I had reason to be near my local Honda dealership yesterday and it was nice weather and I had my helmet in the car...so, why not stop in for that promised test ride?
Not only did I get to test ride the PCX, but they offered me to compare ride it with the Elite 110. So I rode them both.
They prepped the PCX and I was the first person to actually ever ride this particular scooter. It was the red one. (They said they had a Pearl White one in a crate in the back!)
So I proceeded to put a couple of miles on it riding on nearby residential pace roads around the dealership neighborhood.
First thing I noticed was that it felt like I was on a Big Ruckus or motorcycle with it's swept-back handlebar set-up. I was immediately comfortable with this. My short arms had an easy, comfortable reach to the grips. I felt like I was sitting "in" the cockpit, not "on" a stool looking down at my feet planted forward.
With these chrome handlebars like this the dashboard panel is forward of your view, just in front of the handlebars. The display was couched under a small sport windshield and easy to view. The controls were similar to my Ruckus with turn indicators, horn, start-up, and kill switch right there where I was used to them as per "Honda style".
The steering did not feel "squirrely", which I have experienced on some scooters (my old Honda Elite 80). It was, however, easily maneuverable to steer. I was doing figure 8's around a few abandoned parking lots and feeling no frustration in cutting the curves and doing tight turns easily.
Putting my feet up was different than what I am used to once I pushed off. The PCX has a side "running board" similar to the Big Ruckus, only on the PCX it runs comfortably up to the front of the scooter and therefore offers a variety of foot positions. You can stretch your legs out or tuck them alonside. Just not in front of you as you have no "floor board" as on the Ruckus or Elite or others.
That was weird, and I must admit I do like a floorboard, but I could adjust to accomodate the other charms of the PCX. Just something to get used to.
The scoot moved forward immediately on acceleration and I was up to 35mph in no time. I did not "feel" like I was doing that speed which on the Ruckus feels like 70mph! I could sense that this puppy had power to spare but I was not in the mood for a speeding ticket! I've read this thing will hit 70mph. Would not doubt it.
The handling was solid and I attributed that to the 14 inch wheels rolling under me. The ride was smooth and when I turned up into some areas with bumpy concrete accesses I did not feel jarred at all. Nor did I feel other pavement cracks and roughness as I rode.
Oddly, I did not feel intimidated by the size of the PCX, which is a stark contrast to my little Ruckus in size. It felt manageable and handled well. I did not feel like it was going to "lay over" on me once I took it off the center stand while mounting it due to it's low center of gravity.
I could easily handle it and balance it while standing alongside and raising my leg over the center console. I've laid a Honda Shawdow over that way and let me tell you it is not fun. And it is darn embarrassing too! (Had to call the neighbors in to help me pull it up! Another story..).
Things I liked about it: riding a scoot with POWER, the handlebar set-up, the sporty appearance, the wind protection offered by the body molding for your legs and the windshield for the face (not sure how much it deflects cold wind, but it has to do some of that), the roomy underseat storage, the bigger wheels, the low weight for confident handling (280 lbs), the front disk brake, and a center and side stand.
Did I mention that it is a hot-looking machine? I like that too. A scoot's got to look good to it's owner. (I say it that way because some people think the Ruckus is a homely looking scooter. What do they know?)
Pluses I read about: fuel injection and a tamper-resistant ignition switch plus a supposed 110 mpg! (Ruckus gets 100mpg). Also, it is supposed to go up to 70 mph. And a "combined braking system" for front to rear consistancy in stopping. That's a wonderful added safety feature that I appreciate.
Things I wonder: can you add a rear rack to carry saddle bags, etc. for touring or shopping around town? Is the seat comfortable for long-distance riding? Would I miss a floor board? Would it be tight seating for a passenger?
The one feature that it lacks that matters to me most: no kick-start as a back-up in cold weather starting, etc. Same on the Elite 110. What WERE they NOT thinking with that?
I was pretty impressed with the ride and handling of the PCX!