Normally, the scooter market is awash with purely carbureted single cylinders, displacements until 200 cubic centimeters, little to zero braking aids and purely mechanical amenities.
Kymco Philippines or Kymco recently broke the mold for an arguably rapid-growing two-wheeled segment with the recent formal launch of the Like 150i and Xciting 300i scooters.
Deemed as an all-new unit for the 2019 model year, the Like 150i scooter sandwiches itself between the bottom middle-spec Super Z 150 8 and the middle ground Racing King 180 (with anti-lock braking system or ABS). Looking more like Kymco took a design page from the 2013-2015 Honda Scoopy entry level scooter and the renowned Vespa scooters, the 2019 Like 150i’s big draws are electronic fuel injection or EFI, ABS, two additional valves to the single cylinder plus new designs for the cylinder head and the valve movement.
EFI and four valves for the Like 150i give a more precise petrol-air mixture, reduce fuel consumption and produces a more complete fuel-air burn. ABS on a motorbike reduces the two-wheeler’s chances of the rear going up high on instances of sudden, hard deceleration, due to the front rollers still moving despite strong clamping on the brake handle. Roller rocker arms and an all-new cylinder head cut down on valvetrain and cylinder motion friction, which makes power delivery more efficient.
With regard to riding convenience, the biggest come-ons are the USB charging port and the “smart,” fully digital instrument panel. The latter was developed in cooperation with Taiwan-based Noodoe Navigation, with the app slashing down on the instances needed for a rider to look down at the gauge cluster.
What Noodoe does is link to your smartphone via Bluetooth and alert the number of intersections on the side of the street before your next turn. During the entire ride, there are no unwanted pings or interruptions. Riders can confirm the approach of the next turn whenever they want.
Noodoe also helps the Like 150i owner/rider specify up to five destinations on their phones before leaving home so they don’t have to enter addresses into the scooter’s navigation. When the key is turned on, the destination automatically transfers from the phone to the scooter. Last, the Noodoe display only pops up when the rider has time to safely read the info on the gauge cluster.
The Xciting 300i presents itself as an alternative to the Xciting 400i scooter at the middle top end of the Kymco scooter stable. Those who deem that the Xciting 400i (or even the top end AK550 scooter) is too much scooter to handle should be very much fine with the Xciting 300i. The contemporary maxi-touring design is reminiscent of big bikes with much bigger displacements, from front wheel shroud to the stylish rear tailight. An ever-so-slight downward prod of the right handlebar makes the scooter go forward rapidly from rest, sans hesitation.
Much like most of the Kymco maxi-touring scooter lineup (the top end AK550, the aforementioned Xciting 400i and the midpack Xtown 300 EFI ABS), the Xciting 400i has convenience immediately available to both riders. These features include a multi-functional digital instrument panel, a 12-volt charger, a light emitting diode (LED) headlight, a front fuel filler opening designed for easier refueling and a large underseat compartment. ABS for the front and rear stoppers ensure that neither front nor rear end wiggle during instant, heavy speed shedding.
Kymco Philippines president Frank Yang is optimistic about the potential of the newly launched scooters. “We at Kymco recognize the search of Filipino riders for easier and faster way to move around the city and we will continue to offer options that will meet their needs and products that will fit local traffic and road conditions. These all-new motorcycles are yet another proof of [our] renowned engineering leadership and legacy in manufacturing [motorbikes]. We are bringing in these new products as our latest entry in this segment.We are confident that our latest roster will meet and even exceed the expectations of our customers. We have carefully combined the best characteristics of a scooter to come up with competitively-priced motorcycles that has set new standards in this