Kymco’s People is an affordable*, A2-licence-compatible rival to Honda’s top-selling SH300. This freshly revised Euro 4 model has just landed in the UK and the SLUK monkeys tested it first…
*£3,999 September 2016
Euro 4, it’s nothing to get excited about really – unless you’re a manufacturer/importer/dealer trying to offload your out-dated Euro 3 stock before a sales ban comes into effect from 2017. If you aren’t fussed about Euro 4 then expect some cracking deals on Euro 3 models over the next 18 months…
As a buyer Euro 4 means your next new scooter will more than likely come with ABS (or Combined Braking System), always-on headlights, On Board Diagnostics and emissions low enough to be force-fed to chronic lung patients in place of oxygen. Those lower emissions come with a trade-off though, some power will be sacrificed as part of the clean-up process, so from next year your new scooter may also be slower than this years model. This Kymco is amongst the first of the Euro 4 compliant machines to hit the road and in Sticky’s case it came close to hitting the odd pheasant or two whilst we road tested it abroad; in Wales.
The Kymco People GT 300i ABS (to give it it’s full title) has just landed on British shores, although it’s been part of the Kymco range in Europe for a couple of years. The one we tested was straight out of the crate and came in Euro 4 guise. It’s also pretty good as a mid-range, wallet-friendly scooter to rival the Honda SH300i and other similar large-wheeled commuter scooters.
Usually at ScooterLab we’ll bring you a full written ‘old-school’ road test and a smattering of video. With the Kymco we decided to swap things around a bit, so you’re getting a full road-test video with a few written details, photos and an extended spec.
Click the big red Play button on the video below and let us know which format you prefer in the comments at the bottom of the feature…
What do you reckon?
Hopefully by now you’ll have watched our video and will see that this is a quick, fine handling and good looking machine. Although not its direct competition in real life, the Kymco was more than a match for the Vespa GTS 300 we used as the camera bike.
The GTS would out accelerate the Kymco from a standing start but had much more mid-range grunt so would quickly pass it again.
On our secret off-road testing facility we saw better top speeds from the People at around 84mph on the GPS. The Kymco’s speedo was around 10% out though (as most speedos are) so read closer to 90mph. Given a few more miles under it’s brand new belt we expect this scooter to be able to better 85mph (as claimed by the manufacturer). That’s not far off the class-leading Honda Sh300i we tested a while back.
The Kymco is mighty stable at speed as well though the pay-off for that is odd slow-steering behaviour at low speeds. Nothing you can’t get used to, but just not as natural-feeling as some.
Kymco People GT 300i Specifications
Engine: 298.1cc, 4-stroke, 4-valve SOHC, liquid-cooled, fuel injected, Euro 4
Power: 28.4bhp @ 7500rpm
Torque: 30nm @ 6250rpm
Top speed: 85mph
Tyres: Maxxis front 110/70-16, rear 140/70-16
Brakes: 260mm front and rear discs with three pot sliding calliper
Suspension: Hydraulic front forks, twin adjustable rear shocks
Dimensions: Length 2130mm, width 750mm, height 1280mm
Seat height: 810mm
Fuel capacity: 9 litres
Weight: 165kg (dry)
Colours: Arctic silver
Equipment: 35-litre top box, 12v charge point, anti-theft ignition, small glovebox, bag hook
Licence required: A2
Warranty: Two years
Iggy’s second opinion
The People GT 300i is a quick, fine handling, good looking and useful mid capacity scooter. It’s considerably (£700) cheaper than a Honda SH300i and isn’t much slower so it’s well worth a look if you’re planning to spend some cash on a new high-wheeler.
The People GT 300i is a great all-rounder. We enjoyed hooning around the back lanes, pushing the handling to it’s/our limits and trying out the ABS in the real world. If you’ve seen the video you’ll know that it stops under control and without fuss, whilst the non-ABS equipped Vespa (early pre-ABS facelift model) leaves a trail of rubber along the road. They both stop in the same distance in the dry but the Kymco does it safely and with much more finesse. It’s a serious contender for the 300 class, that’s for sure but hopefully for Kymco UK’s sake the Taiwanese factory won’t let Kawasaki re-badge it like they already have with both the Downtown 125 and 300 (Kawasaki J125/300). Kymco deserve to get the sales, rather than Kawasaki.
Would I buy one?
If I was in the market for a commuter machine and didn’t mind having to use a top box for storage then yes I would. I trust Kymco as a brand, love their 300cc engine and quite like the whole fit, finish and look of the People. Large-wheeled scooters are slowly catching on in the UK (we’re 15 years behind Europe in that respect) and on less than ideal roads they make a lot of sense, a 16″ wheel can handle potholes much better than smaller wheels. They also ride well once you get out of town and can open the throttle a bit.
Is 300cc enough?
For me the 300 class is a perfect compromise. They are fast enough to keep me entertained, can munch motorway miles easily enough and don’t cost a fortune to run or maintain. Start getting much large in capacity and you lose some of the benefits associated with a scooter: Economy, low servicing costs and ease of use. I’d choose a 300 over a ‘proper’ maxi scooter any day of the week (there’s always one in my garage).
One slightly worrying thing is the position of the centre stand, it’s almost vertical in use so it makes the scooter very easy to knock over accidentally. The first time Sticky put it on the stand it rocked off and he only just caught it. Not a huge problem, but don’t park it facing downhill. The same can be said for the dodgy Vespa GTS suicide side stand and Piaggio never bothered to address that problem, despite being in production for well over a decade.
If you want one
While we only had the briefest test, I quite enjoyed my time on board the People. It’s engine may be slightly down on power than the pre-Euro 4 lump fitted to the Downtown 300 but it wasn’t noticeable on the road so don’t worry too much about that. If you want to be the first scooter rider in your area to own next years Euro 4 machine then you can order a Kymco People GT 300i ABS now. Just make sure to tell the dealer that SLUK sent you…