Jamie Leonard takes KYMCO’s new Super 8 scooter for a spin and issues a Report Card on its behaviour.
Intro – Editor ‘arris
Welcome to our new format for testing scooters: The CMG Report Card. Now you probably already know that we at CMG love scooters.
We think they’re great and if the world was a perfect place, everyone would have one. But it’s not and let’s face it, despite delivering shits and giggles by the boat load there’s not a whole load you can say about them on a test ride.
With this in mind we’re trying a simplified ‘Report Card’ format for scooter testing which gets you the pertinent info without having to try and write it up all flowery-like.
So here goes our first report card on KYMCO’s new Super 8. Over to Jamie …
The KYMCO Super 8 2T is an air-cooled, 2 stroke, 49.5cc sporty scooter and is one of four fifties in the current KYMCO line. It replaces the Super 9 (which is a little odd as the numbers seem to be on a backward trend) though the spec sheet is similar, save for larger 14-inch wheels on the Eight.
One of the issues I find with 50 cc scooters is their physical compactness. Many are just too small for anyone over six feet to fit on them … and not have the handlebars hit their knees anyway. Thankfully for me, the Super 8 is one of the bigger fifties and at 6′ 2” I fit on it and had no problem with legroom or seating position – depending on how much I’m slouching at any particular moment.
The instrument cluster, while sparse, has all the necessary bits and bobs – a large dial speedo, gas gauge, signal light and high beam indicator, odometer, a handy LCD clock and a low-oil light (for the all-important two stroke oil). Simple is good in this case and it has everything you need without a whole lot of extra frills.
The underseat storage is large enough for a fairly large helmet or a reasonable amount of groceries, though a bag hook inside the front leg-shield allows you to squeeze even more in if the supermarket happens to have a one-day sale on baked beans.
Fit and finish
Generally high marks here. I might, if I were prone to quibble (and I am, oh how I am*) note that the seat is a touch on the firm side – and that the centre stand is sandwiched in a little too tightly between the kickstart and the passenger footpegs for easy operation, but these are very minor points. Overall it gets a good grade.
* Yesterday I had to tell my mom that I found her parenting skills “Acceptable, but uninspired and derivative.” Needless to say, this made her birthday dinner quite awkward afterwards.
Good. Flickable, light, easy to steer with a good suspension (thanks to the larger-than-most 14-inch tires) and suspension that could actually absorb some of the abuse of the potholes on my daily commute.
Dual-piston disc brakes on the front and drum on the rear work very well and overall it really does a good job of going around corners and stopping quickly. Both useful things to be able to do in the somewhat unpredictable urban driving environment if you don’t want to end up as the hood ornament of an SUV.
Here’s the slight rub. I’d rate it as average for a 50cc – not impressive, but not terrible either. Now, I do have to add the disclaimer that I got this machine with about 80 kilometres on it and put on a further 160, so when I finished it was still within the break-in period.
Anyone who has ever owned a small-displacement two stroke knows the break-in is very important and the final power output can be adversely affected by your attention to this … as well as by weather, phases of the moon, and even your karmic standing in the universe. But I digress.
A careful break-in should see a gain in power and reduced gas consumption, sometimes by a fair amount. So it is entirely possible that horsepower will improve on a machine with a bit more running-in.
I observed fuel economy to be about 21 km/L. This was pretty much entirely stop and go city traffic – but then again that is what this scooter is designed for – and of course on a new motor to boot.
This offers a range of 105 kilometres due to a five-litre fuel tank – but you’re unlikely to be doing cross country touring on it anyway.
So how much will the new KYMCO set you back? At $2,845 it’s priced on the higher end of the 50 cc scooter spectrum, slotted it in just below the Japanese fifties and about $400 cheaper than Yamaha’s best selling BWs 50cc ($3,249).
All in all would I recommend the Super 8? That’s the question I find a little difficult to answer. On one hand, I did quite enjoy the handling – it’s a solid machine through the corners, is quite planted, brakes well and has a low centre of gravity.
It has decent storage too, doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and has KYMCO’s reputation for durability backed up with a two-year warranty (something rather rare in the 50cc market).
However, the available power seems just a shade shy of impressive, feeling comparable to four-stroke 50cc scooters I have owned and lacking just a touch of the two-stroke madness I was expecting. The power, however, should improve as the engine runs in.
Still, it’s worth a look for the larger rider who isn’t expecting more than average 50 cc performance out of a scooter.
|KYMCO Super 8
Power (crank – claimed)
|Carburetor with electric choke
|Single slotted disc
|790 mm ( “)
|106 kg ( lb)
|Two year limited