Honda has updated its lineup of PCX scooters with new frames, new engines and traction control. For the Japanese market, Honda will include a 124cc version (simply called the “PCX”) while the PCX 150 sees a displacement increase to 157cc to become the PCX 160. Honda will also offer the PCX e:HEV hybrid electric version which combines the 124cc engine with an electric motor in Japan.
At the moment, the updated PCX models have only been announced for Japan, but we expect American Honda to replace the PCX 150 in its lineup with the new 160 model. The 124cc model will likely continue to be offered in Europe, but the hybrid model will likely remain exclusive to Japan.
Visually, the new PCX is an evolution of the previous design, keeping a familiar profile but with some sharper edges. The seat height remains at the same 30.1-inch level as the 2020 PCX, while the foot boards have a new, longer shape. For the PCX and PCX 160, the underseat storage area now holds 7.9 gallons, compared to the previous model’s 7.3 gallons. On the PCX e:HEV, the lithium-ion battery takes up some of that storage space, reducing its capacity to 6.3 gallons.
The 2021 model range received a new four-valve “eSP+”, replacing the line’s previous two-valve “eSP” engine. Honda increased the size of the intake and throttle body diameter for improved efficiency, while the internal structure of the exhaust was optimized with a new catalyst design. Honda also added a hydraulic cam chain tensioner, claiming reduced friction, noise and vibration.
For the PCX 160, the Single-cylinder engine has a 60.0 mm bore and a 55.5 mm stroke compared to the 149cc engine’s 57.3 mm bore and 57.9 mm stroke, while the compression ratio increased to 12.0:1 from 10.6:1. Honda claims a maximum output of 15.8 hp at 8,500 rpm and 11.1 lb-ft. at 6,500 rpm, compared to the previous engine’s claimed 15.0 hp at 8,500 rpm and 10.3 lb-ft. at 6,500 rpm.
The 124cc version sold in Europe and other markets sees more modest changes. It shares the 160 engine’s 55.5 mm stroke but has a smaller 53.5 mm bore, making it more square than the previous model’s 52.4 mm x 57.9 mm. Claimed power output increases from 12 hp at 8,500 rpm to 12.5 hp at 8,750 rpm while the torque remains at a claimed 8.9 lb-ft, but it now arrives at 6,500 rpm instead of 5,000 rpm.
The hybrid model uses a 0.36 kW AC synchronous motor to assist the 124cc engine. Honda claims the motor provides 1.9 hp and and 3.2 lb-ft. of assistance.
The 2021 PCX models share a new frame with a simplified structure, maintaining rigidity balance while shaving of 1.6 pounds. The front wheel maintains the older models’ 14-inch diameter, but Honda replaced the 100/80-14 tire with a 110/70-14 rubber. At the rear, the new PCX uses a smaller 13-inch wheel with a 130/70 tire, compared to the previous model’s 14-inch wheel with 120/70 tire.
The suspension system remains similar to the previous models, with a telescopic fork and twin rear shocks. The 2021 PCX models are equipped with 220mm discs front and back, with a single-channel ABS on just the front wheel. Honda also equipped the new PCX models with a traction control system that adjusts the engine’s torque output to suppress rear wheel slip using data from speed sensors mounted on both wheels.
Other highlights include a new rubber handlebar mount, LCD display, a front storage area with a USB-C port and a remote smart key.
The PCX will be produced in Pearl Jasmine White, Candy Raster Red, Poseiden Black Metallic, Matte Dim Gray Metallic and Matte Cosmo Silver Metallic. The PCX 160 will have the same colors, except for the silver option. The PCX e: HEV will only be offered in Pearl Jasmine White with blue highlights.
Japanese pricing starts at 357,500 yen (US$3,430) for the PCX, 407,000 yen (US$3,900) for the PCX 160 and 448,800 yen (US$4,300) for the PCX e: HEV (all prices include a 10% consumption tax.)
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