Which is faster Yamaha Nmax Honda PCX? I stop-watched the Yamaha Nmax 155 and the Honda PCX 150 bikes to find out. Since no stop watched times existed, I just had to do it. Funny thing was, I had already done a no hands on review of the Yamaha Nmax on youtube, but I had never gotten out of the motorcycle showroom at Watchara Marine as PlONe and I discussed and videoed Triumphs, Ktms, and various Yamaha street bikes to come up with what we felt would be the best all around motorbike for the kind of driving we do in Thailand. We concluded that the Nmax was likely to be the best all rounder, but it would be a year later before I would actually get my hands on one.
A few months ago, my girl friend was driving a Yamaha Filano, which is not a bad little motorbike for what it is. But Thailand’s got the world’s worse drivers. And Pattaya has the worse Thai drivers of them all. For safety’s sake, a car might seem to be the answer to survival in this jungle of homicidal drivers who give every indication of wanting to run down every vehicle and pedestrian in sight. Unfortunately here in Pattaya, cars are cumbersome, slow in traffic, and difficult to find parking spaces for. I wanted my girlfriend to have a better chance of survival so I offered her a choice of trading her Filano for a Honda PCX 150 or the Yamaha Nmax 155. In my opinion these were absolutely the finest choices for an all around bike for everyday driving conditions in our city. She chose a bright red Honda PCX 150 after refusing so much as a test drive of the new Yamaha Nmax 155. A few weeks later after I narrowly averted having two morons knocking me off my beloved Yamaha 135 Elegance, I decided that I just had to trade my Elegance for a new Yamaha Nmax 155 for one single reason—having the best small motorbike stopping power I could buy for less than 100,000 baht.
Yamaha claims its Nmax 155 is faster than the Honda PCX 150, and just about everyone who’s ridden both bikes agree that the Yamaha’s anti lock brakes are far superior. The Honda’s got a single disk brake in front and a drum in the rear like most motorbikes in the 125-150 class. It has what it claims is a state of the art dual braking system, and although the system seems to work fairly well, there’s no question that the Nmax’s front and rear disk brakes coupled with anti lock braking on both wheels is decisively better, and not just to the Honda PCX’s but also to just about everything else within its price range. But is the Yamaha NMax really faster than the Honda PCX, and if so, by how much?
Yamaha claims 14.8 horsepower out of its 155 c.c. engine. Honda, as usual, is reluctant to divulge any horsepower figures. But I’ve settled on a figure of 13.4 horsepower, which seems to be a good average for figures I’ve found from various internet sources. My seat of the pants impressions from driving both bikes, is the Yamaha Nmax accelerates faster. Its engine also has a bit of a snarl to it, unlike the PCX engine which is noticeably quieter and seems smoother at very low speeds.
My initial speed runs were with my Yamaha Nmax several days ago. I performed three acceleration runs from zero to fifty kph (0-30 miles an hour), then I did three zero to eighty acceleration runs. I carefully stop watched each acceleration run and then I wrote each time with my stopwatch in a small notebook. I then took the average time for each series of three acceleration runs and put it in the table below with the specifications and stop watched performance runs of similar small motorbikes that are well suited for Thailand.
|Honda Click||Yamaha Nouvo SX||Yamaha Nouvo Elegance 135||Yamaha
|price||46800-52500 baht||57000 baht||N.A.||46000 baht||80000||81000|
|Torque||14/7500 Nm/RPM||10.47 Nm @ 6000 rpm||10.6N-Nm @ 6,500 rpm||14.4 Nm @
|14.0 Nm @ 5500rpm|
|Weight (Kg)||246 lbs||244 lbs||244 lbs||216 lbs||279 lbs||286 lbs|
|Tire Size Front||+80/90/14||+70/90/16||+80/90/16||90/90/12||110/70/13||90/90/14|
|Tire Size rear||+90/90/14||+80/90/16||+90/90/16||90/90/12||130/70/13||100/90/14|
|Fuel Economy test loop||59.8 km to the liter||53 km to the liter||53 km to the liter|
|Fuel Economy City||N.A.||44.5 km/liter||41.9 km to the liter||43.16 km/liter|
|0-50 kph||6.3 seconds||7.51 seconds||5.58 seconds||6.75||4.57||4.21|
|0-80 kph||10.39 seconds||12.16 seconds||11.65 seconds||N.A.||8.99||10.02|
|Handling (judging)||Ok||Very good||Rock solid||OK||Rock Solid||Very good|
|storage beneath seat||good||good||good||good||good||excellent|
|fuel tank capacity||5.5 liters||4.3 liters||4.8 liters||4.4 liters||6.6 liters||8.0 liters|
|Cooling||water cooled||water cooled||water cooled||Air cooled||water cooled||water cooled|
|Fuel System||fuel injected||fuel injected||carburator||fuel injected||fuel injected||fuel injected|
When I compared the times I had gotten with my Yamaha Nmax to what I had achieved several years earlier with the Yamaha Filano, Honda Click 125i, Yamaha 135 Nouvo Elegance and Yamaha Nouvo 125 SX, I found as expected that the Yamaha Nmax 155 was far faster than all of the others. Then again, it’s a 155 c.c. machine whereas the Yamaha Nouvo Elegance 135 had the largest engine displacement of the other bikes.
One thing I did notice with the Yamaha 155 Nmax is that its engine still had a lot of guts even going up the hills, when it easily topped over 100 kph in short order. And on the way home with a tailwind, my Yamaha Nmax was still accelerating at 119 kph before it had even crested a long uphill.
Today I put my girlfriend’s Honda PCX 150 through the same tests. Only this time I performed four 0-50 kph acceleration runs and four 0-80 kph runs in order to get my average times. Surprisingly the Honda PCX 150 ran a bit faster from 0-50 kph even though it always seemed to me that my Nmax was noticeably quicker to 30 miles per hour. But I think that these zero to fifty kph comparative times can be misleading. When I click the stopwatch and twist the throttle of both bikes, there is a time period of a second or more when nothing happens. So if the clutch of the Honda PCX gets the Honda in motion faster than the Nmax, there’s going to be an unfair advantage to the Honda. A much more accurate test of the comparative acceleration at low speeds is to do a series of roll on times. For example, I could get the bikes up to 10 kph, and stopwatch them from 10 kph to 50.
But the average acceleration to 80 kph for the Nmax was 7.99 seconds which is a second faster than what I was able to average with the Honda PCX 150 at 10.02 seconds. Furthermore on the way home I only got the Honda PCX up to around 103 kph or so on the same stretch I had gotten 119 out of the Yamaha Nmax. Had I kept on the throttle longer I’m sure it would have done better than this. In an earlier road test I had wrung 112 kph out of a Honda 150 PCX rental while Peter claims to have run it up to 115.
Perhaps the tail wind might have made the difference or the difference in the steepness of the hills. I’ll just take my Nmax to that same section of road to see how easily it gets up to 100 and beyond. But I don’t think I will see much of a difference. Here’s my thoughts on why the Yamaha Nmax superiority over the Honda PCX widens as speeds get increasingly higher. Engine displacement is virtually the same with the PCX having 153 cc’s to the Nmax’s 155. The weight advantage goes to the Nmax, but there’s only about a 7 pound advantage. But the Nmax is producing about 10.5 percent more horsepower with the same size engine. I can only reason that it’s because of that four valve head the Nmax has whereas the Honda PCX only has two valves. The Nmax also has variable valve timing which further increases the volume of air that’s getting into the combustion chamber once a certain high rate of rpms is reached.
Which is faster Yamaha Nmax Honda PCX? There’s no doubt in my mind that the 4 valves and variable valve timing give the Nmax 155 a noticeable edge in both acceleration and top speed, and that the harder and longer one keeps the throttle open, the greater the advantage goes to the Yamaha. Think racing cam and you get the general idea. But my understanding of the variable valve timing is that this setup from Yamaha also reduces the volume of air that gets injected into the combustion chamber as rpm levels go down to more moderate levels.
But what about the rest of the riding experience? There’s no question that the Nmax has the finest brakes on this side of the food chain. ABS and both front and rear disc brakes? Until now this was absolutely unheard of in any kind of motorcycle that is anywhere near this price point. When the stakes are between life and death or spending the rest of one’s life in a wheel chair and remaining healthy, for me, there really is no choice. The Yamaha Nmax wins hands down. But the Honda PCX 150 does ride better with its larger diameter 14 inch tires and softer suspension. For some this might mean the difference of having sore gonads and having no pain whatsoever. At moderate speeds, say up to 40 miles an hour or so, the PCX just seems to float along, Limousin like. The Yamaha Nmax is more like a sports car. Its steering is much quicker and more direct. For some reason although the PCX seems to cover the miles easier with less effort and concentration from the driver at speeds of 40 miles per hour or so, the Nmax seems more stable at speeds exceeding 100 kph. This in spite of its small diameter 13 inch wheels. And whereas the engine sound of the PCX is more serene, the Nmax sound is raspy. It sounds like more performance.
The Honda PCX 150 has an 8 liter fuel tank. THis means more range and fewer fill ups. But the Yamaha Nmax still holds 6.6 liters of fuel which is .7 liters more than earlier models of the PCX 150 held and still .4 liters more than the Honda PCX 125 model. The storage area under the seat is larger in the PCX, but the Nmax is still–not bad. The PCX has an idle start feature, which for some, can be an advantage as it can save up to 5 % in fuel. But as to which is the better bike, that’s a hard one to call. Both are excellent, but I prefer the more sports car like quick handling of the Nmax, coupled with its far superior brakes and higher engine performance.