2013 Honda PCX150
Property of drumsmack · Added May 2013
Location: Near Seattle, WA, US
Gone are the wild days of GSX-R600 titanium super-sport hyper-performance. Yes, I traded my 2004 “Buzz” the Gixxer for a 2013 Honda PCX 150.
The PCX is a freeway capable two seat scooter with enough zip to peak at 70mph, but rolls in style at the lower city / suburban interconnect speeds.
Lets face it, I go 50-55mph on the freeway in my car (Astro the Prius), so the PCX has all the gusto I need for commuting.
Howard's heart is a 153cc "Enhance Smart Power/ ESP) liquid cooled PGM-FI 4 stroke single that hums away with digital "Electronic Advance/ EA" ignition through a two valve SOCH head that exhausts with a PAIR, ECM, EGR, SCR-2Way clean emissions setup that produces about 13HP with ultra low emissions.
Power is transmitted to his rear wheel in a sealed belt driven automatic CVT type drive system that gives spry city acceleration along with frugal highway performance and around 100MPG's depending on riding style. This level of efficiency was achieved by redesigned the belt material and optimizing the bearings in the transmission to reduce friction. The final drive ratio is "CVT" and can vary from 3.7:1 to 0.8:1, essentially giving it the same ratio range as a 6 or seven speed conventional transmission.
The commuter friendly seating position is plush compared to the racing geometry of the Gixxer and with Meg on the back we can actually spoon ride now ;)
Unsurprisingly the shorter wheel base and smaller wheels gives the PCX nimble steering response akin to a pedal bicycle, while the highway rolling is corresponding less stable like a bicycle going at freeway speeds.
Howard has more than enough power to tow Meg and I up steep hills at 40+ mph, while cruising in traffic is a breeze with the automatic transmission. Even Meg will be able to operate this beast safely ;) once I train her well in the art of 2 wheel motorized transportation fashion.
Styling is a mixed bag and a far cry from the lust worthy sleek carved appearance of the foregone customized Gixxer. I feel like I lost a friend when I said Goodbye to buzz the Gixxer today. I know that he will make someone very happy with his spirited -1 rear gearing and power-commander/ K&N/ titanium yoshi combo. That said the under-seat storage, nav-mount friendly bars, plush seating position, stellar fuel economy, glove box, and high maneuverability give the PCX enough practicality pluses to out-way the cool factor of the Gixxer for my current and future purposes.
I spent 4 years on Buzz and had enough super-sport fun for the rest of my life. If I ever get another large bike it will be of the "adventure or touring/ cruiser geometry".
I must practice what I preach, and fuel economy has long been an interest of mine. In choosing to trade Buzz the Gixxer for Howard the Honda PCX I was reminded of choosing the Astro the Prius over a Subaru WRX. While the WRX is a much cooler car, the Prius is more “me”.
I am a nerdy energy conservation enthusiast, and the Gixxer was a quirk leftover from an era past when I was a motor-sports enthusiast with ICE zeal to spare. As you may well be able to tell, I still think about vehicles often :)
At only 286lbs ready to roll with a full tank of gas, Howard is a full 134lb's lighter than Buzz, and you can really feel it through the short wheel base and smaller wheel setup. Handling is fluid, crisp, and snappy like nothing else I have ever ridden. It dips and rolls effortlessly.
They sound completely different as well. Buzz the Gixxer got his name because of the “buzzy” engine noises emitted by the four individual throttle body stacks under his gas tank: the tight spring titanium valve setup in buzz let his heart race to a staggering 15,500 RPM's, and it made this delightful buzz when revved north of 5K, especially around 9K and 11K. Howard gets his name from his mild manner hum, which reminds me of the dull but comprehensible voice of an old man I once knew of the same name. You can hear Howards little engine sing, but the song it emits is soft enough to talk over easily, something that Meg and I enjoyed when riding together on Howard today.
Deep down I really wanted an electric super comfy touring cruiser bike with ultra long range, but those are clearly many years away from commercialization from a quality manufacturer like Honda.
For now my +1 is going from around 43MPG (Buzz's approximate average fuel economy) to north of 90MPG's and perhaps north of 100 if I am really frugal on the throttle positions. Range on a full tank is estimated at 160 miles, given the 1.6 gallon tank and estimated 102MPG's according to Honda. I will likely try to stick to fueling up every 100 miles for safety.
It is only my first day and I logged in just over 48 miles, so it will fun to see tomorrow when I fill up for the first time how the fuel economy turns out for the first tank. I expect it might be a little lower because the engine is still breaking in (for the first 600 miles). It will be an interesting summer. I plan to commute daily to work on Howard the Honda when the weather is fair. I will alternate between Howard and Ebert the Electric Bicycle. Ebert's profile is not on her because he consumes only a little tiny bit of electricity (to charge his 36v 12AH 430Wh Li Iron Phosphate battery)
Onward with Howard the PCX, Astro the Prius, Ebert the Electrified Bike and Schwinger the pedal only Bicycle.
*** Day 2 Update
Not done today, but logged in 116.5mi at my first fill up, using 1.176 gal of shells finest regular unleaded pump gas. When driven to keep up with traffic it appears to be super fuel efficient :)
*** Day 3 and 4 Update
After my second gas fill up I was smiling from ear to ear. Gas prices just shot up in my area, and having Howard in my fleet is a real pleasure :) Fun to operate and highly efficient! Well done Honda, Well Done!
- $3.43 Avg. Price/Gallon
- $4.35 Avg. Price/Fuel-up
- $0.040 Avg. Price/Mile
- $4.35 Total Spent
Cost Analysis 2014
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Potential Savings Per Fuel-up
Using the last fuel-up as a guide, here's what this vehicle could have saved with better mileage.
1.3 Extra Miles
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3.8 Extra Miles