It is a common question asked by those wishing to venture out on two wheels; do I get a motorcycle or a scooter? How about a brand new Honda PCX 150? For the same price range, the other alternative would be to purchase a used motorcycle, somewhere in the 200cc – 250cc range. Probably 99% of the population that rides on two wheels in Thailand has a scooter. Unless you plan on doing a lot of cross-Thailand touring, there is not much point getting anything bigger. This cool machine will fit most riders’ needs just fine.
It is definitely a high-tech machine. With fuel injection and a 2-valve, liquid cooled engine, it has a surprising amount of efficiency, torque and power for the size! The starter motor and cooling system are both integrated into the engine which saves on weight and space. It’s great for getting around town and for short trips into the countryside. Under seat storage is large enough for a full size helmet and those of us with longer legs won’t be troubled. You may just have to get used to swinging your leg over the seat rather than a ‘step through’ mount. A new PCX comes with a three year warranty on the engine and a five year warranty on the fuel injection system.
The recommended retail price is close enough to 70,000 THB although the necessary insurance and licensing needs to be added. It has enough bells and whistles to excite any gadget freak! Built in alarm system, automatic locking with the key chain button, locked gas tank and starter, and a digital dashboard that would put many cars to shame! Tack on the 100 miles per gallon that it regularly gets, and it’s a winner! I was a little concerned that the PCX would be lacking power on the hills. But heading up a mountainous road was no problem. It is so nice to be able to get out of town and see the surrounding countryside. I had no problem navigating the twisties up the side of the mountain and even with two on board, the PCX 150 had no trouble keeping up with the traffic.
Regular commuters between Hua Hin and Cha- Am will also be pleasantly surprised by the ease of the journey. It is also great having a twist-and-go in the city. Not having to worry about the clutch makes for a much more relaxing ride, especially in traffic. There is also a Start/Stop button which can be switched on. When this is active, the engine turns off every time you stop and then immediately kicks in again when you twist the throttle. Apparently, this results in a 7-8% savings in fuel as a result of this technology alone. Here in Thailand a scooter is the way to go. A large bike is not necessary and only prevents you from weaving through the city traffic. With a little guy like the Honda PCX 150, it is a piece of cake getting to the front of any traffic jam and taking off as soon as the light changes. Looking around at the other millions of people riding scooters makes me believe a PCX is the answer.