2021 Honda PCX 160 and PCX e:HEV in Japan – major overall makeover, more engine power, 15.8 PS, 15 Nm

After last month’s launch of the PCX scooter for the European market which, while getting many new components, was a 125 cc scooter, Honda has released the 2021 Honda PCX 160 and PCX e:HEV in Japan. From this, it can be surmised the new PCX 160 comes with slightly more capacity, confirming the most of rest of the world will get the larger PCX 160 instead of the PCX 125.

The PCX 160 is powered by the four-valve, single-cylinder displacing 156 cc, with SOHC, liquid-cooling and fuelled by Honda’s PGM-Fi. A higher compression ratio of 12:1 allows the PCX 160 to produce 15.8 PS at 8,500 rpm and 15 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm, an increase of 1.1 PS and 1.8 Nm of torque over the PCX 150.

Amongst changes to make the new engine more responsive, environmentally friendly and efficient is a new exhaust system and redesigned air intake to improve airflow. Added benefits are gained from a hydraulic cam chain tensioner lifter and new crankshaft, while the engine itself gets start/stop functionality with ACG Starter.

Aside from the new engine, the PCX 160 also gets new looks coupled with LED lighting. The windshield is taller with the seat, 764 mm tall, is designed for better rider comfort.

Under the seat, the storage compartment is now 2.4-litres bigger, bringing capacity up to 30.4-litres and is equipped is a USB charging socket. For the smart key system on the PCX 160, aside from starting the engine and accessing the storage compartment, it also opens the optional top box, sold separately and if the rider walks away without locking the scooter, the system automatically locks itself.

Inside the cockpit, the LCD instrument panel has a new layout with Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), or traction control, is standard fitment. The frame in the OCX 160 has also been made stiffer, and weight is now 132 kg while fuel is carried in a 8.1-litre tank.

Wheel sizes have also been changed from the PCX 150, with the PCX 160 now rolling on a 14-inch wheel in front and 13-inch at the back, shod in 110/70 and 130/70 rubber. Suspension layout stays the same but the rear twin shock absorbers now get a total travel of 95 mm with braking done with hydraulic discs front and back with front-wheel ABS.

Meanwhile, the PCX e:HEV couples a new 125 cc engine with an AC electric motor, powered by a lithium-ion battery. This adds 1.9 PS and 4.3 Nm of torque to the 12.5 PS and 12 Nm produced by the internal combustion engine, bringing it on par with the PCX 160.

Aside from offering better fuel economy and improved acceleration, this hybrid scooter also come with two riding modes – D for normal riding and S for those who want a little more performance. However, adding an electric motor and battery pack to the PCX e:HEV decreases underseat storage space.

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