KYMCO Super 8

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Jamie Leonard takes KYMCO’s new Super 8 scooter for a spin and issues a Report Card on its behaviour.

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Words: Jamie Leonard. Pics, Jamie Leaonard and Cindy Wilson unless otherwise specified

 


Intro – Editor ‘arris

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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 Machine

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Super 8 is trending toward zero.

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.

Ergos

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.

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Instruments are sparse but cover what needs to be covered.
photo: KYMCO 

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.

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Jamie goes for a leisurely ride after his mom’s birthday dinner to ponder what he just said.

* 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.

Handling

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.

Braking

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.

Motor

 

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Dressing yourself up in full race leathers may be a little on the optimistic side!
photo: KYMCO

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.

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Break in should aid power output.
photo: KYMCO 

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.

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What the hell is a “Kill Bowl”?
photo: KYMCO 

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.

Competition

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).

Conclusions

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.

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Lanky scooter riders have a new ride.
photo: KYMCO 

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.


SPECIFICATIONS


Bike
KYMCO Super 8

MSRP

$2,845.00

Displacement
49.5 cc

Engine
type


Single Cylinder, Air Cooled, two stroke


Power (crank – claimed)
Not much

Torque (claimed)
Low
Tank
Capacity
5 litres

Carburetion
Carburetor with electric choke

Final drive
Automatic CVT

Tires,
front
100/80-14

Tires,
rear
120/80-14

Brakes,
front
Single slotted disc

Brakes,
rear
Drum

Seat
height
790 mm ( “)

Dry
weight (claimed)
106 kg ( lb)

Colours
Black, Red/white

Warranty
Two year limited

More Info
www.kymco.ca/onRoad_Super8.php

1 COMMENT

  1. @ Irv:

    I off-road on my Ruckus all the time. Out here in BC there are a ton of logging roads, most of which are ‘4×4 high clearance’ rated. The Ruckus excels on this pot hole strewn, steep winding rough roads. I can go places even most trucks can’t since I can carry my scooter over a washout or a fallen log. Every week I’m blasting down trails and up mountains on logging roads to access prime fishing locations. Just the other day I blew by a Land Rover and a Jeep struggling to negotiate a section with deep pot holes. The Ruckus is very agile and easy to thread through tight rough sections.

  2. Re ‘off road’ capability of scooters, I rode a ruckus off road and it was a fine little slow speed all terrain bike.
    Don’t know where the CVT slips in the rain comes from, CVTs are enclosed. ATV Quads mostly use CVTs BTW. Are you sure you aren’t thinking of the 1908 belt drive Hardly-Ableson Silent Grey Fellow?
    Steep hills and pushing? Yup. Nothing to do with CVTs, just not enough power.

  3. Something I’ve noticed taking on rookie drivers in transport trucks, despite the fact they got their license, some never get the idea of shifting and driving, and paying attention to traffic, and looking for their customer, and so on and so on. These people do well in tractors with automatic transmissions. So i’m thing the same for scooters, twist and go. BTW, this is not a rant or dig at anybody, I think the idea above of an “duel-purpose” scooter is a good one. Maybe a 150cc BW or Rucus with a 2 or 3 speed tranny, more suspension and chain drive? Love the “report Card” format, keep it up.

  4. Twist and go. That’s the premise of scooters. Simple economical transportation for inner city/towns with little parking, lots of congestion. Speeds are slow, the machines are light, simple and easy to use. As wonderful as the CT70, and XL 80’s were with chain drive and gears, they didn’t sell in the cities, where the scooters are marketed for. Also, some people can ride bicycles, but fail at coordinating gear changes up and down, and basic maintenance of chain adjusting, lubing and oil changes. Yes, the old Vespa’s you had to do this, but that was a different age, a different time (more below)

  5. While i think Scooters are cool, for really fun commuting, the smaller displacement scooters can’t match the Honda CBR125R … they deal with city traffic fine and are a blast to Ride … mine gets 99 mpg (really!) and that in my book is pretty cool too!

  6. Who the hell will use a scooter for off road use. Maybe psychiatric patient in a hospital near my workplace.

    What about a Ferrari to go fishing or a F350 for a wedding any stupid idea is wel accepted.

  7. More insights from my shack in the Montana wilderness. The problem with the CVT belt drive scooters is that they can’t be used off-road. The engine and trans are part of the swingarm; it gets hammered on rough gravel roads. Also the cvt belt consumes power under heavy load. I was at the island of Koh Samui in Thailand. There is a paved road going to a mountain top. I often saw Cliks, vinos (rental bikes) being pushed up the hill. Finally the belt slips in mud and heavy rain conditions. The honda ruckus and yamaha bw look rugged, but looks are deceiving. Would it kill you to import the Dream?

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