Honda started out its 2013 model year early, showing two new scooters to bolster its lineup. The PCX 150 builds on the success of the sporty, affordable PCX125 we rode in 2010, while an updated Metropolitan 50 provides a low-budget transportation solution to those in inner cities.
The PCX 150’s main update is a bigger engine with more power. The liquid-cooled, four-stroke 150cc Single is now freeway-legal in states like California. The top speed I experienced on the 125 version was around 60 mph indicated, so expect more engine mods than just the 25cc displacement bump if this bike will be able to actually cruise comfortably at freeway speeds. New seat padding promises better endurance for those longer trips, as well. A sleek new black color option rounds out the changes; USA pricing hasn’t been announced (although the bike will see dealers in the summer), so we’ll see how much more you’ll pay for that freeway-riding option over the 2011, and we’ll see if the Chinese-built PCX bumps the Italian-built SH150 out of the 2013 lineup.
Small-scoot fans will cheer the return of the little Metropolitan 50, which hasn’t seen Honda showrooms since 2009. It’s back with a new fuel-injected, air-cooled 49cc two-valve engine with Honda’s promise of “ample power” as well as 117 estimated mpg. There are some new styling touches—a new headlight, taillight and instruments, along with a different handlebar. There’s also a storage bin large enough for a one-liter bottle, and there’s a new parcel hook for your shopping convenience. Perhaps the best news is the price—it’s $1,999, $50 less than the 2009. Honda tells us the scoot will be available in June.
No word on where this new Metropolitan is made, but I’d put money on China—which is where the PCX as well as the Elite 110 are made. My experience with the Chinese-made Honda products is that they seem as well-made and good-performing as Honda products built in other countries. If outsourcing to our Chinese friends lets the masses get their asses on high-quality, good-performing and economical transportation, it can’t be all bad.