The Kwang Yang Motor Company has been at it since it splintered off from Honda back in 1963. Not only does it still make components, and even entire engines, for Honda as well as Kawasaki and BMW, it maintains its own presence in the market with a full line of small- to mid-displacement vehicles. Today I’m going to take a look at its flagship business-class scooter, the MYROAD700i, that rolls with almost 700 cubes and sports a classy look that is a good fit with the current maxi-scooter market. This is an important genre, as more aging Boomers retire from the “regular” motorcycle scene and look to machines that are more easily managed without the ride turning into a wrestling match, and more young urban dwellers who are simply looking for alternatives to the traditional car-centric modes of transportation.

Continue reading my review of the KYMCO MYROAD 700i.

  • 2014 - 2015 KYMCO MYROAD 700i
  • Year:
    2014- 2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    4 stroke / dohc / 4v
  • Displacement:
    699 cc
  • Top Speed:
    100 mph
  • Price:
    9699
  • Price:

Design

2014 - 2015 KYMCO MYROAD 700i Exterior
- image 517944

Sleek and modern are the first words I think of as I study on this “touring” scooter. To be fair, I don’t consider any scooter really suitable for touring per se, but consider “touring” to be synonymous with “commuter,” and it is in that role that I reckon the MYROAD will be best suited.

A fairly blunt entry leads the way with a set of duplex-mount headlights as the dominant feature in the front of the fairing. Up top we have a tall windshield that’s vented to reduce head buffeting, and below, the fairing lowers sweep aft to form the protected leg area. The tunnel in the step-through blocks off the ’tween-feet storage, so you can forget about using that spot to get some groceries home, but that’s what the 13.2-gallon, dry-storage compartment under the flip-up seat is for. Running boards contain the rider’s feet, but a set of flip-up/down footpegs support the passenger’s feet, and a stadium pillion and spoiler-like grab rail complete the backseat gear.

...the rider's triangle is a bit restrictive, and anyone over about 5-foot-8 or so is going to feel a bit cramped...

All around this scoot, the lighting is completely recessed, a feature that not only keeps them safely out of harms way but also fits with the modern look KYMCO was going for. It ain’t all rosy though; the rider’s triangle is a bit restrictive, and anyone over about 5-foot-8 or so is going to feel a bit cramped, and really stretched-out folks around the 6-foot mark are going to be banging their knees a bit. Bear this in mind while shopping, and if you fall into the taller brackets, you can safely pass on the test ride, ’cause you aren’t going to be comfortable in the leg area, and that’s a promise.

Seat height is typical at 30.7-inches tall, and the 63.6-inch wheelbase is comparable to many full-size cruisers such as the H-D Softail, for instance, so in spite of the legroom issues, this is by no means a small ride.

Chassis

2014 - 2015 KYMCO MYROAD 700i Exterior
- image 517946

KYMCO opted to go the underframe route rather than using a monocoque body for structural integrity on this scooter, a feature I like since the skin isn’t a stressed member and minor crash damage is more easily repaired without the benefit of a cutting torch and welding equipment. KYMCO is a bit stingy with the rake/trail numbers, but whatever the metrics are, they seem to work well for this scoot because the handling is better than one might expect.

What is nicht sehr gut is the quality of the ride delivered by the electronically-adjustable suspension system. It comes with three settings— soft, medium and hard— and even the soft setting is a bit harsh by anybody’s standards. As bad as that is, the seat makes up for it somewhat with some plush comfort for your touche, so it isn’t uncomfortable in that respect even if your kidneys/back may take a beating over the rougher roads.

A set of 41 mm forks and twin shocks provide this harsh support, and while KYMCO gets props for trying to run electronically adjustable suspension components— a rarity on scooters to say the least— the final result leaves a lot to be desired. Methinks they’d have been better off going with a plusher, fixed-value system with a simple spring preload adjustment in back per industry standards.

At least the factory got it right with the brakes. All-around hydraulic calipers bite the 280 mm front disc and 240 mm rear, with ABS protection at both ends and no drum brakes in sight. Plus, the front- and rear-brake hand levers are adjustable, with three positions to accommodate a variety of meat-hooks. Cast-alloy rims mount the hoops with a 120/70R15 and 160/60R14 on the front and rear, respectively. Not the largest tires I’ve ever seen on a scooter, but a sight better than the 12-inch (or smaller) doughnuts some scoots run, to be sure.

Drivetrain

2014 - 2015 KYMCO MYROAD 700i
- image 699910

KYMCO drives the MYROAD with a liquid-cooled, four-stroke engine that, in spite of the water jacket, is a rather noisy little beast, and the exhaust note is also something less-than-musical to the ears. In short, the powerplant has little “social value” to offer. A parallel-twin, it runs a 76.9 mm bore and 75.3 mm stroke for a total displacement of 699.5 cc, which is at the top of the range for maxi-scooters.

Dual over-head cams time the eight-valve head, and electronic fuel injection manages induction. The result is a mill that cranks out 59 ponies at 7,250 rpm with 46 pounds of grunt at 5,500 and a top speed just shy of an even 100 MPH (individual results may vary). Although that plenty fast for public roads, and faster than I want to go on such small wheels, it takes a while to wind it out as the 608-pound dry weight (plus fluids, rider/s and cargo) leaves it feeling a bit doggish under acceleration.

As usual, a continuously-variable transmission makes the connection between mill and wheel, and while it delivers the usual twist-and-forget operation, the shift timing seems to be a little off, especially when accelerating for passes, etc. Oh well, you can’t have everything, and the crisp handling is much more important than brute power in this case.

Pricing

2014 - 2015 KYMCO MYROAD 700i Interior
- image 517947

KYMCO isn’t bashful at the checkout, and asks for $9,699 for the MYROAD 700i. Granted, this is comparable to the other top maxi-scoots out right now, but those other rides come from manufacturers with much more recognizable names than the Kwang Yang Motor Company, at least here in the U.S. It’s available in white, white, or if you prefer, white.

Competitors

2014 - 2015 KYMCO MYROAD 700i
- image 699917
2017 - 2018 BMW C 650 Sport / C 650 GT
- image 698211

Since KYMCO has entered the race to the top in the maxi-scooter bracket, I decided to go for the jugular with the C 650 GT from BMW in my head-to-head here, so let’s get crackin’.

Both rides look smart, modern, and very businesslike overall. Fit and finish is surprisingly good on the MYROAD, but still falls short of the undeniable maturity of the Beemer sled. I realize looks are subjective and all, but there’s my $0.02 on the topic. While these two share many design features in common, one thing Beemer got right was the rider triangle that will comfortably fit a greater range of body types than the KYMCO ride. That compact layout might be OK in the Asian markets, but the U.S. scene is a little different in that respect.

At around 575 pounds wet, the Beemer is a skosh lighter than the KYMCO, but packs on some comparatively serious brakes with dual 270 mm discs up front and a single disc in back, same size. Borderline overkill? Maybe, but the Motorrad ABS prevents wipeouts due to over braking, and I’d rather have too much than too little. Suspension is much kinder on the C 650 GT as well with non-adjustable, inverted, 41 mm forks to support the front end, resulting in a ride that won’t beat the Hell out of you on rough surfaces.

Beemer falls short in displacement with only 647 cc versus the 699.5 cc KYMCO mill, but still manages to wring nearly the same numbers out of it. We have 60 horsepower and 46 pounds of torque from the C 650 GT, just a single pony more with the same grunt as the 700i, and both go close to 100 MPH with BMW again holding a slight edge. Fuel injection and liquid cooling is present across the board, as is the CVT transmission. It is worth noting that KYMCO actually builds a range-extender motor to Beemer’s specs for the BMW i3, a small hybrid-powered automobile, and so one should respect the engine in the 700i and not expect it to turn into a boat anchor in a few thousand miles.

BMW comes off the prouder of the two at checkout with a $10,095 sticker versus the $9,699 700i, but that’s to be expected. In fact, pricing is the achilles heel of the KYMCO scoot because buyers looking for a commuter maxi-scooter will certainly look at that minimal price difference and jump onto the German brand 9-out-of-10.

He Said

“There are a few problems that may hinder this ride in the U.S. market. First off, the tiny rider triangle is going to put off anyone taller than about 5-foot-6, and if the BMW or Silver Wing is available in the same market, those two will beat the socks off the KYMCO product. Oh well, at least they have massive Asian markets that can move their products.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, "OMG, my husband actually reviewed a scooter? I guess when you start getting into maxi-scooter range, the swing-mount drive isn’t a turn-off in his eyes. I agree, though, that the KYMCO would be a bit overpriced for the American market — not that folks won’t spend that kind of money. They’ll just spend it on a BMW or a Suzuki Burgman 650." To come in with a budget-minded scooter, it needs to have a budget-agreeable price. Maybe that’s why it didn’t hang around after 2015"

Specifications

Engine: DOHC 4-Stroke Parallel Twin 8 Valve w/EFI
Displacement: 699.5cc
Bore x Stroke: 76.9 x 75.3
Claimed Horsepower: 59 hp @ 7250 rpm
Claimed Torque: 46ft lbs@ 5500rpm
Carburetor: Synerject (Throttle Body)
Cooling: Liquid
Ignition: Electric
Transmission: CVT automatic
Design: Double cradle
Front-KAIFA 41mm dia. : Telescopic fork with S, M, H Electronic Damping, Upper and lower triple tree
Rear-KAIFA: Twin shocks with with S, M, H Electronic Damping
Tires-Front: 120/70R15 M/C 56S , Radial Tubeless
Tires-Rear: 160/60R14 M/C 69H , Radial Tubeless
Brakes: Heng Tong, ABS-BOSCH ABS 9.0M
Front: Four-piston radial-mount calipers, 280mm discs with ABS
Rear: Two-piston caliper, 240mm disc with ABS
Length: 91.7 "
Width: 32.7"
Height: 59.4"
Wheelbase: 63.6"
Rake/Trail: N/A
Claimed Dry Weight: 608 lbs.
Seat Height: 30.7"
Underseat Storage: 50 liters
Fuel Capacity: 4.0 gals.
Estimated MPG: TBD
Instrumentation: Analog Speedometer and Tachometer Digital Odometer, Trip meter, Clock, Fuel & Temp. Underseat 12 Volt accessory outlet.
Colors: White
Warranty: 2 Year Factory
C.A.R.B. Compliant: Yes
MSRP: $9,699

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended.

Image Source: kymcousa.com, bmwmotorcycles.com

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