Our resident two-wheeled specailist Chris hops on board Kymco’s mid-weight maxi-scooter and rides it 600+ km in 18.5 hours. This is his take on the ride.
Kymco’s Xciting 500Ri is a comfortable and reliable machine that provides plenty of power to run at highway speeds and plenty of room to carry two people and gear. With a strong engine and comfortable riding position, it has enough to provide you with the excitement of riding and the practicality required for day to day use.
The Xciting is a great scooter for that long cruise. It offers up a comfortable seating position with a rider seat that is equipped with an adjustable backrest. Folding passenger pegs and spacious seating for rider and passenger are standard kit. Featuring 1.56 metre (61.8 inch) wheelbase, the 500Ri is far from what you’d call cramped. An aerodynamic, sport style windscreen limits wind buffeting and is height adjustable.
Kymco’s second largest scooter offering, the Xciting is equipped with a sizeable under seat storage area capable of holding two open face helmets. The under seat storage has an area light, a 12V power outlet and a cell phone holder so you can easily charge your phone while on the road. Positioned at the front of the seat riders will also find a small compartment which is great for change and other small knick knacks you don’t want to burden your pockets with. For a little security, there’s also a lockable glove box with plenty of room to store a wallet, phone or other small valuables.
At 12.8 L, the Xciting’s fuel tank isn’t exactly touring grade, but with fuel economy ranging between 4.5-5 L/100km riders can easily go 250+ km on a single tank. During my time with the Xciting 500Ri, the scooter seemed to drain fuel rather quickly when cruising over 70 km/h. Throughout my run with the scooter, I seemed to manage an average economy of 4.7 L/100km.
Powered by a 499cc, 4-stroke, liquid cooled engine capable of 38 horsepower, the Xciting isn’t wanting for get up and go.
By far not the quickest on two wheels with a 0-100 km/h time of just over 10 seconds, the Xciting is still plenty capable of moving rider and passenger up to speed sans drama. Weighing in at 236 kg (521 lbs) the Xciting can be a bit sluggish off the line, but at speed it has plenty of passing power.
Braking is provided by dual discs up front with dual piston calipers and a single disc in the rear with a single piston floating rear caliper. ABS is optional and can be had for $500. Standard on all new Xciting models are 4-way adjustable brake levers.
Through the corners the Xciting feels a bit heavy and definitely shows its ‘scooter side’. The 15-inch front and 14-inch rear tires are kept on the ground by adjustable hydraulic rear shocks and telescopic front forks which perform amicably. Slower rides through urban environments is where the Xciting really shines.
2015 models are available in Red and Black, while featuring red coloured rear suspension springs and brake calipers that evoke a sense of performance.
The dash has a symmetrical three gauge cluster with an analog speedometer in the centre flanked by a tachometer and fuel/coolant temp gauges on each side. Below the speedometer is a small digital display that shows trip information including distance traveled and time.
Up front the face of the Xciting 500Ri was redesigned for the 2013 model year and carries through to 2015 models. It features an angular dual lamp design with integrated turn signals–Canadian models however include orange turn signal stalks that are added in order to meet our registration requirements for new vehicles.
The scooter also features pulled back side panels and a raked windscreen which work to give the big scooter a sporting look.
The front-end redesign for the Xciting 500 brings it in line with Kymco’s stylish smaller displacement Downtown 300i.
Value for Money
With a base price of $6,995 the Kymco Xciting 500Ri is almost $2,000 cheaper than its competitors from Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki.
Although not immediately obvious, this difference in price is slightly noticeable by some less than stellar feeling body parts. Kymco makes this significantly lower price possible by saving money on the Xciting’s components, using generic parts or replicating parts in-house where possible. All new Kymco scooters come with a standard 2-year warranty that the company is fiercely proud of, something that should put most quality concerns buyers have to rest.
Equipped with a comfortable and user-friendly cockpit while delivering all the power you’d need for getting around, this 500cc class scooter can easily hold its own in the segment.
It’s hard to beat the Xciting 500Ri’s combination of comfort, storage, ride and perhaps most importantly, price point in its class of scooters. As far as value for money goes, this is the one to beat.
Heavy, and slow for a 500cc motor
Use of some unpleasant plastic components
Can be less than confident when ridden spiritedly
Photographs by Kanishka Sonnadara and Chris Bucik