on the same day and scheduled to release in the same month become a 2021 versus a 2022? Model year doesn’t matter to me but on multiple occasions over the years I have dealt with people that were stuck on model year and that it had to be the “most current” possible. I would explain to them that Honda doesn’t always do model year announcements that make sense lol and you might see a 2022 on the showroom floor in April of 2021 but for another model, you might not see the 2022 model year until March of 2022. Like I said, is it important? Nope. I am curious as to the behind-the-scenes on it all though so I could quit speculating as to why they make this decision versus that haha.
Also, what do you guys think about the new 2021 Honda PCX / PCX150 / PCX160 or whatever you want to call it haha? Did Honda do enough to convince you to stop by your local Honda scooter dealer and check one out in person?
5. 2021 PCX Pictures / Photo Gallery
5. Technical 2021 PCX Specifications
2021 Honda PCX Specifications (PCX150 / PCX160)
157cc liquid-cooled 80º single-cylinder four-stroke
OHC; four valves
|Bore x Stroke||60.0 mm x 55.5 mm|
Fuel injection; 28 mm throttle body
Automatic centrifugal dry type
31 mm telescopic fork; 3.9 in. travel
Twin shocks; 3.7 in. travel
Hydraulic w/ single 220 mm disc; 1-channel ABS
Hydraulic w/ single 220 mm disc
Mechanical w/ single 130mm drum; 1-channel ABS
Mechanical w/ single 130 mm drum
|Rake (Caster Angle)||
|Seat Height||30.1 in.|
|Ground Clearance||5.3 in.|
|Fuel Capacity||2.1 gal.|
* Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride Meets current EPA standard. Models sold in California meet current CARB standards and may differ slightly due to emissions equipment.