KYMCO Scooter 125 Ride Review A Real People Pleaser
The era of the scooter and its grown up version
Motion Camouflage is the result and the explanation of why
Those KYMCO folks in Taiwan must have known Petula Clark
Often I’m puzzled at the origins of the KYMCO product names – the “Bet & Win” or the “Frost”; the “Vitality”. Certainly, when looking deeper into the characteristics of the motorcycle it becomes clearer, as was the case when testing the KYMCO Scooter 125 People. I came to appreciate the fact that synonymous with its name, it really is a genuine “People Pleaser”.
Big Wheel Scooter
Riders’ pleasure is the result on this model namely due to a characteristic setting it apart from others—16 inch (40 cm) “big wheels”. This larger diameter truly produces improved motorbike handling and comfort versus that of the standard 12in wheel size characteristic of most scooters (the People 50 cc also has “big wheels).
Highlights of the KYMCO Scooter 125 are comfortable, stable, secure; I can personally vouch for these features basically owing to the result of larger wheels. That’s just plain geometry.
With a bigger wheel, you’ll find it doesn’t drop as far into potholes or bumps in the road such as a smaller wheel does. Even a smaller wheel feels raised bumps much more sharply than the big wheel. The fact that a smaller wheel must cover an area in a shorter time than the bigger wheel generates additional vertical velocity on the smaller wheel. This causes more demands on the bikes’ suspension system. All these factors, for you the rider, translates to additional transfer of shock to the sprung mass which is essentially everything mounted on the wheels (the whole mass of the motorcycle minus the wheels, brakes and a few suspension parts). Yes you tend to feel more of the road on smaller wheels (that’s why touring motorcycles usually have larger wheels). The larger wheel also provides a greater contact patch to the road surface which as you know means more grip. More grip equals more confidence, and particularly on wet surfaces.
You can also really appreciate the benefits of the People S 125 big wheel feature at slower speeds—it’s such a simple bike to balance and turn, making even a new or less experienced rider appear skilled! You’ll benefit from a smoother ride, more comfort, and satisfaction. And imagine what a great feature this is for riders with back troubles. You’ll be sitting on a more ‘bump’ filtered ride!
Style & Accents
Personally, I found the big wheel look and overall appearance of the People S 125 initially a little odd. The larger wheels and its flat board step through base possessed a square lined look versus the usual KYMCO fluent aerodynamic flow design I’d been accustomed to (KYMCO’S Bet & Win; see my KYMCO AND THE CITY series).
The seat is comfortably big enough for two, and equally great when riding solo. The passenger pegs fold away another ‘people pleasing’ accent. Its dash is illuminated in ‘indigo’ and is equipped with analogue instrument cluster–clock, fuel gauge, service indicator for all the relevant data.
The handlebars are placed well in proportion to your seat position–an individual observation based on your personal physique.
Another feature of the uninterrupted step through area/floor board is the added ability to move forward and backwards to achieve your ultimate riding position—with sturdy feet and flat foot capability. The absence of the ‘humped’ area allows for lower body positioning adjustments by having full range access to the full floor board.
This may well be an advantage for riders with shorter leg length /reach. The fuel filler cap is under the seat which I feel is a great feature –not only because aesthetically it looks better being out of view; yet you don’t have to bend or stretch to position the filler gas nozzle. Simply lift up the seat and “fill ‘er up”. The under seat storage area fits anything other than a full face helmet.
There’s a small tool kit attached to the under side of the seat and a small cargo rack on the back of the seat area. Here you’ll be able to attach additional items or add a fitted top box.
There’s also a front storage compartment in the middle just under the dash area –handy for glove storage when not riding. And just above this compartment is a centre hook for hanging a briefcase or shopping bag.
As in other KYMCO scooters, there are two vents in the leg shields which can be opened allowing hot air from the radiator to pass over your legs. This is a great advantage on cooler temperature days. It’s got a centre and side stands both are most easily engaged.
The People’s 125cc four-stroke engine is not going to give you ground shaking feedback, and this one’s even more composed as it’s a CVT transmission, standard for almost all scooters. Your ride will be in the “Zen” zone–calm which I think for many is an added benefit. You’ll enjoy a somewhat “de-stressing ride” on the People S125 while surrounded by the taxing environment of the urban life–counter balancing the constant city clamour.
Acceleration is pleasant and smooth–dependable at each request getting you up to speed easily. Keep in mind, once again, it’s a CVT where you’ll easily find yourself repentantly speeding up and consequently, over the speed limit.
But don’t underestimate the 125cc engine by its calmness—it’s more than capable of keeping up with city or secondary road highway speeds and traffic.
This scooter has less than 30 horsepower yet not relevant as you’ll enjoy blending into every urban and short highway trip without notice (The added weight of a passenger may alter this result somewhat). You’ve got all you need for a safe, fun, and reliable journey.
As a special note, I’ve come to learn with most KYMCO product speedometer gauges are characteristically off. They’ll show about +/- 10 km more than your real-time speed. Use your sense of speed judgement felt by the traffic pace happening around you.
How Was it on The Expressway?
When taking the People S125 on the free way, I must admit having the ‘big wheel’ tires supplied an overall higher feeling of trust. The bike gets up to 90 km/ph (official highway speed) just fine. Though not ideal (but not impossible) for a long highway trip, but perfect for 80 km/ph secondary highways.
KYMCO has available a larger wind shield for this model, which is great for longer distance touring or quite simply a more aerodynamically comfortable ride.
A terrific scooter all around. It’s particularly great for riders seeking a smoother ride–a result of the “big wheel” effect. Perfect for both starters and experienced riders and beneficial to riders looking for a little more road travel comfort and handling (it’s turning/balancing ease). This equates to a far easier demand on your physical input—more so than the smaller wheel scoot, still a pleasure to handle.
You’ll have enough power for city and for the short highway travel.
The only negative I could find would be the slightly smaller than expected under seat storage. Nevertheless, the benchmark is KYMCO’s other scooter products (i.e. the 150cc Bet & Win) where the under seat area is larger. There’s still plenty room on the People S125 yet you may consider installing an extra carrier to the rear rack if need be.
Service Schedule and Budget
You’ll get the standard owners manual when you buy the People S 125 if you’re purchasing from an official dealer. As always, we recommend you adhere to the service schedule—this will ensure a long life, proper operation of your scooter and a good dollar when you either trade it in for a newer model or sell it to another rider.
Visit KYMCO to find a retailer near you.