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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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…..