Honda Philippines (HPI) has one of the most competitive small-scooter lineups in the market today. The roster caters to those looking for entry-level offerings as well as riders looking to go a bit upmarket.
Recently, I was given the chance to test one of HPI’s most premium scoots, the PCX 160. It’s far from being the most affordable of the bunch, but it’s arguably one of the most stylish and fuel-efficient models in its segment. Does it give you reasonable value for your money, though? If you want to read more about what I’ve discovered about this bike, then keep scrolling.
OTHER MOTORCYCLE STORIES YOU MIGHT WANT TO CHECK OUT:
Specs, prices, features: Everything you need to know about the Yamaha Mio Fazzio
Specs, price, features: Everything you need to know about the Suzuki Burgman Street
Its styling is really what makes PCX 160 stand out. I’m glad Honda didn’t really change the original design, because this for me is the classiest-looking scooter in HPI’s lineup. It’s got a beautiful light signature up front thanks to the familiar V-shaped headlight that we also get to see in other Honda scooters like the Click 150 and ADV 150.
There aren’t a lot of lines and edges here, either. The bike has a sharp and smooth physique. I’m not a fan of chrome, but the shiny handlebars eventually grew on me. The unit I got was finished in black, and while it looks sleek in this colorway, I really think the white option looks a whole lot sexier.
Similar to most scooters in this segment, the PCX 160’s seat is pretty wide and offers good cushioning for both rider and pillion. The seat height is forgiving at just 764mm (30 inches). I’m about 5’5” and I almost flat-foot this bike despite its wide frame. There’s no step-through floorboard here, so it might not be that easy to handle for not-so-tall beginners.
That said, the saddle does promise good comfort whether on daily commutes through beat-up city streets or on long rides across imperfect provincial highways.
Powering the PCX 160 is a new 157cc liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine that generates 15.6hp at 8,500rpm and 15Nm of torque at 6,000rpm. I wasn’t able to test the old PCX150, but I do own an ADV 150 that packs the same 150cc powertrain. So even if the difference in power with the PCX 160 isn’t that much, it’s enough for me to notice.
There’s still dragging from a standstill, but the PCX 160 feels quicker off the line than my ADV 150. There’s also more pull at higher speeds, and the PCX 160 has more oomph for overtakes. I wasn’t able to conduct proper 0-60kph or 0-80kph tests for better comparison, though I reckon the differences between the two powertrains would be negligible.
As for its fuel consumption—something I know a lot of you are curious about—I can easily say that the PCX 160 is one efficient scooter. I stayed heavy on the throttle and I still got a decent 40km/L, which is right around Honda’s figures of 45.1km/L. I’m confident that more relaxed riding will yield way better results, perhaps even better than the manufacturer-provided estimate. I wasn’t able to try it out much through heavy traffic, but I’m not too concerned about those figures dropping that much.
Ride and handling
It surprised me just how nimble the PCX 160 actually is. It sits a bit low and thus feels very planted even through winding roads. The stock tires offer decent grip, though I’m not too sure how they’ll hold out in the rain.
This thing is a cinch to filter lanes with, so Metro Manila’s gridlock shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Just note that while this can absorb typical road imperfections, you’ll want to avoid any sizeable potholes in the city.
The riding position is also very comfortable. But if I could change one thing, I would straighten out the handlebars a bit more. I also reckon the grips might be a bit low for tall riders, but it’s nothing an aftermarket handlebar riser can’t fix.
Honda likes to cover the basics with its small-displacement scooters, and it’s the same story with the PCX 160. For starters, the digital instrument cluster has multiple trip meters, a fuel-consumption gauge, and even maintenance reminders. There’s a storage compartment up front that’s big enough for stuff like a smartphone, keys, or a small wallet. There’s a built-in USB port as well, so no need for a 12V socket charger.
This bike features keyless ignition, which is something I’ve grown to like with these kinds of scoots. It’s extremely handy especially for forgetful folks like me. I can just keep my keys in my bag or hooked onto my pants all the time and not worry about misplacing it at every stop.
Other amenities I like here include the idling-stop system that I use at almost every traffic-light stop, and the large underseat storage. My helmet doesn’t fit in the compartment, but it has enough space for the usual stuff I bring to the office and then some.
I also like the windshield up front, but simply for its looks. It’s small and isn’t adjustable so it doesn’t really do much for the rider, but props to Honda for having it mesh perfectly with the bike’s overall design.
Of course, the ABS in this PCX 160 variant deserves a mention, too. That should be standard for bikes at this price point. You won’t exactly be going fast with this scooter so stopping power shouldn’t be an issue, but it’s still reassuring to know you won’t be sliding out every time you brake hard.
OTHER MUST-READ STORIES FOR RIDERS:
4 Reasons you shouldn’t buy fake motorcycle gear
How to properly take care of your motorcycle’s battery
I’m gonna be brutally honest: I still wouldn’t trade my ADV 150 for this one. However, if I had to go through the scooter-buying process all over again, this would easily rank second on my list.
The PCX 160 has classy looks that are hard to find elsewhere in its segment. It promises the kind of fuel efficiency motorists long for these days given the skyrocketing pump prices. It also has decent amount tech and handy features that you don’t always see in small-displacement scooters. As I said, it’s not an entry-level model per se with its P139,000 price tag, but best believe it’s worth every penny.
SPECS: 2022 Honda PCX 160-ABS
Engine: 157cc liquid-cooled, single-cylinder
Transmission: continuously variable
Power: 15.6hp @ 8,500rpm
Torque: 15Nm @ 6,000rpm
Seat height: 30 inches
Top Gear Philippines is now on Quento! Click here to download the app and enjoy more articles and videos from Top Gear Philippines and your favorite websites.