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Words and photos: Iggy from www.2commute.co.uk
I’ve ridden a lot of scooters over the years, many of them for pleasure but I’ve road tested many more for various magazines and websites. I must admit that KYMCO is one manufacturer that has continually impressed me.
Their machines have improved to the point of being as good as any of the more mainstream brands, good to the point that some of them actually use KYMCO products. For instance BMW use a KYMCO engine in their maxi scooters and Kawasaki use a rebadged KYMCO Downtown 300i as ‘their’ J300 scooter. Testament indeed to this well established Taiwanese company.
This latest addition to the KYMCO range, the Xciting 400i, really deserves to sell well; it’s packed with great features like ABS brakes, LED and neon lighting and it has loads of storage. It’s also built very well and the all-important styling gives it an air of executive class. The Xciting 400i also rides extremely well and isn’t priced too badly either. What’s not to like?
A 600 mile trip to Scotland made me realise just how good this scooter really is. Perfect two up comfort, great weather protection, fine handling and a quick engine, coupled with powerful brakes and a very capable chassis meant I had one of the best rides of my life, despite being two up and loaded with enough luggage for a weekend away.
The KYMCO chewed up the normally tedious 160 miles of motorway with consummate ease, cruising at around 80mph, still with enough power in reserve to get past slower traffic if need be. The engine produces 35.5bhp but it gets up to speed very well and feels lively enough, the claimed top speed is 95mph so it’s quick enough to munch the miles if you’re in a hurry.
The scooter might be comfortable but that doesn’t stop it feeling quite sporty when you get a move on and once the M6 was behind us we had a fantastic cross country ride along the twisty A7 to the Scottish Borders. We’re talking about ribbons of smooth flowing Tarmac, stunning views and virtually no other traffic to spoil the fun. Scooter riding heaven.
The KYMCO was in its element, (as were the rider and fearless pillion) those twin front discs were kept busy as the endless corners worked brakes, chassis, suspension and rider to the limit. I couldn’t fault the scooter and found myself thinking I might even buy an Xciting myself. It has just enough power for a spirited ride and the engine blasts its way out of bends, thanks to a healthy dose of mid range torque. The front forks work well, as does the rear suspension (an area that often lets a scooter down), although I might have benefited by increasing the rear pre load for this particular trip.
The Bosch ABS system is unobtrusive as well, the only time you know its there is when you need it, just as it should be. KYMCO haven’t skimped on the tyres either, the Xciting is fitted with Maxxis rubber and they offer plenty of grip, in the wet or dry.
As mid capacity scooters go you’ll have to go a long way to beat the Xciting 400i as an overall package.
It’s got a potent engine, great looks and terrific build quality; it also has plenty of features like the neon rear light and LED’s.
There’s loads of storage beneath the comfortable and roomy seat as well, in fact we chucked a sports bag under there for a weekend away.
Pillion and rider comfort is fantastic as well, the seat is roomy, the pop out pillion pegs are well placed and comfortable and the screen is just about the perfect height to direct most of the wind/rain away. It would have been better if it was adjustable but it worked well enough for me.
Other than some slight vibration from the engine at speed and the digital dash being hard to see in direct sunlight the only other thing I can moan about is that KYMCO have taken the scooter off me now and I was enjoying it…
Tech spec: KYMCO Xciting 400i
Engine: 399cc, single cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, fuel injected SOHC
Torque: 27.2ft lbs. at 6000rpm
Wheels: Front 120/70-14”, rear 150/70-14” Maxxis tyres
Brakes: Twin 280mm front discs, rear 240mm single disc (ABS)
Suspension: Hydraulic front forks, twin rear shock absorbers (preload adjustable)
Dimensions: Length 1975mm, width 820mm
Seat height: 795mm
Weight: 200kg (dry)
Price: £5092 OTR