Friday, August 14, 2015

Standing Watch but not standing still

It's Friday now and I've had the PCX for two full days. Yesterday and today I took it the twenty miles to work in Lebanon, PA. It's a little different from the Kymco, but I'm quickly getting used to it.

Yesterday was bittersweet as my old People 150 changed hands and went to an older gentleman who needed a low key option to replace the big bikes he used to ride. Watching him ride away on it left me a little sad as that machine and I traveled a lot of miles together. I had changed the oil so it would have a fresh crankcase full, then took it for one last short ride around the neighborhood.

Riding to work on the PCX (still unnamed), showed me that my purchase was a wise one. Then riding it around East Petersburg and into Lancaster today made me feel even better. I rode it to the military recruitment center after physical therapy to stand watch for about an hour, then had to head to work.

It was nice to be able to stand watch again. I don't know if I've mentioned it here, but I've been standing watch at the Lancaster recruitment center since the Tuesday after the Chatanooga shooting. I had to take a brief hiatus due to a work injury.

Before it became too painful to sit for several hours at a time, I had been strapping a beach chair onto the Kymco and sitting in front of the center for a few hours each day. After I got hurt, the time I could spend gradually diminished. Today I returned to my post for about an hour.

Getting back to the scooter, there are a few things I've noticed after riding the machine longer. The first, and \most dramatic for me is the foot room is better than the Kymco's. I mentioned early on in my experience with the other scooter that the floorboard was too small for my feet, which are a very average size 11. On the PCX, the floorboards are alongside the fuel tank and would be long enough for the average clown. This raises the comfort level several notches.

The next thing I've observed is the speed. Now, I'm in the first 300 mile break-in period, so I'm not beating the tar out of her, but this little machine trucks along like a bigger bike. Yes, the top speed is around 60, but up to that point, it feels like I'm riding something much more powerful. Perhaps this is the fuel injection, but just the same, it's a quick little scooter.

The wind is not as big of a problem as I expected it would be, though I still can tell I need a taller windscreen. While I could previously run with the face-shield removed from my helmet, that isn't possible with the PCX. The stock windscreen is so short, it does nothing to deflect the swarms of gnats and Volkswagen sized mosquitoes common in August in Pennsylvania. Thankfully a new GIVI screen is on order.

I'm also starting to see why Honda has billed the PCX as a "sports" scooter. It has a very sporty feel too it, and even has a throaty exhaust note while under power. While chatting with a couple of the recruiters today who are Harley enthusiasts, they observed that it sounded pretty good for such a little bike. It's quiet enough at idle, but once that throttle gets a bit of a twist, the noise, though not overpowering, is quite pleasant. Then there is the handling. While not as sharp as the People 150, it's got a nice, low center of gravity that makes it swing around corners well.

I can tell that this is going to be a very easy scooter to live with.  Now I just need to install some underglow.

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