2014 - 2017 KYMCO Like 200i
Retro designs that hail back to the ’60s and ’70s are all the rage right now, and the Kwang Yang Motor Company out of Taiwan is trying to capitalize on that phenomenon with the Like 200i. KYMCO brings retro design and contemporary performance together on this ride with a 163 cc power plant and disc brakes under a body that rocks an appealing, dated look. Early on, the factory produced parts for Honda, and since splitting off to produce its own machines, has scored a gig building engines for none other than BMW — engines that power one of Beemer’s Enduro bikes as well as it’s hybrid-drive i3 model. That’s some pretty august company, and it just goes to illustrate a certain capability on KYMCO’s part, so this isn’t a company to dismiss as another cheap Chinese scooter company.
Continue reading for my review of the KYMCO Like 200i.
2014 - 2017 KYMCO Like 200i
My first thought when I took in the appearance of the Like 200i was “retro-futuristic.” Kind of reminds me of a 60’s or 70’s interpretation of what scooters in the future might look like, or maybe something out of a classic comic book. A relatively narrow legguard area, pointed entry and cyclops headlight leads the way for a clean head-on look, and the molded-in marker lights and minimal turn signals keep it that way.
The full step-through makes the Like easy to mount and dismount, plus you have a nice 'tween-feet storage spot.
The full step-through makes the Like easy to mount and dismount, plus you have a nice ’tween-feet storage spot. In fact, the Like is all about the storage options with the usual under-seat storage compartment and helmet hook to go with the “top box” that not only provides extra dry storage area, but serves as a passenger backrest; that’s form plus function, which is always a good thing.
Much of the aforementioned futuristic flavor comes from the style of the side covers with their grilled intake ports. That’s not much to define a look, I know, yet here we are with a definite flavor that’s centered around the side-on visuals with just a little help from the shape of the front end.
The color palette is okay enough with red, blue matte black and white on tap, and while the red isn’t bad, I’m really not feeling the blue— it’s just a little too cartoony for my taste, know what I mean? Overall we have a very clean and minimal look, even with the top box hanging off the back, and an undeniable retro appeal.
We have no ABS or combined-brake features, just honest control and feedback at the hand levers.
No monocoque assembly here, just a good, old-fashioned underframe and body panels for the standing structure. Given the targeted era, I think a set of laced wheels would be appropriate, but I’ll forgive them the 12-inch cast wheels since the factory also abandoned the rear drum brake in favor of all-around disc brakes. We have no ABS or combined-brake features, just honest control and feedback at the hand levers.
Seat height is average at 30.5-inches tall, and the tapered shape at the front of the saddle makes for easy ground access when it’s time for the footwork. Overall length measures right under 76-inches long with a 51.9-inch wheelbase— numbers that put it in the mid-size bracket— and a 245-pound dry weight that keeps the thing manageable at low speeds. Naturally, that light weight does nothing to improve tracking, and gusty sidewinds or pressure waves from passing traffic will be keenly felt.
As always with proper scooters, a swing-mount drive system articulates the rear wheel with a pair of coil-over shocks on suspension duty, and telescopic forks buoy the front end to complete the assembly.
One thing I hear over and over from KYMCO owners is how reliable their engines are, and no doubt that’s why the company gets business from heavyweights Beemer and Honda. The four-stroke thumper uses forced-air cooling to carry away waste heat for a simple and cheap alternative to liquid cooling. A SOHC times the valvetrain with electronic fuel injection to manage the mixture. Simple, effective and capable of producing up to 85 mpg.
This mill is nearly square with a 60 mm bore and 57.8 mm stroke for a total displacement of 163 cc, and it manages to squeak out 11.3 horsepower at 7,250 rpm and 2.8 pound-feet of torque at 5,500 rpm. Really about as basic as it gets folks without throwing a carburetor on there instead of the throttle body, with nothing in the way of electronic fandanglery to unnecessarily complicate things.
One of the things about not being one of the hoity-toity big guys is that you don’t get to charge for name recognition and those savings get passed directly to the customer. KYMCO lets go of the Like 200i for $2,499 MSRP. That’s not bad for the 150-200 cc market when you could easily spend at least half-again more for a scooter with a similarly sized engine.
As tempting as it was to pick one of the big-name Italian models for my head-to-head, I decided to let another Chinese company have the spotlight for a minute, and I picked the Verona 150 from SSR. You’ll notice right off the bat that both sport that whole retro vibe, but the Verona really makes the most of it with a white seat, chrome trim and teardrop sidecovers. The step-through on the Verona carries a slight tunnel— not enough to impede mounting or dismounting, but large enough to interfere with the ’tween-feet storage. Both rides boast under-seat compartments as well as monochrome tour packs for plenty of dry storage, but SSR thoughtfully adds a cushion to the front of the top box for your passenger’s riding pleasure.
As far as the looks go, I’m torn. Each has a charm all its own, a certain QWAN if you will, so you’ll have to make your own judgment there. Before you do, have a look at the color combinations SSR has to offer, some of them are pretty sharp.
SSR definitely had different ideas when it came to the running gear. A pair of 10-inch mags mount the Verona’s hoops versus the 12-inch KYMCO rims, and SSR really kicks it old-school with a drum rear brake. Not only that, but rather than run hydraulically dampened telescopic forks, SSR went with a leading-link type setup. The Verona carries the rider’s butt an inch lower than the Like with a 29.5-inch seat height.
Air-cooled thumpers rule the day, but the Verona comes a few cubes light with only 149.6 cc against the 163 cc Like, and it shows in the performance numbers. SSR claims a total of 8.31 horsepower at 8 grand, while KYMCO claims 11.3 ponies, and that’s a difference you’ll feel in your heinie-dyno for sure.
SSR picks up a win at checkout with a $1,869 MSRP, a bit lower than the $2,499 Like, and certainly enough to buy SSR some business.
My husband and fellow motorcycle writer, TJ Hinton, says, “I do like the looks of this little Chinese scoot. It’s certainly got some charming features and really pulls off the retro angle nicely. The enclosed handlebar/headlight can is a nice touch, too.”
"I like the sweep-dial speedometer and fuel gauge, though I know some folks would rather have a digital instrument cluster. The Like 200i manages highway speeds, but it’s so light, I don’t feel good about hitting the interstate or any heavily traveled highway. Around town or in a more relaxed motoring environment, it’s an awesome little scooter."
|Engine Type:||SOHC 4-Stroke|
|Bore x Stroke:||60x57.8mm|
|Claimed Horsepower:||11.3hp@ 7250rpm|
|Claimed Torque:||2.8ft lbs@ 5500rpm|
|Fuel Management System:||EFI Throttle Body|
|Front Suspension:||Telescopic Forks|
|Rear Suspension:||Dual Shocks|
|Claimed Dry Weight:||245 lbs.|
|Fuel Capacity:||1.6 gal.|
|Estimated MPG:||85 mpg est (based on EPA data)|
|Instrumentation:||Speedometer, Odometer, Fuel & Clock|
|Colors:||Blue, Red, Matte Black, White|
|Warranty:||2-Year Factory Warranty|