HONDA PCX125 (2018 - 2021) Review


  • It’s surprisingly sprightly
  • Tested 105.1mpg fuel economy
  • Ideal alternative to public transport

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.4 out of 5 (4.4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £40
Power: 12 bhp
Seat height: Low (30.1 in / 764 mm)
Weight: Low (287 lbs / 130 kg)


New N/A
Used £2,500 - £2,700

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

It’s hard not to like the Honda PCX 125. Available for a quid shy of £3000, or £85 a month over three years on finance, it is a surprisingly nippy, practical urban transport solution for little more than your monthly phone contract. 

The PCX arrived back in 2010 and has received a number of incremental updates since. For 2018, Honda gave the bike a complete overhaul, with a new tubular steel frame, wheels, tyres and revised rear suspension. ABS was also added, and more power was squeezed from the 125cc engine.

Well priced and practical, it’s little wonder that Honda have sold more than 140,000 across Europe during the past decade – a trend that shows no sign of easing. For example, in June 2020 alone, the PCX out sold the BMW R1250GSA at a ratio of 2.37 to one – with 445 registrations across the country, compared to 188 GSs.

A front view of the Honda PCX125

With 28 litres of storage under the seat - enough go to keep up on the commute - and a tested MPG figure of 105.1, it makes sense for inner-city dwellers looking to ditch the train or bus, as well as those travelling from commuter settlements on the outskirts of town.

This is because - on top of being practical – it's fast enough for a quick blast along a dual carriageway without putting yourself in unnecessary danger. What’s more, tiny BMX-like proportions and predictable handling make it serious fun along a tight lane and instantly transforms any greying slice of urban sprawl into your own private kart track – all within the speed limit. 

That said, the half-pint Honda is not without fault, with the two-piston, ABS-equipped front brake lacking any real feel, the under seat storage unable to successfully swallow this tester’s full face helmet - despite Honda claiming it will - and the rudimentary non-adjustable rear shocks tying themselves in knots as soon as you push hard.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

As you might expect from a sub-three-grand commuter, the suspension and brakes on the Honda PCX 125 are pretty basic. For 2018 the non-adjustable 31mm forks remained unchanged, however the positioning of the rear shocks were moved rearwards and the spring rate raised.

With a twist and go transmission, there’s no shifter or clutch to worry about, meaning your levers are left for braking in much the same way as a push bike. Weighing just 130kg wet and equipped with a seat height of just 764mm, it also feels like a motorised BMX when you ride it, too. 

This low weight has been achieved in a number of ways, including a new tubular steel chassis, which shaves 2.4kg off the previous bike’s waistline. Lighter eight-spoke rims take over from the previous model’s five-pronged designs and lose a further 0.7kg combined, too. These also wear larger tyres (up from 90/90 x 14 and 100/90 x 14, respectively) which work with the 2mm shorter wheelbase to inspire quick changes of direction in town, ideal for filtering through heavy congestion.

The Honda PCX125 is great for beating the congestion

With an ABS-equipped two-piston caliper up front, biting onto a 220mm disc and a 130mm drum on the rear, stopping power is adequate for its size, however the front set-up lacks any kind of feel, halting the bike vaguely and inspiring limited confidence in an experienced rider. However, it’s possible that this gentle set-up has been devised for novices, who are likely to purchase a PCX with a CBT certificate, as an alternative transport solution, rather than a machine for pleasure.

Ten minutes aboard the bike and it’s obvious the rear drum is far more effective and, when combined with the front, it stops quickly and safely, with even the hardest yank on the front end not troubling the ABS. Overzealous grabs of the rear will see the back wheel lock up though, which is brilliant fun, but could catch out an unsuspecting novice quite easily.

Around town, the non-adjustable suspension is perfectly acceptable, absorbing smaller bumps with efficiency – helped further by the well-padded seating. That said, harsher bumps in the tarmac are met with a notable crash from the rear end, which bounces beneath you like a gymnast’s trampette – transferring some of the energy into your lower back for good measure. For the majority of urban riding, it’s totally fine, but hit a speedbump or pothole at pace and you’re definitely going to know about it.

The suspension also begins to unravel when you take the PCX out of its comfort zone and venture into the countryside. With predictable, novice-friendly handling and impressive Michelin City Grip rubber hugging the tarmac, it’s surprisingly good fun. 

Unfortunately, it’s all slightly let down by that rear end, which really starts to wallow beneath you as you bank over at speed. Never too far out of its depth, it can actually add to the riding dynamic and inspire some proper jaw-aching cheesy grins in your helmet. That said, I wouldn’t want to push my luck too far with it and – seeing as it’s not actually what the bike is designed for – it would be unfair to criticise it too harshly for such a performance.

The front brake is ABS-equipped


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Powered by a 125cc twist-and-go single-cylinder engine, don’t expect the Honda PCX 125 to rip your arms off when pulling away from the lights. Don’t assume that it will be too slow for modern traffic, however, as the 12bhp available is more than enough to keep up and stay ahead in and around town, as well as hold its own on faster multi-lane roads. 

For 2018, Honda increased the airbox volume by a litre, which was achievable by moving the rear shocks. From here, the location and internals within the intake were revised to improve airflow. Elsewhere, the throttle body diameter was increased by 2mm and the exhaust tweaked with the inclusion of a bigger, three-way cat.

With peak power now up by 0.4bhp, it’s actually below 35mph where the Honda is most impressive – thanks to an excellent pick-up at the bottom end that allows you to buzz away from a standstill way faster than the surrounding car drivers.

A side view of the Honda PCX125

Right the way through to the top of the speedo, the fuelling is excellent and there are no jolts or splutters to be found anywhere. It’s also very quiet, which is handy with tightening restrictions on motorcycle noise in some urban spaces. In fact, at tick-over it is barely audible at all, with the lunch box-sized engine producing a gentle throb through the spongey seat just to remind you it’s on. Oddly, this vibration disappears as soon as you activate the rear brake and is unnoticeable once on the move.

On top of offering enough poke to keep you ahead of the masses, the engine in the PCX is incredibly frugal. After 90 dry miles of giving it a thoroughly good pasting, it had glugged just 3.84 litres (or £4.22) of fuel – equating to an MPG figure of 105.1 and a potential range of 185 miles from its eight-litre tank.

More than enough to cover most people’s weekly travel - with a higher figure likely achievable with solely inner-city use - it’s economical and offers a potentially massive saving on monthly train and bus fares. You try and travel 90 miles for four quid on either of those…

This figure is helped by the addition of stop-start technology. A feature on the bike since it was introduced in 2010, it cuts the engine after three seconds on idle and activates again as soon as you twist the throttle grip. If that’s not your cup of tea, the whole system can be deactivated via a switch on the right ‘bar, however with the engine so quiet and the response so quick, you barely notice it in action anyway.

The Honda PCX 125 top speed is 70mph or thereabouts. It isn't ideal for motorways. 

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Despite the affordable price tag, the Honda PCX 125 feels incredibly well put together, with a new, flowing set of plastics to boot. With a wide, mini-maxi-scooter front fairing encasing your legs and flowing lines throughout, there are no unwanted panel gaps and the paint is finished with typical Honda excellence, glinting back at you with the sparkle of a thousand metallic flakes. 

It also feels like it will stand the test of time, with thick plastic Fisher-Price switch gear reminiscent of the CB500 range and a reassuring click to close the seat and open and shut the front left storage compartment – ideal for carrying fluids on our scorching test day. Our particular test bike had covered just shy of 1000 miles and there were minimal signs of ageing, with no visible signs of corrosion.

This good build quality is reflected in our previous 2010-on Honda PCX125 review too, with many of you sharing your thoughts and awarding strong marks overall, and for reliability. Granted that is for a previous design, however there is nothing to suggest that the ownership experience on this machine will be any different, with this current iteration having already been in production for the best part of two years.

Stop start tech arrived on the PCX125 in 2010

That said, the fuel flap located between the rider’s legs feels flimsy and I would personally like some kind of confirmation that the filler cap is on properly, rather than simply a half twist to reset its position, without any sort of click. These are both picky details though.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
5 out of 5 (5/5)

Being a 125cc scooter you can ride on L-plates, it’s likely that the PCX will be as cheap to insure as it is to run and purchase - or indeed if you take out a Honda PCX 125 finance deal. That said, being a lightweight, practical steed, popular with city riders, they are at risk of theft, meaning some densely populated areas, like central London, could command a higher premium.  

It also means you should play close attention to a bike’s history if buying used; checking to see if it’s previously been pinched, or damaged in anyway. That said, with so many PCXs now sold, sourcing spare parts online shouldn’t be too difficult. 

Besides that, as with any new Honda, there is a two-year warranty and customers can enjoy a strong dealer network. Using the firm’s fixed service plans, the first three check-ups could be yours for just £375, too. The first of these services comes at 600 miles and then it’s every 4000 miles, or annually.

Under seat storage on the Honda PCX125

On top of this, it’s also priced really well alongside its main rivals; the £3174 Yamaha NMAX 125, £4249 Kawasaki J125 and £2299 Suzuki Address 110 – which although cheaper, offers less performance, storage and weather protection than the PCX. Consequently, the Honda continues to out-sell the rest, with MCIA statistics showing 2840 UK registrations in 2019 and 2333 in 2018 - taking the scooter top spot every time.

It’s not just other scooters that you need to consider here though, with the Honda PCX 125 offering a serious alternative to public transport. Granted, it’s not going to replace a two-hour train ride into London, but for shorter commutes on anything but motorways, it could present a serious saving of both time and money – not to mention inject a serious dose of fun into your daily trip to work.


4 out of 5 (4/5)

You get a surprising amount for your money on the PCX 125. Between its grown-up plastics and mid-sized 14in wheels, complete with decent Michelin rubber, there is an updated LCD display, decent screen, stop-start tech and enough under seat storage for your daily office supplies.

Starting up front, the LCD dash holds your speed, fuel gauge, live MPG and trip and is visible in all light conditions, thanks to the gently tinted plastic screen protruding from the top of the front fairing, which shades it from the light and ensures maximum visibility.

On top of this, it also does an excellent job of deflecting the wind, with gentle blasts up to 60mph resulting in next to no buffeting to the rider. What’s more, if you fancy maximising your terminal velocity, you can also tuck right in behind it for a couple of extra mph right at the top end.

The Honda PCX125 gets LED lighting

The mirrors are excellent, with the vibe-free motor meaning the traffic behind you is almost always clearly visible. Behind them sits a set of upright chromed handlebars, which are again finished nicely and place the rider in a conventional, relaxed position, with plenty of leg room for taller riders to feel comfortable.

Moving backwards, beneath the cushioning riders’ seat is a 28-litre storage area (up one litre from the old model, without widening the bodywork), which clicks open via a switch below the ignition – the seat moving up all the way to the bars for maximum ease of loading. An impressive amount of storage for such a small machine, despite claims of being able to store a full-face helmet, this tester’s Shark Race R Pro did not fit. That said, almost no PCX owners will use a track helmet and the elongated shape and aero spoiler will have hampered its ability to close. Still, it’s disappointing.

Away from the storage, Honda have also taken steps to protect the bike from thieves. Switching off the bike and locking the steering, once the key is removed a metal blanking plate swoops across to protect the ignition barrel.

A simple, yet potentially bike-saving system, it is deactivated using a secondary key located on the back of the plastic housing, which slots into a separate hole next to the ignition barrel. Although useful, it will not make the bike fully theft-proof and we would recommend carrying a sturdy chain and lock. This is especially important on a bike weighing 130kg wet, meaning it could be picked up and chucked into a van by two people in a matter of seconds.


Engine size 125cc
Engine type Single-cylinder, liquid cooled SOHC four-stroke
Frame type Tubular steel
Fuel capacity 8 litres
Seat height 764mm
Bike weight 130kg
Front suspension 31mm telescopic fork, non-adjustable
Rear suspension Twin shocks, non-adjustable
Front brake 1 x 220mm disc, two-piston caliper, ABS
Rear brake 130mm drum
Front tyre size 100/80 x 14
Rear tyre size 120/70 x 14

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 105.1 mpg
Annual road tax £25
Annual service cost £40
New price -
Used price £2,500 - £2,700
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 12 bhp
Max torque 8.7 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 185 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2010: Model launched – a 125cc four-stroke commuter scooter, complete with stop start technology – the first of its kind in Europe.
  • 2014: PCX updated for new bodywork, full LED lighting and a 12V AC adaptor. Honda also claimed greater fuel efficiency of 133.8mpg and over 230 miles of tank range.
  • 2016: Honda PCX125 becomes Euro4 compliant, thanks to tweaks to the twist-and-go engine.
  • 2018: New frame, new wheels, new tyres and upgraded rear suspension – repositioned with spring rate altered for greater compliance. ABS added to front wheel, plus more peak power from the engine.

Other versions

There are no other versions of the Honda PCX125 available.

Owners' reviews for the HONDA PCX125 (2018 - 2021)

5 owners have reviewed their HONDA PCX125 (2018 - 2021) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your HONDA PCX125 (2018 - 2021)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Engine: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.4 out of 5 (4.4/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Equipment: 4.4 out of 5 (4.4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £40
4 out of 5 cheap well made transport
02 January 2024 by keefo

Version: ww

Year: 2018

Annual servicing cost: £50

The best features of this scooter for me is the running costs, I average 120 MPG riding 20 miles a day riding at an average of 50MPH, everything is easy to get to and self service. The worst thing is the lack of space for a full sized lid, the power of the bike feels a bit lacking on anything other than a 40MPH road.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

The scoot has a low center of gravity and a predictable turning circle. the chrome handlebars are wide enough to make changing direction easy. The suspension is plush and easy on the backside until you hit a pothole, you then get an almighty smack in the spine from the cheap rear springs. The front suspension has little travel but for smoothish roads its fine, One thing To note is the fork stanchions do get rusty without a little wd 40 on the upper bits, its quite easy to not spot as you cant really see them without making an effort to look. Brakes are adequate although the rear is a bit wooden and not really much cop, the front stops you fairly well with a good yank, the abs is a bit pointless on such an underpowered machine but it might be good for newbies in the wet.

Engine 4 out of 5

not the most powerful engine, it gets wheezy after 45 MPH and for me 60MPH had it begging for mercy, the bike really shines at anything up to 40 pulling away cleanly. one thing to note is the bike can pull away really jerky from cold and occasionally when hot, the fix is to give it a big handful off the lights as the clutch pads glaze up a bit and slip inside the bell housing causing jerky movement from a standstill. The engine is incredibly smooth and purrs along at sensible speeds keeping the mirrors vibe free and your hands happy on the bars

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Overall build is decent, only a few rusty bolts holding the rear mud guard that I have seen, I did use some straight to rust hammerite spray paint underneath the frame as there was a small bit of rust forming, the paint has stopped this. The exhaust would benefit from the odd bit of High temp spray paint underneath the bike as it goes orange quite quickly. my biggest annoyance was the silver swing arm on the exhaust side, it is just rough ally that looks awful after a winter, Honda should have really painted this as it really makes the bike look neglected when it gets all furred up. No mechanicals so far apart from the clutch pads glazing up causing jerkiness pulling away from the lights.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

the service book calls for an oil change every 4000 miles but that seems a bit conservative for something that only holds a shade under 1 liter of oil, for the sake of a tenner I do it every 2000, the gearbox oil is cheap and gets changed every 4000. Spark plugs are expensive as you need to buy a specific one for high efficiency engines. Air filters do get dirty being so low to the floor but aftermarket ones work well (hiflow green) getting the air box off is a pain as the book wants you to remove the side floor skirt to access all the screws, (You can get it off without doing this but be prepared to use some small pliers holding a 1/4 inch screwdriver tip to get to the one just in front of the variator airflow inlet, there is a small hole by the rear pegs to fit a screwdriver to get the last one.Insurance for the first year was expensive at £240 for a 38 year old in bristol with a full licence but not using any no claims, this went down to £100 for the second year.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The lack of space for a full sized lid is a pain but what space there is will happily swallow some shopping and a few tools, I really like that the seat is self supported in the upright position, it sits there until you close it down. The fuel filler flap is a nice idea however the door fouls the bodywork and wont open unless you give the flap a shove away from the seat as you press the release switch near the ignition, a fix is to bend the flap hinges back a bit this stop it happening in future. The small left hand fairing cubby is ok for some sunglasses, the little 12V socket is a nice touch for phone charging. The dash is easy to read in all light conditions with basic info like fuel level, mpg and trip, the service warning can be turned off by the user with no tools. The fuel gauge stays full for ages but drops off fairly quickly, at about half a tank I fill up with E5 at a cost of £6. so far the tyres have lasted 5500 miles and I just got an advisory for the rear, the michellin rubber is really good, lots of grip and predictable handling.

Buying experience: I bought mine second hand from a friend who put 4500 miles on it in 5 years, the bike had a few scuffs to the fairing where it had been dropped and slid down the road, the plastics seem well made and didnt crack. I paid £2000 for it which considering the low mileage was a bargain.

4 out of 5
27 December 2021 by Martin Booker

Year: 2021

Annual servicing cost: £30

Rear suspension still needs improvement

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5

Good for what it is, excellent around town.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

1st service was 30 euros as bike is in spain

Equipment 5 out of 5

Tyres are excellent even on some very shiny/ polished Spanish roads.

Buying experience: Bought from dealer 3150 euros plus 200 euro for registration but managed to get a helmet and disc lock thrown in.

3 out of 5
06 September 2021 by Mike reader

Version: Euro 5

Year: 2021

The breaks are shocking but deceleration is pretty fast so that helps and people tell me it’s a nice looking bike and averages 93ish mpg the way I ride but wouldn’t recommend using e10 fuel makes it very sluggish and mpg goes right down to 87ish for me anyway

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5

Struggle to get above 60 mph

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

If you ride a rough bit of road the panels do rattle a bit the seat button didn’t release verry well Same for the fuel sometimes it is a struggle to get them open at the petrol station but it starts and runs verry well

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

I’m only at 1300 ish miles

Equipment 4 out of 5

Headlights are bright to the point oncoming trafficked keep flashing because they think your full beams are on

Buying experience: I bought from wheels a Honda dealer in Peterborough for 3160 the sales man was happy to help and couldn’t do enough eager to please

5 out of 5 pcx150, from Asia
17 April 2021 by Shazz

Version: PCX150

Year: 2018

I am satisfied with the intended purchase, been owning since new now 2 years old+ and 28,xxx km on the odometer

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Eventhough mine is without ABS, wish for traction control and ABS but weren't available before

Engine 4 out of 5

We never get enough of any engine power, aren't we? Actually it is excellent for town use. Wish for more speed on motorway

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5

We want bluetooth connectivity!

5 out of 5 A really cheerful scooter
17 September 2020 by Steve Smully

Year: 2019

PCX is hilarious, wish I'd bought one years ago. It is a cheerful bike, honest about what it does and it does that very well. Not for touring or trackways but other than that brilliant. Had to buy an open face lid as none of my full face lids fit under the seat, but other than that no issues

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Is a simple cheap bike so handling bumps at speed is a bit crashy, you definitely feel pot holes. That said have had it two up at 50mph and it is perfectly safe and comfortable, just watch for pot holes as your spine will thank you for avoiding them

Engine 5 out of 5

Very quiet and gentle, am 6'2" and 15st so getting down behind the screen definitely adds a couple of mph buy achieving 60 mph on most roads is easy, steep hills knock a bit off and down hill it has hit an indicated 73mph!

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

For a £3k bike it is really well built, built outside Japan but well put together for sure, mine is 18 months and 2,000 old and has had no issues at all

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Haven't had it long enough to know about servicing but the fuel economy is nuts. Use it to go 3 miles to the station each day and it was returning 95 miles to the gallon, in lockdown have been using it to go 6 or 7 miles to the shops instead and on these 'longer runs' it is now returning 120 mpg, absolutely ridiculous

Equipment 5 out of 5

Key lock is great, lack of full face lid under the seat is bad. Start stop is pretty pointless but inoffensive. Also like the fact it is a decent size, I looked daft on a suzuki address but look fine on this, the address is just two small for someone my size

Buying experience: Bought from local honda dealer, they were fab, really nice folk, get the impression they sell a lot of scooters to commuters for various reasons

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