The era of the scooter and its grown up version the “maxi scooter” is upon us causing us to re-associate the term scooter; this category of two-wheelers no longer represents something small or amateurish. Scooters have joined in on the advances of technology and harnessed power that in today’s world is exactly what’s truly “Xciting” about the KYMCO Xciting 500Ri Maxi Scooter!
Manoeuvrability Rated Excellent
Make no mistake, manufacturers KWANG YANG MOTOR CO LTD in Taiwan have produced a maxi scooter that feels, performs and rides just like a regular motorcycle—minus the gear shifting activity; it’s automatic. KYMCO’s popular CVT (continuously variable transmission) provides step-less acceleration from a standing start all the way up to cruising speed.
At first introduction, the Xciting 500Ri it appears majestic in size, yet that’s often the case when you are a small-sized woman such as me. Its dry weight of about 200 kilos–that’s 210 kg/463 lbs with a full 12.8 litres of gas in the tank, is fairly in-line to your average motorcycle. Its seating position provides a wide and thickly padded seat where tall handlebars are perfectly positioned to handle your riding inputs. Its wider floorboard area does demand a wider stance and with just over 76.5 cm (30.2 inch) seat height this can, for some, make it a bit of a stretch to reach the ground. My solution was to simply sit forward on the seat when stopped or arriving to a stop which resolved this; then moving back on the seat when under way. And once riding, the size/weight disappears into a sense of harmonious ease, movement and stability! The manoeuvrability of the Xciting, its cornering feel and overall handle-ability rates excellent for both the newly licensed rider and experienced.
After testing the challenges of the metropolitan play-ground this chaotic Toronto city offers up, I found the Xciting might be a wee bit more bike than needed for the full time urbanite lifestyle. However there was no struggling through heavily pedestrian packed, taxi aggressive streets. And what this Xciting offers that a smaller displacement scooter can’t is the option of getting out of the city and on the highway. This model is ideal if you are a suburban (or further) to urban commuter. Highway travel or inner city needs, the Xciting perfectly deals with core city travel or distance and higher speed road ways.
The liquid cooled engine great for hot jam-packed city travel and its single cylinder 4 stroke delivers prompt response at the throttle twist applying its claimed 40 horsepower seamlessly transitioned through each speed range. This really is ample power performance for any riders’ level of experience.
When testing its emergency stopping abilities, the duel piston calliper red accented brakes performed on command. And if you want to increase your confidence level, you can opt for fitting the ABS system—this of course is as you imagined, extra.
The levers are adjustable to fit smaller or larger hand sizes. And with the telescopic forks on the front there’s good flow over rougher road surfaces and strength in the suspension when stopping.
KYMCO Xciting 500Ri Maxi Scooter Accents
Available in either white or grey, it’s built in storage compartments are for sure a bonus and the Xciting has three. There’s a locking box under the dash for sunglasses, gloves or insurance document copies. A non-locking stash box at the front of the seat for lip-gloss or any other sundries you might want access to while waiting at a stop light. And under the seat you’ll find huge illuminated storage compartment inclusive tool kit and enough room for a full-face helmet. There’s also a 12-volt utility outlet along with a holder for your electronic device–blackberry, iPod or travel hair styler.
COUNTRY HIGHWAY RIDE
With a great weather predicted, I invited a girl friend to join me for a ride on the KYMCO Xciting 500Ri through Toronto’s Northern country side. We were on the bike for over four hours over a distance of over 300 km. With two up we managed about 15 kilometres to the litre which is close to the nearly 200 km per tank. Imagine the potential without a passenger!
As in other KYMCO models, there’s absolutely nothing to challenge about the comfort put into their seat designs and this was a noted pleasure point on a longer journey. My passenger enjoyed total comfort on her ample sized passenger area. I’ve an adjustable back rest to my use which also gives the passenger an extra place to hang on—but mostly I liked the fact that it created a barrier keeping the passenger out of my space.
The Xciting has a small but well designed windscreen buffering the wind away from the rider. Its 500cc, DOHC liquid-cooled engine delivers at highway speeds with plenty of passing power. The 15″(38 cm) front and 14″ (35.5 cm) rear tires, adjustable hydraulic rear shocks and telescopic front forks smooth out the bumps and allow for some optional settings depending on weight variations.
When we arrived to our destination I parked the Xciting on its side stand in the gravel and pulled on the parking break. What a terrific idea as if you remember unlike a motorcycle where parking it in gear prevents movement, a scooter doesn’t normally have this option.
Other test rider’s reviews of the Xciting 500Ri expressed disappointment about the ground clearance on this model and the suspension stating during certain cornering compression’s the suspension bottoms out and the centre stand contacts the ground. That might be something for you to consider for larger weighted riders. We had no experience of this whatsoever—bearing in mind we were two small framed women, with a total combined weight of about 104 kilo’s.
BUDGET: The manufacturers suggested retail price is CAD7000.
If you buy a KYMCO Xciting 500Ri your owner’s manual provides you a servicing schedule to follow. It is always best to pay attention to this and respect it to ensure the long life and proper operation of your scooter.
After the initial breaking in period of your Xciting, providing you purchased it new, there are regular intervals of checks and basic maintenance required. And similar to keeping your stylish hairdo in shape these have fees.
Depending on which comes first 6,000 kilometres or 6 months, there will be a few items to check where the following are replaced at each of these intervals. (Note: if you have an authorized KYMCO service representative, these will be evaluated before replaced!)
The items involved are:
Air cleaner/filter: $35.00
Engine Oil Filter: $12.00
Engine Oil: Approx. 3 litres @ $10. Per/litre
After consulting KYMCO who run a corporate full service dealership I was advised you can have your minor service (every 6 months) done for an all-inclusive price of about $130-$140. They’ll even clean the bike as part of this package!
The standard major service estimate is at about $225.00
Both the above exclude any problems that might be discovered and would be added service and fees.
*all prices are Canadian currency
This fuel injected KYMCO Xciting 500Ri Maxi Scooter offers KYMCO quality and economy in a new, bigger scooter package–it’s the perfect commuter. You’ll have urban access and convenience along with long distance performance at any highway speed (top speed estimated around 150 km/ph). You’ll have enough room for carry-on luggage –even your sports bag should you visit the gym after work! Great value for the money and easy to keep up.
Check for a KYMCO dealership near you and book a test ride to see for yourself.
*photography: Kevin Virag and Vicki Gray
MOTORESS director, Vicki Gray is a basic and advanced motorcycle instructor – certified for over 25 years. She is a motorcycle licensing examiner and has instructed, examined and licensed riders for European and North American road racing schools.