The New Kid In The Mid-Maxi Commuter-Scooter Market

The Kwang Yang Motor Company Ltd., in its quest to grab a slice of the relatively small U.S. scooter market, shook up its mid-maxi range for the 2018 model year with the addition of the all-new X-Town 300i ABS. It also dropped the Downtown and People from the 300i lineup, so the X-Town serves as KYMCO’s second-largest scooter in the U.S. market, second only to its Xciting 400i maxi-scoot. Built as an urban commuter, the X-Town sports a generous windshield and wide front fairing with enough underseat storage for a full-face bucket plus some bits and bobs, so you could definitely use it as a grocery-getter, or campus-commuter. The factory claims a total of 23.2 horsepower, so it has the chops to get out of its own way even at highway/interstate speeds. Is that enough to overcome our national apathy toward the genre? It’s hard to say for sure just yet, but we’re certainly free to speculate based on what we see so far, yeah?

Continue reading for my review of the KYMCO X-Town 300i.

  • 2018 KYMCO X-Town 300i
  • Year:
    2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Price:
    3999
  • Price:

Design

2018 KYMCO X-Town 300i
- image 754724
A tunnel cuts deeply into the step-through space, and though that should not make it prohibitively difficult for shorter riders to mount up, taller riders may feel a bit crowded by the footwells.

Though the X-Town’s engine is a bit smaller than the mill that pushes the Xciting, the body is nearly as large. The front end, though similar to its big brother in its dual-headlight layout, has unique elements that are all its own. In the end, the functionality is the same as the shape of the fairing throws the weather out and away from the rider’s core and legs for a decent-size protective pocket. A clear windshield crowns the front end with a scooped top end that actually provides some protection for the rider’s upper body and a vented design that mitigates the head-buffet effect where pocket and slipstream meet.

A tunnel cuts deeply into the step-through space, and though that should not make it prohibitively difficult for shorter riders to mount up, taller riders may feel a bit crowded by the footwells. Underseat storage comes lighted with a lock for security and a 12-volt outlet so you can charge your mobile devices on the go, which is really nice even if the seat itself is a little on the soft side. Sort of the polar opposite to the KTM saddles; you Super Duke fans know what I’m talking about.

A slight rise to the p-pad forms a bit of a butt-bucket for the pilot’s comfort, and a set of JC bars and flip-out footpegs compete the passenger’s amenities. The subframe tapers down to a molded-in taillight combo with the plate mounted down on the mudguard to finish the assembly. All pretty standard fare for a mid-max commuterscooter.

Chassis

2018 KYMCO X-Town 300i
- image 754723
Steering geometry is set up for balanced riding characteristics that give it an eagerness in the corners yet allow it to remain stable on the straights, even at speed.

A tubular-steel frame forms the standing structure while the swing-mount drive unit uses the engine and transmission as stressed members that serve as the swingarm. Folks, this ain’t a small ride. The wheelbase measures out at 60.8-inches long, and the steering geometry is set up for balanced riding characteristics with 28 degrees of rake and 4.33 inches of trail that give it an eagerness in the corners yet allow it to remain stable on the straights, even at speed.

When it’s time to haul it down, a three-pot anchor and 260 mm disc slows the the front wheel with a twin-piston caliper and 240 mm disc out back. The ABS feature that comes as part of the standard equipment package only covers the front end, not the rear, and it seems to be tuned to avoid intervening too soon or with too much force.

Suspension falls to the 37 mm, hydraulic front forks and the dual, coil-over shocks. The forks give up 4.33 inches of travel, while the shocks provide a 3.9-inch range of motion and the only adjustability in the system with the obligatory spring-preload adjuster. A 14-inch hoop rounds out the front end with a 13-inch tire in back to round out the rolling chassis.

Front Suspension: 4.33" Travel, 1.46" Telescopic Fork
Rear Suspension: 3.9" Travel, Twin Shocks with 5-Step Preload Adjustment
Tires-Front Suspension: 120/80-14
Tires-Rear Suspension: 150/70-13
Front Brakes: 10.24" Single Rotor, with Three-Piston Caliper, ABS
Rear Brakes: 9.45" Single Rotor with Two-Piston Caliper

Drivetrain

2018 KYMCO X-Town 300i
- image 786651
Roll-ons on the interstate will lack decisiveness, but highways and local roads will see a lively throttle response.

A liquid-cooled thumper provides the power for the X-Town with a claimed 16.6 pound-feet of torque that comes on at 6,500 rpm backed up by 23.2 horsepower that tops out at an even 8 grand. Bear in mind, wet weight plus rider will be something over 500 pounds, so throttle response is lively but tempered by all that mass. Top speed is clocked at around 75 mph, depending on grade, tailwinds and how much you had for lunch, so it’s just into the interstate zone with very little surplus power upon which to draw. Still, that’s plenty of power for highway travel and slower roads.

Mileage is estimated (by emissions output) to be around 65 mpg, so the 3.3-gallon fuel tank will provide plenty of range whether you’re commuting or using it to put state lines behind you. A 72.7 mm bore and 66.4 mm stroke gives it a total displacement of 275.6 cc, and induction control falls to a throttle body that sports EFI fuel delivery. Up top, a single over-head cam actuates the twin-valve head. As you’d expect, a CVT transmission delivers a twist-and-go riding experience with a centrifugal clutch that couples engine power to the magical gearbox.

Engine: SOHC 4-Stroke, 2-Valve, Single Cylinder
Displacement: 275.6cc
Bore x Stroke: 72.7 x 66.4mm
Claimed Horsepower: 23.2hp @ 8000rpm
Claimed Torque: 16.6ft lbs @ 6500rpm
Fuel management system: EFI Throttle Body
Cooling: Liquid
Ignition: Electric
Transmission: CVT Automatic

Pricing

2018 KYMCO X-Town 300i
- image 754722
Bland color choices, but priced to move in the mid-maxi market.

Priced to compete against brands that enjoy more recognition on our side of the pond, the 300i rolls for $3,999 MSRP. I could call the color selections boring, but in the interest of diplomacy, will simply say that they are both rather achromatic with a choice between Matte White or Matte Gray.

Warranty: 2 Year Limited Factory Warranty
Colors: Matte White, Matte Gray
Price: $3,999

Competitors

2018 KYMCO X-Town 300i
- image 786652
2016 - 2017 Suzuki Burgman
- image 733843
Fit and finish overall clearly favors the Burgman, which isn't to suggest that the KYMCO is bad, just a more budget-oriented choice.

My go-to office commuter is always something from the Burgman lineup from Suzuki, and the Burgman 200 seems like a good-enough fit. Looks-wise, it’s hard to beat the Burgman line for a mature and modern appeal — the Silver Wing makes honorable mention — and the 200 is no exception.

A well thought out front end sports a windshield that comes vented and scooped for maximum comfort and protection. The footboards are also similarly protected, though the tunnel is much slighter on the Burgman for less step-through intrusion and easier mounting. Fit and finish overall clearly favors the Burgman, which isn’t to suggest that the KYMCO is bad. It’s just a more budget-oriented choice that becomes apparent in the price comparison.

The suspension is a wash, as are the hard parts of the brakes, but KYMCO shows up the mighty Suzuki with the only ABS on the table, even if it is on just the front wheel. As the names suggest, it’s the powerplants that show the biggest differences here. Suzuki runs the Burgman with a 200 cc thumper. I’ve thus far been unable to get the Burgman 200 on a dyno, but the claimed 56 mph indicates a scoot that won’t quite cut it on the interstate, and even highway speeds will tax it to the limit.

Doubly damning for Suzuki is the $4,999 pricetag; a full grand more than the X-Town, and for a much less capable machine. Is Suzuki’s name and superior fit-and-finish enough to justify the significant price difference?

He Said

My husband and fellow motorcycle writer, TJ Hinton, says, “Looks like KYMCO is really looking to challenge the usual suspects with this ride, and it seems they’ve done well enough to make Suzuki sweat. I feel like all-around ABS would have been a good hit, and larger wheels would be welcome as well, but overall the X-Town looks like a serious contender.”

She Said

“The 300 engine does seem to have plenty of power around town, and the scooter just begs to lean in the corners. Having a 14-inch wheel up front gives a much more motorcycle ride than a scooter ride, so I find that to be a plus. I didn’t test it, but I’ve heard people say they can get two full-face helmets in the underseat storage. Speedometer and tach are big analog dials, which I prefer over digital, but some folks would disagree. I find the dials easier to read at a glance.”

Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: SOHC 4-Stroke, 2-Valve, Single Cylinder
Displacement: 275.6cc
Bore x Stroke: 72.7 x 66.4mm
Claimed Horsepower: 23.2hp @ 8000rpm
Claimed Torque: 16.6ft lbs @ 6500rpm
Fuel management system: EFI Throttle Body
Cooling: Liquid
Ignition: Electric
Transmission: CVT Automatic
Chassis:
Front Suspension: 4.33" Travel, 1.46" Telescopic Fork
Rear Suspension: 3.9" Travel, Twin Shocks with 5-Step Preload Adjustment
Tires-Front Suspension: 120/80-14
Tires-Rear Suspension: 150/70-13
Front Brakes: 10.24" Single Rotor, with Three-Piston Caliper, ABS
Rear Brakes: 9.45" Single Rotor with Two-Piston Caliper
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length: 88.8"
Width: 30.7"
Height: 53.9"
Wheelbase: 60.8"
Rake/Trail: 28-Degrees/4.33"
Claimed Dry Weight: 398.2 lbs
Seat Height: 30.7"
Underseat Storage: Yes - Lighted
Fuel Capacity: 3.3 gal
Details:
Estimated MPG: 65 mpg est (based on EPA data)
Instrumentation: Speedometer, Odometer, Tachometer, Clock, Fuel, Engine Temperature, Ambient Temperature, Voltage
Warranty: 2 Year Limited Factory Warranty
C.A.R.B. Compliant: No
Colors: Matte White, Matte Gray
Price: $3,999

References

KYMCO Xciting 400

2018 KYMCO Xciting 400i
- image 752141

See our review of the KYMCO Xciting 400.

Suzuki Burgman

2016 - 2017 Suzuki Burgman
- image 733842

See our review of the Suzuki Burgman.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: kymcousa.com, suzukicycles.com, kymco.co.au

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