photography by Scott Hirko
[This 2010 Kymco Lineup review was originally published in the January 2010 issue of Rider magazine]
Kymco’s 2010 two-wheeled lineup, which includes 16 scooters and a small-displacement motorcycle, offers a wide variety of fun, stylish and economical transportation. The Taiwanese company’s bikes are typically much less expensive than comparable Japanese and European offerings, yet offer good build quality, two-year warranties and an extensive U.S. dealer network. KYMCO invited us to Asheville, North Carolina, for a full day of test rides.
At the top of the food chain is the Kymco Xciting 500Ri. The 499cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected single offers the most power in the KYMCO line, making it the top choice for highway commuting and touring. A plush, two-up seat, good wind protection and generous underseat storage encourage you to hit the road for a long weekend. Steering is quick thanks to a 15-inch front wheel, yet the Xciting 500 tackled the twists and turns of the Blue Ridge Parkway with stability and confidence. The Xciting 500Ri is $6,299 ($6,799 with ABS), and a 249cc version is available for $5,249 (ABS not offered).
In addition to the Xciting 250, KYMCO offers two other mid-displacement scooters—the Grandvista 250 and the People S 250 (the latter also available in 50, 125 and 200 iterations). They offer the same engine and price ($4,499), but different style and riding experiences. The Grandvista’s 12-inch wheels turn quicker than the People S’s 16-inchers, but they are much less forgiving of potholes and other pavement irregularities. Also, due to a more sharply stepped, pushed-forward seat, I felt more cramped on the Grandvista than the People S (I’m 6-foot-plus). But, as with the Xciting, both are solid, stable machines at speed. Compared to the 500, the Xciting 250 weighs 66 pounds less, costs $1,050 less and gets 20 mpg more, but has the same overall dimensions.
If twist-and-go, step-through scooters aren’t your thing, consider the Quannon 150 sportbike, a scaled-down sportbike that has a 31.5-inch seat height and gets an estimated 95 mpg. Powered by a 149cc, liquid-cooled, carbureted single, this ‘lil sportbike is perfect for beginners, urban commuters and those who just want to have fun. The narrow, compact Quannon is easy to maneuver, but power is underwhelming and the single-disc front brake is mushy. But hey, at 299 pounds and $2,999, it costs just $10 per pound!
Click HERE to see video from the press introduction.