The SanYang Motor Company (SYM), a company that has been in the two-wheel production game since it started building motorbikes for Honda back in 1961, makes the PCH family of scooters for the Lance brand. Lance imports a variety of scooters from SYM for sale in the domestic market under its own moniker, which brings us to the 2016 PCH models with a choice of 50, 125 and 150 cc engines.

Though the U.S doesn’t use the stratified operator licensing employed by other nations, negating the need to shop by engine size for those requirements, we do have a 150 cc minimum displacement for legal highway travel. Since the biggest PCH model meets that requirement, the models with the smaller engines give customers some alternatives so you can shop by price, or desired top speed to get exactly what you need for your purposes.

Continue reading for my review of the 2016 Lance 50/125/150.

  • 2016 Lance PCH 50/125/150
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-1
  • Displacement:
    151 cc
  • Price:
    2199
  • Price:

Design

2016 Lance PCH 50/125/150
- image 654488

As much as I like the classic scooter form we get with models like the Vino Classic from Yamaha, and any number of Piaggio products, for instance, I gotta say I really like the look of these PCH rides. The front fairing/leg guards carry an angular look that gives the ride a sporty bent, and hints at a greater aerodynamic efficiency than the old-school, flat-faced style. This is a trade-off though, since you also get a little less in the way of wind and spray protection. A teeny-tiny wind deflector mounted on the handlebars might break some wind off your core, but I think it’s mostly there to shade the instrument cluster.

The rest of the ride is as slim as the front, and the beveled corners on the saddle will make it feel even slimmer. This slimness makes for a nearly straight shot to the ground for your feet, and the 31-inch seat height should fit all but the shortest of riders. A full step-through allows for easy mounting and plenty of foot room, but the narrow build cuts down on the secondary cargo area between your feet. The under-seat storage compartment has room for a half-helmet plus a few other bits and bobs, but you won’t be storing your three-quarter or full-face bucket in there. A tapering sweep to the rear end brings the body to a graceful exit with the taillight forming the terminal point for a nice continuity of design.

Chassis

2016 Lance PCH 50/125/150
- image 654497

A tubular-steel underframe forms the bone structure, a design far superior to the unibody approach in my opinion since the body panels are not structural, and can be easily replaced if damaged. This gives you a more durable ride in the event of a wreck as long as you don’t tweak the frame. Telescopic front forks float the front end in a right-side-up layout with bellow-gaiters to protect the fork seal, and a coil-over monoshock supports the rear off the swing-mount motor assembly. No adjustments in the suspension to speak of, not even a preload adjustment, so what you get is what you got as far as the ride goes. I haven’t tested it, but I imagine light riders may find it a little stiff, and heavy riders or two-up riders will find it a tad squishy.

Cast-aluminum rims mount 12-inch hoops, with a 120/70 up front and a 130/70 in back for a beefy look and decent contact patch. While the tires fit the rest of the design, I think I would rather have 14-inch tires for greater rough road handling and safety, but that’s just me. A two-pot, piston-and-anvil caliper binds the 190 mm front disc, and a 130 mm, mechanical drum brake slows the rear. The front caliper also brings a little flash to the front end with a bright-red finish that contrasts with its surrounds for a nice, racy touch.

Drivetrain

2016 Lance PCH 50/125/150
- image 654496

So far, all three models have been identical across the board, but now we get to the point of divergence. The sub-model names round the actual displacement up or down, so we really have a 49 cc, a 124 cc and a 151 cc mill on offer. While there are differences between the engines besides displacement, they all share the same showpiece technology; the electroplated, Ni/SiC ceramic cylinder-bore plating. This plating hardens and protects the cylinder wall, and serves as a high-tech solution to the old, heavy, iron cylinder inserts.

A carburetor handles aspiration on all three air-cooled engines with a capacitor-discharge ignition (CDI) on spark-control duty. While the 50 and 125 look very similar around the drivetrain area, the 150 uses some beefier-looking drive unit parts and a sportier exhaust shield. All three models come with electric start, but the 50 alone comes with a kickstarter as an emergency backup, or if you just want to look cool kicking it to life.

Now for some important numbers. The 50 puts out 1.9 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 1.58 pound-feet of torque at 6,500 rpm, for a top speed that is restricted to 30 mph and gives you 117 mpg. A little bigger, the 125 bumps that up to 8.38 horsepower and 6.14 pound-feet at the same rpm breaks, with a 59 mph max speed and 90 mpg. The “big boy” (wink nudge) cranks out 10.3 horsepower at 7,500 rpm, and the torque peaks out a bit earlier with 7.96 pound-feet at an even six grand with 87 mpg. Though the 151 cc displacement and top speed of 65 mph technically qualifies it for legal highway use, I would be terrified to hit the interstate on it. Yeah, it will do the speed limit, or close to it in most places, but you would have nothing left if you were to need it.

All three engines come with a centrifugal clutch, and a CVT drive unit mated with the mill and the rear axle forms the typical, one-piece, swing-mount setup. The beauty of this, of course, is the easy, shiftless operation and the elimination of the clutch lever, a nice feature that allows newer riders to concentrate on other things, such as keeping it between the lines.

Price

2016 Lance PCH 50/125/150
- image 654476

Prices vary mainly based on engine size with the 50 at $1,499, the 125 at $1,899 and the 150 at $2,199. They all come with a two-year, limited factory warranty, and in a whole slew of colors. The two smaller models come with a glossy finish, while the 150 sports a matte palette.

Competitor

2016 Lance PCH 50/125/150
- image 653903
2016 Lance PCH 50/125/150
- image 654492

With so many heavy hitters dominating the scooter market, I wanted to go with another “little guy,” so I picked the V-150 from Wolf Brand Scooters (formerly Gorilla Motor Works). While both brands run with a sporty style, they took different routes to get there. The Lance has an undeniably sporty front fairing, but Wolf takes it up a notch with a longer, and slightly alien-looking, front end. Fairing lowers on the Wolf hint at superbike cowlings while providing a little more leg protection than the vestigial-looking lowers on the Lance. The rest of the overall look is similar enough, and while both are available in a handful of colors, the carbon-fiber components available from Wolf make for a refreshing break from traditional paint schemes.

The V-150 mill displaces 149.6 cc, just a few cubes short of the 151 cc PCH engine, and only 8.5 horsepower to the Lance’s 10.3 horsepower with a concurrent difference in top speed with a claimed 65 mph for the PCH versus a vague, 55-plus mph from Wolf. Though more powerful, the PCH mill gets better mileage at 87 mpg over the V-150 at an ambiguous 75-plus mpg.

As inexpensive as the Lance PCH is at $2,199, the V-150 appears to be even less expensive. While I couldn’t find the MSRP for it, I did find one on a showroom floor for $1,350 and I consider that to be a pretty good ballpark price, and certainly lower than the PCH even if not totally accurate.

He Said

“One of my favorite things about this job is learning about all these companies that don’t get the same exposure as, say, Piaggio’s products, or any of the other big names, and while this isn’t my favorite model from the lineup, I’ve got to say they sell some really good-looking scooters. As for this one, methinks it would be too skinny for me, since I do ride with a full-face modular helmet and would like to be able to store it out of the weather instead of carrying it inside with me.”

She Said

My wife and fellow writer, Allyn Hinton, says, "I agree with my husband on this one. I really like the looks of the Lance scooters, but I need a little more storage space than the PCH models have. A quick look through the accessories catalog doesn’t reveal any storage options for the PCH in the manufacturer’s site unless, of course, you want to go for the PCH Delivery model with that huge top case. Pizza anyone?"

Specifications

Models: PCH 50 PCH 125 PCH 150
Drivetrain:
Engine: Four-Stroke Single-Cylinder with Ceramic Coating Cylinder Technology Four-Stroke Single-Cylinder with Ceramic Coating Cylinder Technology Four-Stroke Single-Cylinder with Ceramic Coating Cylinder Technology
Displacement: 49 cc 124 cc 151 cc
Compression Ratio: 11.8:1 9.6:1 10.4:1
Horsepower: 1.9 Horsepower at 7,500 rpm 8.38 Horsepower at 7,500 rpm 10.3 Horsepower at 7,500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 1.58 Pound-feet at 6,500 rpm 6.14 Pound-Feet at 6,500 rpm 7.96 Pound-Feet at 6,000 rpm
Cooling System: Air Cooled Air Cooled Air Cooled
Transmission: C.V.T. C.V.T. C.V.T.
Clutch: Centrifugal Type Centrifugal Type Centrifugal Type
Drive: Belt Belt Belt
Starter: Electric / Kick Electric Starter Electric Starter
Ignition: CDI CDI CDI
Spark Plug: Torch A7RC Torch A7RC Torch A7RC
Battery Capacity: 12V 6Ah (closed type, maintenance-free) 12V 6Ah (closed type, maintenance-free) 12V 6Ah (closed type, maintenance-free)
Chassis:
Frame: High Strength Steel High Strength Steel High Strength Steel
Suspension, Front: Telescopic Fork Telescopic Fork Telescopic Fork
Suspension, Rear: Unit Swing Unit Swing Unit Swing
Brake, Front: 190 mm Disc 190 mm Disc 190 mm Disc
Brake, Rear: 130 mm Drum 130 mm Drum 130 mm Drum
Tire, Front: 120/70 - 12 120/70 - 12 120/70 - 12
Tire, Rear: 130/70 - 12 130/70 - 12 130/70 - 12
Wheels: Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum
Dimensions:
Ground Clearance: 8.1 inches 8.1 inches 8.1 inches
Length: 75 inches 75 inches 75 inches
Width: 27.16 inches 27.16 inches 27.16 inches
Height: 48.74 inches 48.74 inches 48.74 inches
Seat Height: 31 inches 31 inches 31 inches
Wheelbase: 52.16 inches 52.16 inches 52.16 inches
Details:
Age Recommendation: 16+ 16+ 16+
Top Speed: 30 mph (Restricted) 59 mph 65 mph
Fuel Capacity: 1.37 Gallons 1.37 Gallons 1.37 Gallons
Recommended Fuel: Premium Unleaded Premium Unleaded Premium Unleaded
Weight Capacity: 333 Pounds 333 Pounds 333 Pounds
Net Weight: 240.3 Pounds 240.3 Pounds 240.3 Pounds
Government Certifications: EPA & DOT Approved, C.A.R.B. Approved for CA EPA & DOT Approved, C.A.R.B. Approved for CA EPA & DOT Approved, C.A.R.B. Approved for CA
Warranty: Build by SYM with 24 Months Limited Warranty Build by SYM with 24 Months Limited Warranty Build by SYM with 24 Months Limited Warranty
MPG: 117 mpg 90 mpg 87 mpg
Colors: Midnight Black, Arctic White, Chili Red, Intense Yellow, Burnt Orange Midnight Black, Arctic White, Chili Red, Intense Yellow, Burnt Orange Matte White, Matte Black, Matte Green, Matte Red
Price: $1,499 $1,899 $2,199
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