New Motorcycle…

After riding my Honda PCX150 into the ground, I finally needed a new two-wheeled companion for the new year.

About six months ago I made a list of possible motorbikes/scooters which fit the way I ride and ended up with five bikes on that list, I’m not a sports bike person, so hardcore petrol heads are going to cringe a bit.

  • Honda NC750S
  • Honda Forza 250
  • Honda Super cub 125
  • Honda PCX 150
  • Yamaha X-MAX 250
motorbike choice

I hummed and hawed for the good part of those months and broke my touring needs up into a few groups.

Storage space

The Super Cub and the NC750S failed here. My criteria, enough space for clothes for two days, onsen kit, summer sleeping bag and bivy sack.

  • Honda NC750S -1
  • Honda Forza 250 +1
  • Honda Super cub 125 -1
  • Honda PCX 150 +1
  • Yamaha X-MAX +1

Tank Capacity

Simply 350km per fill up, because I mainly spend Sundays travelling around the Island of Shikoku with many a gasoline station close on that day of fun.

The X-MAX, NC750 and Forza all easily hit 400km. The cub and the PCX come around in at 300km.

  • Honda NC750S +1
  • Honda Forza 250 +1
  • Honda Super cub 125 -1
  • Honda PCX 150 -1
  • Yamaha X-MAX +1

Mobile Phone Mountable Handlebars

Yeah, seriously… only the PCX and the NC750S can do this, the X-MAX requires an optional part. Not sure what Honda’s R&D was thinking when they designed the Forza cockpit.

  • Honda NC750S +1
  • Honda Forza 250 -1
  • Honda Super cub 125 -1
  • Honda PCX 150 +1
  • Yamaha X-MAX +1
mounted iphone.jpg

Highway Rideable

Japan requires an engine capacity of 126cc to ride on the highways, and since I live on Awaji Island, to leave the island, I need a motorcycle legally capable of using those highways. Granted if I wanted to go north, Awaji island does have a ferry service for bikes with an engine capacity of 125cc and under, but this then ties me to boat schedules which is something I want to avoid when getting off and on the island.

  • Honda NC750S +2
  • Honda Forza 250 +1
  • Honda Super cub 125 -1
  • Honda PCX 150 +0
  • Yamaha X-MAX +1

The PCX150 can ride the highways; it’s just not good at doing it.

Fuel Economy 30km/l

Judging from real-world user blogs, the Yamaha X-MAX rides in at 32km/l (72mpg) compared to my old PCX150 38km/l (90mpg). The Forza is apparently around the same as the X-MAX and the NC750S chimes in around 30km/l (70mpg). The Super cubs’ mileage is off the charts, doubling any of the above.

  • Honda NC750S -1
  • Honda Forza 250 +1
  • Honda Super cub 125 +2
  • Honda PCX 150 +2
  • Yamaha X-MAX +1

Conclusion

  1. Yamaha X-MAX 5
  2. Honda PCX 150 3
  3. Honda Forza 250 3
  4. Honda NC750S 2
  5. Honda Super cub 125 -2

Japan’s Ultimate Touring Bike

Weekends usually involve beekeeping, which eats my weekends and leaving me with just scraps to tour on, thus, for now, sits the Honda Super Cub on the bench as a touring bike which is sad because even though it scored the lowest marks on my check-sheet, this, in my opinion, is the ultimate tourer for Japan.

Ride Slower, See More

My Touring Bike

The Yamaha X-MAX checked all the boxes, and after riding her for two months, I must say. I am most pleased with the choice I have made.

Ride on…..

Akashi-kakyo bridge tour

At almost 4km long, surviving a 7.2 magnitude earthquake before the competition the Akashi Bridge is currently the longest suspension bridge in the world.

This tour runs between April and November, the trip is 2 hours long, Twenty minutes of those up top and costs 3000 yen for adults and 1500 yen for children. There are some conditions so please check their website.

Location and Information

You need to book in advancd and since the tour is weather reliant remember to have a backup plan.

Good Bye PCX150

Over Looking Sumoto city

Five years, 67,000km and my first scooter and all I can say is Thank you. I rode you into the ground, I mistreated you and punished you severely, and you kept on giving.

But honestly, The PCX is a great machine. I had almost no issues with her, and the ones I did have were user made… like crashing into a ditch and crapping out on ice… And more than once I might add.

I travelled the island of Shikoku and many places in Kansai. Although I feel this scooter is to small for travelling long distances with someone who has little free time on their hands like me. Those times where I did have ample time for long rides I found the PCX comfortable and easy to park are tourist spots because of the small footprint.

Crashing into ditches is expensive and scary

Travelling with the big boys

Hattoji 2015

I  try and make it to the Hattoji international villa at least once a year, but for the past two years, I’ve been too busy wrapped up in my own little beekeeping world unable to take the timeout and ride my motorbike (teeny tiny scooter) to this beautiful destination.

This year I jumped at the opportunity to stay there and join friends from the Kansai Riders group.

My PXC150 in now 1 year and 11 months old and has 32,000km on her.

This is only the second time I have taken her to the mainland for a tour and I must say for sub 500km tours she handles rather good.

Gloves

After my first three months of riding, I’d gone through two sets of gloves, a Japanese brand and famous American brand both costing around 5,000 yen each.  After this wallet eating adventure needed something better, and after a few google searches and I had stumbled on Lee Parks Design gloves.

Now These gloves have gone through 67,000km (416,318 miles) and spent three months lost in my front garden during one winter after I put a rock through my shin on a hiking trip (long story)

I have used them while bee keeping and when weed eating the apiaries.

Now there are a few problems with them.

  1. Not waterproof, I use Montbell (see below) over gloves to combat this.
  2. The tanned part stains your hands yellow when wet.
  3. Not warm in winter, even with grip heaters (Lee Park Designs have a lined version too)
  4. Can only buy in the U.S. 🙁 I live in Japan and need another pair soon.
Montbell over gloves for those wet and cold days


Goodbye! TR250

So a little after three years and 37,000 km on the clock my TR250 “Mariko” 麻理子 decided to pack a fit and break down, and break down big time. Her gearbox is kaput, something totally has gone amiss. It just isn’t worth putting the money into getting her fixed so have already gone a purchased a Honda PCX150 to commute to work on.

Thank you Mariko