Why you want it?
The fact that it’s consistently been one of the UK’s best selling powered two wheelers since its introduction to the UK in 2010 says it all really. Honda hit the nail on the head with the PCX and it has been a global sensation. It’s been Europe’s best selling 125 since 2013 with gazillions made and sold worldwide since production began in late 2009.
Practical, stylish, and cheap to run, the PCX offers a great balance between the cheap (and often not so cheerful) stuff from China and high end luxury scooters such as the Vespa GTS125, Yamaha XMAX and Honda’s own Silverwing and Forza. It’s the perfect urban commuter and can be ridden on L plates, as it’s A1 licence (learner) legal. With a 60mph top speed making it capable enough for short stretches of dual carriageway work, there are few cheaper or more practical ways to get to work each day.
The slightly dull looks may mean that it lacks the youthful appeal of some other scoots on the market, but the upside is that the PCX tends to attract a more sensible type of owner and have avoided the whole tuning scene.
Spec is good, belying the Honda’s mid-range price point, with the unusual 14” wheel size offering a plusher and more stable ride than the 13” items adopted by most of its rivals. The linked brakes are also unique to the Honda, but work well and combine with the smooth automatic transmission to make the PCX a cinch to operate for inexperienced riders.
Along with a robust four-stroke engine and Honda’s legendary reputation for reliability and dealer support, the PCX125 should be high on the list riders looking for a cheap and practical set of wheels.
Honda may have been late to the party when it comes to producing a cheap and practical 125cc four stroke scooter (Yamaha’s Majesty 125 had been a best seller since 1996) but the recipe for the PCX was pretty much spot on right out of the box.
Despite being built to a very competitive price point, there are no particular mechanical weak spots with the PCX125 – hardly surprising considering Honda’s world class reputation for build quality and reliability.
As with all scooters, cosmetics can take a hammering so look out for scruffy bikes and adjust prices accordingly. Exhausts and some bolts are known to suffer from light rusting, but this is usually only a cosmetic issue. Problems with rusting around the centre stand area have been reported on some early bikes, but even this does not appear to be particularly common.
Plastics are easily damaged on bikes that live in the hustle and bustle of the city and are expensive to replace. The panels can give a good indication of the life a PCX has had and the care that has been lavished on it by previous owners. Examples that have spent their lives outdoors will understandably be more weather worn than those that have been tucked up in a garage, but there’s still a big difference between a well loved example and an abused one.
As always, speaking to the seller and a look at any service records is vital before committing to purchase. The best bikes will have been serviced every 2500 miles and will have plenty life left in the consumables (tyres, brake pads etc.) – knackered ones won’t.
Production began in late 2009 for the 2010 model year and the first major change came for 2012, when the engine was updated with Honda’s eSP (enhanced Smart Power) technology that was claimed to reduce emissions, improve fuel economy and run quieter. This engine featured a brushless Alternating Current Generator (ACG) starter which not only helped to reduce the engine size and start-up noise, it also allowed Honda to introduce stop-start technology to the PCX, cutting out the engine at standstill to reduce emissions and further increase fuel economy.
The PCX underwent a fairly significant update for 2014, which sharpened up the styling and increased the spec quite significantly. These second generation models are more desirable and feature LED lights and a new instrumentation pack that now included a clock. There was also a 12v charger in the glovebox and redesigned saddle, without the integrated back rest between the rider and pillion seat. Low resistance tyres saw Honda claim improved fuel consumption figures, with a new eight litre fuel tank (up from 5.9) increasing range to an impressive 230 miles between fill ups.
The very nature of the way they get used means that there’s always going to be a big variance in the condition of 125cc scooters coming onto the second hand market. The PCX appeals to everyone from the ‘one lady owner’ using their scooter for occasional short trips to delivery couriers hammering around London on a daily basis. With that in mind, it’s always best to pay based on condition rather than age and, to a lesser extent, mileage.
Scruffy early bikes with high mileage (30,000 upwards) can be had for around a grand, with tidier sub-10,000 mile examples fetching around £1300 privately.
New bikes are currently listed at £2,699 and can usually be had on a competitive PCP deal, so it’s worth taking that into consideration before spending too much on a used example. If the budget can stretch to it, we’d say that around £1800 should secure you a tidy, low mileage, 12-18 month old example with plenty of service left in it.