Introduced eight years ago in 2010, the Honda PCX125 scooter has been a sales hit - popular with commuters, inner-city couriers and first-time motorcyclists alike.
Easy-going, practical and incredibly frugal, it was actually the first ever two-wheeler to feature a fuel-saving idle stop system - said to make it around 5% more fuel efficient - and houses multiple cubby holes for everyday essentials.
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What's more, chunky 14in wheels and a kurb weight of 124kg mean it is also incredibly easy to flick about town, allowing you to zip between rows of stationary traffic with ease.
Sandwiched in a vast array of Honda scooters ranging from 125s to 750s, the PCX offers a low-slung body that gives limited comfort on the open road, but for city-bound ventures and in urban areas it excels and would be far better suited than even the most powerful, shouty superbike.
Away from Honda scooters, other rivals in the Japanese firm's own range also include the fun-sized MSX125 and Monkey 125, which share the same steel backbone frame and 125cc SOHC four stroke engine, complete with four-speed manual box.
With manageable seat heights of 765mm and 776mm respectively, they are the ultimate in geared urban exploration and arguably just as capable as the PCX - albeit without the underseat storage and leg-covering comfort.
Away from direct rivals from inside its own factory, the PCX is just one of many low-capacity scooters available to satisfy either an A licence or CBT certificate holder.
Produced by almost all major European and Japanese manufacturers, close rivals of the PCX include the former MCN-Award-winning Kawaski J125 and Suzuki's plucky Address 110, which comes available in the firm's striking MotoGP livery (without any of the performance).
The nimble Address' lower-capacity makes it a doddle for inexperienced road users, complete with its narrow, light, effortless turning circle. It's a joy to ride and was made to dominate congestion. Although the 20.6-litre luggage compartment can fit a helmet and little else, it handles energetically and is endlessly comfortable.
With 13.8bhp on tap, the Kawasaki J125 is essentially a mini maxi-scooter, with the same dimensions as the larger J300, with a smaller power plant. If you want cheap simple commuting in comfort with style and reliability, then look no further - except to maybe the PCX125!
The single-cylinder four-stroke Kymco motor is much more responsive than you’d expect for its size and it will comfortably haul its big body up-to an indicated 100kph without any fuss and roll onto a little more when required.
It will happily cruise along at an indicated 100kph despite the little Chinese motor working overtime at 9000rpm. However it's a little revvy around town buzzing at 6000rpm at only 30mph, dependant on conditions.
In terms of build quality and overall presentation, the PCX125 is in a different league to some other scooters on the market and you’d expect no less from Honda. Reliability shouldn’t be an issue and you have the benefit of an established dealer network to fall back on, should a problem arise.
Like a lot of modern Hondas the PCX features combined brakes, which do a great job of keeping things balanced under braking on surfaces with reduced grip. Novice-friendly and forgiving, the linked system also helps the bike comply with Euro4 regulation. Brand-new machines also get the added bonus of ABS, making the bike more forgiving when you are forced to make an abrupt stop.
Powering the Honda PCX125 is a liquid-cooled four-stroke 125cc motor that's good for around 70mph on the clocks - not bad for a 125 scooter. Zipping away from the lights, there's a slick and direct throttle response, allowing for seamless cross-town jaunts.
Then there’s the stop-start system, which cuts the engine after three seconds of idling and displaying a blinking orange light marked by DVD player-esque 'standby' message (remember them?)
A simple twist of the throttle will fire it back up again with next-to no delay, however like the systems found in most modern cars, it can be switched off altogether if you desire.
Current performance figures
||SOHC four-stroke, two valve single
||31mm telescopic fork
||Twin shock, aluminium swingarm
||Two piston caliper, 220mm disc, ABS, combined
|Front tyre size
||100/80 x 14
|Rear tyre size
||120/70 x 14
|Production start date
|Production end date