The non-gear scooter has literally exploded into great growth in our market in last couple of years. With companies like TVS, Mahindra, Suzuki gaining momentum in market share essentially because of their scooter segment offerings, in the Indian two-wheeler industry, the segment has suddenly started witnessing interesting launches and developments.
It should be taken as the maturing of the Indian scooter market, that an iconic and a premium brand like Vespa opened shop here and have started retailing its gorgeous range of scooters in India. It is a evolutionary step that when a segments starts seeing such growth, premium offerings in the segment are given green light by companies to provide the masses with more performance and appeal so as to pamper the niche requirements of probable customers.
It is high time that India starts receiving bigger and more performance oriented scooters, as this is a segment which is virtually untouched, only the late Kinetic Blaze was a model which was a proper high performance big scoot in the country, but it came well ahead of its time and suffered due to that in terms of sales. With every manufacturer eyeing such a lucrative segment in the scooter category, it is no surprise that the mighty Honda is also gunning for this segment with its PCX 150 scooter.
First displayed at the 2014 Delhi AutoExpo, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. (HMIL) presented their 150cc scooter - PCX to the Indian crowds. The company has now imported the scooter in India for research & development. This development comes during the times when the country's top-selling two-wheeler maker - Hero MotoCorp - is also readying a 150cc scooter - Zir - for the domestic market.
The PCX 150 is not the usual tiny scooter for the roads, in fact it is a pretty big scooter compared to other scooters sold in the country today. Despite being beefy in looks, the scooter weighs just 130kg; considering the 110cc scooters weigh around 100 to 110kg, this should relate to some peppy performnce from its 150cc mill. This scooter is propelled by a 153cc, single-cylinder, 4-stroke, SOHC, liquid cooled, PGM-FI petrol motor that churns out a maximum power output of 13.4bhp at 8,500rpm and a peak torque of 14Nm at 5,000rpm. Power is transferred to wheel via a V-Matic automatic gearbox. The scooter has a fuel tank capacity of 8-litres.
The Honda PCX 150 is equipped with wide head-lamps and the wind deflector is positioned above it. It sports a conventional handlebar and long contoured seats. Other features include alloy wheels, analogue instrument cluster with small digital display, floor carved out for rider footrest, pillion grab rail etc. The braking system comprises of disc, while the front suspension is telescopic type.
The Honda PCX 150 scooter is likely to be priced around Rs. 70,000 - 75,000, and will compete against the upcoming Hero MotoCorp Zir 150, and the premium offerings from Vespa in India, when launched.