Kymco Xciting 400i | ROAD TEST
Xciting by name, but is it by nature?
Kymco Xciting 400i
The Kymco Xciting certainly looks the part. Its styling is well executed, the quality is superb and the aggressive front end – complete with mean black screen and LED front running lights – make it stand out. The scooter also has twin front discs and a single rear, complete with top-notch Bosch ABS. There are 42-litres of illuminated storage space beneath the huge, sumptuous seat, a digital dash, 12v charging socket, adjustable levers and it also uses a super bright neon rear light. What’s not to like?
Power comes from a single cylinder 399cc lump that’s liquid-cooled and fuel injected. There’s 35.5bhp on tap and like most big scooters, it’s always on the boil. Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) keeps the engine spinning at the optimum revs to make best use of the power available.
Riding a large capacity scooter requires a different mindset to a motorbike. You may think that the absence of gears equates to a less involving ride; maybe a little dull or dare we say it – effeminate. CVT actually means you can concentrate on riding, rather than continually shifting gears. It’s still great fun, so don’t be put-off without trying one.
Some of my most memorable rides have been on maxi-scooters; one of which was on this particular machine. On a 600 mile round trip to Kelso in Scotland, a combination of stunning roads, fearless pillion and a fantastic scooter meant I enjoyed every single mile. I arrived feeling like the trip wasn’t really far enough. If I’d have done it on a middleweight bike, or a classic scooter I’d have been more stressed and less energetic when I got there.
The Xciting handles very well; so blasting along near deserted twisty Scottish A-roads was the perfect environment. The chassis is stiff enough and even on the standard settings the preload adjustable suspension was comfortable. An extra click on the rear preload would probably have been worthwhile to cope with the extra weight of a pillion and luggage. I was having a good time though, so wasn’t about to stop and get a C-spanner out to play around. In fact I had to force myself to stop and take a photo at the border control, where a sudden gust exposed the nether regions of the lonesome piper and almost drove me back the way I came.
The Kymco has Bosch ABS as standard. Scooter Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS) have come on in leaps and bounds in the last few years. You don’t even know it’s there unless you need it. It’s a little like having your own minder, to look after you in the event of trouble, but generally making every effort not to spoil your evening. Even with spirited riding the twin 280mm front disks and single 240mm rear offer plenty of stopping power. Unlike some manufacturers who feel the need to molly-coddle scooterists with linked braking systems, thankfully Kymco have left front and rear independent. Un-linked brake control is better for sporty riding, as any Yamaha TMAX rider will tell you. The Xciting is just as much of a sports scooter as it is a useful tourer or commuter.
I put around 800 miles on the Xciting 400i’s digital clock and struggled to find fault with it. The Kymco does a genuine 93mph and looks modern and stylish. It has a very good spec and isn’t badly priced either at £5,029. If you compare it to the Suzuki Burgman 400 at £5999, or the Piaggio X10 350 – £5592 then you’re getting a good all-rounder and saving enough cash to buy yourself a new helmet and some decent riding kit.
Who are Kymco?
Kymco are a well known and highly respected manufacturer from Taiwan. They are trusted to build the J125 and J300 scooters for Kawasaki. They also build and supply engines for the BMW maxi scooters so quality and reliability really aren’t an issue. Never confuse them with any of the lesser Far Eastern brands; Kymco’s products are worlds apart in terms of quality.
What does it cost to run?
I don’t ride economically (sorry polar bears) and during my thrash to Scotland I averaged just 46mpg. That’s not great when you compare it to the average family car. I’m fairly confident I could push that figure closer to 60 if I didn’t use the throttle as an on/off switch. Servicing is another consideration; a service will set you back around £120 but most owners will only need one a year, depending on mileage.
If I’m reluctant to hand a scooter back after a road test then I know I’ve enjoyed it. Some scooters just take up valuable garage space and I’m glad to get rid of them. That’s certainly not the case with the Xciting. During my ride to Scotland I was seriously considering buying it rather than sending it back. The Kymco may be a few cubes short of a T-MAX 530 and not be quite as sport-biased, thanks to the swinging engine – rather than mid placed motorcycle style motor of the Yamaha – but it’s still a great maxi scooter with enough power on tap to have some fun.
It also handles well and looks great too. There are no major issues to worry about but you can feel some slight vibration from the engine at speed – although you soon forget about it. Aside from minor vibration and the clocks being tricky to read in the daylight (they are colourful and easy to see at night though) I loved it. I enjoyed the comfort and the great handling. I also know and trust Kymco as a brand. For a great value all-rounder the Xciting 400i takes some beating. It also comes with a two-year warranty and there are currently 120 dealers in the UK.
Why choose a maxi scooter instead of a mid capacity bike?
- They’re much more useable on a day to day basis; you can jump on a scooter and ride it without too much fuss.
- You’ve got no chain to lube, or tension (much less bovver during winter).
- You can’t even carry a bag of chips home on most bikes.
- Scooters also have oodles of built in storage – where do you put your emergency after work food shopping on a bike?
- Scooters like this one also look very stylish.
- They’re easy to ride and extremely comfortable.
- Twist and go transmission offers an ease of use and maximum acceleration every time.
Engine Type: single cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected
Valve arrangement: SOHC
Maximum power: 35.5bhp
Front suspension: Hydraulic forks
Rear suspension: Twin shock absorbers (preload adjustable)
Front brake: Twin 280mm discs
Rear brake: 240mm single disc (Bosch ABS)
Front tyre: 120/70-14” Maxxis tyre
Rear tyre: 150/70-14” Maxxis tyre
Seat height: 795mm
Fuel capacity: 12.5 litres
Weight: 200kg (dry)
Price: £5092 OTR
Lab rating: 9