HONDA PCX 125 (2021 - on) Review


  • Frugal Euro5 engine promises more power
  • Enough under seat storage for a full face helmet
  • Novice-friendly, enjoyable riding experience

At a glance

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


New £3,599
Used £2,600 - £3,500

Overall rating

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

The Honda PCX 125 has been a runaway success story that’s sold over 140,000 units across Europe since its arrival in 2010. Updated in 2014, 2016 and 2018, it’s a proven CBT-friendly 125cc, bicycle-sized workhorse that combines decent practicality and superb fuel economy and presents a serious alternative to public transport for the inner-city dweller.

In the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, when commuters were itching to ditch trains and busses, the previous Honda PCX became Britain’s most popular motorcycle, outselling the BMW R1250GSA at a ratio of 2.37 to one in June 2020 alone. In both 2018 and 2019 it also took the accolade of best-selling scooter, with MCIA statistics showing 2840 and 2333 UK registrations respectively.

The latest bike, released in 2021, had more power, fresh styling, revised chassis parts and Euro5 compliance – all for £120 more than the old model. But is it worth swapping in the old one for it?

Riding the Honda PCX125 on UK roads

Well, after 147 miles across two days pitting the bike against cityscapes, dual carriageways and country backroads the short answer is: no, not really. The changes are welcome and it’s just as impressive as before, but they won’t revolutionise your commute if you’ve already got one.

However, if you’re in the market for something new to beat the traffic, or run errands across town, the 2021 Honda PCX is worthy of serious consideration. The new engine returns a tested 100.3mpg when thrashed, with more oomph to keep comfortably ahead of the traffic and the extra luggage space will now genuinely swallow a full-face lid. It’s not that comfortable over distance and the front brake is still quite poor, but the predictable handling – aided by new beefier shocks – will have you laughing all the way to the office. Tempted? It’s yours for just £49 a month on PCP.

Watch: Honda PCX 125 video review

Dan Sutherland is your guide to this hugely popular 125 scooter.

Ride quality & brakes

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

Although the new Honda PCX still feels very similar to sit on, beneath the bodywork lies a new tubular steel frame and aluminium swingarm. The rear wheel has also been descaled by an inch to a 13in and both tyres are now 10mm wider. Wheelbase has increased by 2mm, too.

The result is a competent package that you can chuck about like an oversized bicycle. If you’re looking for an easy life on two wheels, with an ability to take the absolute Michael out of traffic and pull U-turns in a single lane, then this is for you.

Around town it’s child’s play but it is hindered by a vague front end when you really want to press on out of town. Prolonged stints at speed in the slightly crouched riding position can also lead to mild backache, too.

Weak front brakes let the PCX125 down

That said, the chances of PCX owners going weekend scratching or taking on hours in the saddle at the national speed limit are slim to none, so we can forgive these issues. What we can’t ignore though are the brakes.

The updated bike wears the same front two-piston disc brake set-up as the old model and this is disappointing. The ABS is unobtrusive, but there is a disconcerting lack of feel from the lever and stopping at speed requires the addition of the rear drum, which is much stronger. It also doubles up as a makeshift clutch during manoeuvres to help modulate speed.

Fortunately, Honda have improved previous criticisms elsewhere. The rear shocks on the old PCX125 were too soft and went to jelly when pushed above town speeds. Harsher potholes also saw some energy transferred to the riders back for good measure.

Riding the 2021 Honda PCX125
Honda have equipped the new one with heavier shock springs and increased the stroke by 10mm to 95mm.

The result is a scoot that feels much more composed both over rutted urban landscapes and outside its natural habitat on twisty roads. It’s no Goldwing, but it doesn’t jolt or wallow when pushed on a backroad and along a nadgery lane you’ll be grinning from ear to ear. Whether a pillion will upset the non-adjustable applecart remains to be seen, however new passenger grab rails are said to help make the job easier.


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

To help the PCX 125 meet Euro5 emissions rules, Honda have given the 2021 machine a new single-cylinder engine, crammed with low-friction parts, plus piston oil jets derived straight from the CRF450R motocross racer, to help maintain consistent cooling.

How fast will the Honda PCX 125 go? Smooth and unintimidating as before and still equipped with stop-start tech to save fuel, the new lump produces a traffic-beating 12.3bhp, capable of a speedo-indicated top speed of 71mph. Distinguished from the old bike by a more prevalent exhaust, Honda say the new liquid-cooled SOHC unit is quicker from a standing start or roll-on. Riding around Peterborough city centre it’s hard to disagree - excelling below 35mph and comfortably stripping lengths out of the surrounding car drivers from each set of traffic lights.

Riding the Honda PCX125 around town

It’s also well fuelled and feels most at home below 60mph – whirring in protest as it is stretched to motorway speeds. After 147 miles across two days, it returned a tested fuel economy of 100.3mpg, meaning a potential range of 178.7 miles from its 8.1-litre tank. This would likely increase noticeably if kept around town though, with our test also taking us onto a series of dual carriageways and backroads where owners are unlikely to venture.

It’s an excellent little unit that’s well fuelled and nails its design brief. My only criticism is it was sometimes a little hesitant to start at the beginning of our time together, but I put that down to the battery. A few hours in the saddle and the issue disappeared.

Honda PCX125 fuel cap

Reliability & build quality

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

The Honda PCX is put together nicely, it all works as it should and even with another £500 on the asking price, it would still be a steal. Even the pillion pegs have been thought about and slot away seamlessly into the fairing when not in use.

Our 2021 Honda PCX 125 owners' reviews show a complaint about a sticky fuel cap, and that's about it - you can expect typical Honda build quality. Add to this a two-year warranty and strong dealer network and it’s a very attractive proposition.

Honda PCX125 engine

Value vs rivals

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

When launched, the latest model may have climbed £120 in asking price, but it was a better bike than the old one. It handles bumps more efficiently, can take more luggage and has a little more bottom end pep – without adding to the claimed 130kg wet weight, or diddy dimensions.

If you fancy owning the PCX on PCP, it’s yours for just £59 a month over three years with an initial deposit of £603.05. That is seriously cheap and offers a tempting urban transport solution for less a month than many people’s weekly food shop.

It’s also still comfortably cheaper than the £3400 Yamaha NMAX 125, which has also been reworked for Euro5. That isn’t stopping people buying it though and in May 2021, figures from the MCIA revealed it was the most popular motorcycle in Britain that month, with 659 new registrations.

Other cheaper options include the £2399 Suzuki Address 110, however it lacks the performance and mod cons of either the Honda or Yamaha. The £4249 Kawasaki J125 was also not updated for Euro5, but remaining stock may be available in dealers at a reduced price and could be the weapon of choice if you’re looking for maxi scooter proportions.

By 2023, the Honda PCX 125 price had risen to £3599, but rival pricing had also increased accordingly. It's still a great deal for a dependable bike.

Watch a video review of the Honda PCX rival, the Yamaha NMAX 125


4 out of 5 (4/5)

Considering the Honda PCX125 is less than £3200 all in, it boasts a truly impressive spec sheet. It’s shod with quality Michelin rubber and there’s unobtrusive ABS up front. Keeping you seen is full LED lighting and there’s a revised, easy-to-read colour LCD display, which is kept out of sunlight by a dark screen, which has also grown marginally for 2021 and offers effective protection from the wind at any speed.

A small panel controls the ignition and luggage

Offering an additional safety net is Honda Selectable Torque Control (that’s traction control to you and me) designed to limit slip in the wet and is highlighted on the dash by a ‘T’ logo.

Although a nice touch, the excellent City Grip tyres offer more than enough traction and even deliberate attempts to engage the system on patches of gravel failed on our dry test, which begs the question why it’s needed at all. I spent two days on the old model last year and at no point did I feel it was missing any form of rider aid.

Other electronic upgrades include restyled LEDs front and rear, which are integrated into fresh bodywork. The bike retains the same contemporary side profile, but the front headlight assembly bears a resemblance to the quirky X-ADV adventure scooter, and the overall build quality outstretches its modest price.

Honda PCX125 exhaust pipe

The metal flakes in the paint glint wonderfully in the summer sunlight, with the deep red of our test bike contrasting wonderfully well with the gun metal rims. It’s just a shame Honda retained the chrome bars and central trim, which cheapen an overall elegant look.

Elsewhere, Honda claimed the old PCX125 could take a full-face helmet. We begged to differ. However, there’s now 2.4 litres more capacity under the seat, giving just enough space to successfully swallow this tester’s Shark Race R Pro – the same helmet I was wearing when I rode the previous incarnation. In that same space you’ll also find room for your gloves, essentials and even a splash of PPE.

If that’s not enough, a compartment up front will also easily take a wallet and smartphone, with an in-built USB-C socket for charging. For ease of use, there's also keyless ignition, which operates the ignition, fuel cap and seat storage.

Honda PCX 125 LED headlights


Engine size 125cc
Engine type Water cooled, SOHC 4v single
Frame type Tubular steel duplex
Fuel capacity 8.1 litres
Seat height 764mm
Bike weight 130kg
Front suspension 31mm telescopic fork, non-adjustable
Rear suspension Twin shocks, non-adjustable
Front brake 220mm disc with two-piston caliper, ABS
Rear brake 130mm drum
Front tyre size 110/70 x 14
Rear tyre size 130/70 x 13

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 100.3 mpg
Annual road tax £25
Annual service cost -
New price £3,599
Used price £2,600 - £3,500
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 179 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 PCX 125 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.
  • 2021: PCX is updated for Euro5 with a fresh engine, revised styling, and more storage under the seat to now swallow a full-face lid. There’s keyless ignition, rudimentary traction control and an updated frame and swingarm.

Other versions

No other versions of the Honda PCX 125 are available, however other markets do get a PCX150, with slightly more poke - due to different licencing laws.

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

2 owners have reviewed their HONDA PCX125 (2021 - on) 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 (2021 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 3.5 out of 5 (3.5/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Value vs rivals: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Equipment: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
5 out of 5
16 October 2023 by

Year: 2022

Great bike

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Rear brake seems a bit lacking power to me and front brake is bit lifeless.

Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

No issues

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Have fitted heated gloves socket.

Buying experience: Bought brand new

4 out of 5 Almost perfect
18 October 2022 by Dave h

Version: Ww125am

Year: 2022

5 out of 5 if its being used solely for town use

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5

Around town this bike is fantastic and easy to live with. I commute 12 miles to work over hills and down Dale and for the most part it's excellent fun and rides quite well. The seat has always been good but gets really comfortable after 2,000 miles on the clock. I have been on longer rides with reasonable comfort. The only major problem is the horrendous front end. The front brake is poor and the small and unforgiving front tyre gives you no confidence whatsoever on anything other than perfectly smooth and dry tarmac. The standard michelin tyres have never lost grip however and on a faster stretch of smooth tarmac it's good fun! In wet or damp conditions the front end feels like it's riding on grease, it's horrendous. I've just ordered a set of anles winter tyres in the hope they feel better.

Engine 5 out of 5

It's a superb engine! It's brilliant from standstill to maximum speed with the exception of an annoying flat spot between 35mph and 43mph

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

After 6 months and 2,100 miles the only failure was a sticking fuel cap lid

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

I'm currently averaging 127mpg on my daily 12 mile commute averaging 50mph. I have seen 154mpg at slower average speeds.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Excellent keyless ignition, storage is really good!

Buying experience: I bought the bike from Blackpool honda (excellent) this was after poor service from two nearer dealerships. I paid list price over 4 years.

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