Kymco – Never Heard Of Them? Here’s Why.

Recently, I was invited to a media day by Kymco where we were offered the chance to spend the day riding some of their scooters.

You probably haven’t heard of Kymco, who are they? Here’s a quick potted history…….

Founded in 1964, KYMCO became one of Honda’s overseas manufacturing facilities. In the UK Kymco has been little more than an afterthought. For years, the petrol product (ATV & 2 wheeled) was looked after by Masco. In 2017 Masco closed its doors, leaving Kymco with a bit of an issue. 

At the time, there was a company selling Kymco mobility scooters in the UK, Kymco Healthcare. In simple terms, a new company was formed and they took on the distribution of the petrol product.

Sadly, Kymco UK had no experience of petrol products and struggled to look after the dealers and customers. The dealer network dwindled and sales, already small, were not great. Dealers reported a lack of interest and poor product knowledge from the new company and since then there has been a high turnover of external staff at Kymco UK, coupled with hardly any new products. In a world where brands like Sym, Honda, Lexmoto and many more have more up-to-date technology and styling, and at the moment this is a very competitive market, making the ageing Kymco range look less appealing. 

DTX 360

Kymco’s DTX 360 is what Kymco call an Adventure Crossover. In reality, it’s just the old Downtown 350 model with adventure-oriented styling and tyres. There are no real concessions to it having any actual off-road ability. The CST dual-sport tyres aren’t very good, lacking feel and grip on the road, particularly in damp conditions. One plus is that these tyres aren’t available in the UK, so you will be forced to find an alternative, which will certainly be better than these.

The heart of the DTX is a liquid-cooled, 320cc single-cylinder engine producing a claimed 28.2bhp and 20Nm of torque, and there’s a CVT gearbox to transfer the power to the road. 

It’s not a bad engine when you’re going, but sounds like the exhaust is blowing and seems to pop and splutter on overrun. 

One thing I will say about the DTX320 is it has a great seat. The suspension is ok on smooth roads but is obviously budget, unbranded stuff and isn’t great on bumpy roads, but the large, comfy seat makes riding the DTX more manageable. One downside to the seat is it’s really wide. The seat height is 800mm but being so wide means your legs are wide apart so will be forced up onto your tip toes.

It comes with TCS (Traction Control System) and has a full-colour dash that shows; speedometer, air temperature, fuel consumption, battery voltage, mileage, trip odometer, tachometer, clock, fuel gauge and coolant temperature.

It’s got a keyless ignition although the ignition switch is a rotary dial that is frustrating to use. There have been many complaints about batteries going flat, possibly due to the complexity of the rotary ignition switch or possibly the budget battery itself. You also have a reasonable underseat storage compartment but it’s not quite big enough for a full-face helmet, and it’ll do 65mpg. 

The telescopic front Suspension is unbranded but does an ok job on smooth roads and the twin shock rear suspension is the same, unbranded, budget suspension but adequate.

Curiously, the DTX360  isn’t actually a 360. There are two bikes in the range, the 320cc and the 125cc. 

I had a ride of a used one recently. It was just under 3000 miles old and had been looked after. The suspension mounting point, various exposed brackets and most fasteners all showed corrosion, as did the rear springs and the black paint on the forks was peeling. Everything worked as it should and there were no reported mechanical issues though but the bikes are obviously built down to a price. 

Yes, it’s cheaper that a Yamaha XMAX, but it’s not in the same ballpark in terms of quality.

Kymco are unknown in the UK, the dealer network is very poor and at £5,299 + otr, it looks expensive next to bikes like the Lexmoto XBV300 at only £4259.99 and the SYM JOYMAX Z+ at only £4699.  

  • Engine Type – OHC, 4 Stroke, Single Cylinder
  • Cooling System – Liquid Cooling
  • Fuel System – Fuel Injection
  • Displacement – 320.6 cc
  • Max. Power Output (kW/rpm) – 21 kW (28.2 HP) / 7500 rpm
  • Max. Torque (Nm/rpm) – 30 Nm / 5750 rpm
  • Dry Weight Amount (kg) – 194 kg
  • Length x Width x Height (mm) – 2165 x 780 x 1290 mm
  • Seat Height (mm) – 800 mm
  • Wheelbase (mm) – 1545 mm
  • Fuel tank (L) – 12.5 L
  • Front Wheel Size – 120/80-14
  • Rear Wheel Size – 150/70-13
  • Front Suspension – Telescopic
  • Rear Suspension – Double Swing with 5-Steps
  • Brake System – ABS
  • Front Brake System – 280 mm Disk
  • Rear Brake System – 260 mm Disk

DTX 125 – *Priced at £4,499 + OTR


Kymco’s AK550 premium is based on the old 2021 AK550 ETS model, with new styling.  

The liquid-cooled 550cc Euro5 parallel twin, DOHC 8V engine produces 52hp (39.3 kW) and 56Nm torque. It’s a big, heavy scooter, weighing nearly 250kg wet. 

Suspension is in the form of 41 mm upside-down forks at the front and horizontal trailing arm rear suspension. The ride is generally good and it handles well, up to a point. The small wheels and unbranded suspension have their limits and our poor roads are taxing. The ride is good generally, but over potholes and bumpy roads, it gets a bit crashy. 

This is a big heavy bike, so you need to have your wits about you. When you’re on the move it’s ok, but at rest you struggle to get your feet down. The seat is very wide and with a seat height of 785mm, you will struggle to get more than your toes on the ground. Not such an issue on a small 125cc scooter, but a 250kg, 2.2 metre-long scooter is a very different story. I would suggest you should try one before you buy, but I don’t think any dealers in the UK currently have one as a demo.

The brakes are Brembo branded and do a fine job. 

There are 2 rider modes and a 3-panel dash, with a toggle switch that switches through various functions and information displayed, like tyre pressures, oil temp, fuel level and so on. 

There are some piano keys in the middle that operate things like; fuel tank cap, seat storage access.

Kymco has its own app called Noodoe. It has it’s own, inbuilt navigation app that is average at best. The search function was pointless and when I used it, it failed mid-journey every time. I reverted to Google Maps, through my intercom. Noodoe also gives you the ability to personalise the centre dial on the dash. You can even upload your own images. Interestingly, when you create your own designs, you can make them available to all other Noodoe users. The issue here is that the app is unregulated, so when you search the gallery of uploaded images, there’s a huge amount of porn. Not very professional. 

The AK550 also has something called AIBS (Advanced Intelligent Braking System) which combines TCS traction control and dual-channel Corning ABS. The AK550 Premium also has cruise control, an electric screen and heated grips as standard.

The AK is a nice maxi scooter, but I struggle to understand why you would want it. 52bhp, 250kg and you need to have really long legs to flat-foot it. For a few hundred more you can get a Honda Forza 750 at just £10,499. How much will a Kymco be worth in 3 years compared to a Honda I wonder. You need to also consider, Kymco only sell a few of these a year and what few dealers they have are reluctant to work on them. Check the forums before you buy is all I’d say.

  • Engine Type – In-Line, 2 Cylinders, DOHC, 8 Valves
  • Cooling System – Liquid Cooling
  • Displacement – 550.4 cc
  • Max. Power Output (kW/rpm) – 39.3 kW (52.7 HP) / 7500 rpm
  • Max. Torque (Nm/rpm) – 55.64 Nm / 5500 rpm
  • Wheel Drive System – CVT
  • Dry Weight Amount (kg) – 226 kg (Aluminum Frame)
  • Length x Width x Height (mm) – 2165 x 795 x 1400 mm
  • Seat Height (mm) – 785 mm
  • Wheelbase (mm) – 1580 mm
  • Fuel tank (L) – 15 L
  • Front Wheel Size – 120/70-15
  • Rear Wheel Size – 160/60-15
  • Front Suspension – 41 mm Up-Side Down Fork
  • Rear Suspension – Horizontal Trailing Arm
  • Brake System – ABS
  • Front Brake System – 270 mm Dual Disk
  • Rear Brake System – 260 mm Disk

AK550 Premium – Priced at £9,999 + OTR


The Agility City+125 follows a format that can be found the world over. The step-through, rev and go 125. Made in China, the Agility 125 is not what you would call modern. The 8.8bhp, air-cooled engine is basic but does an ok job.  You have unbranded, hydraulic telescopic forks at the front and a single swing arm with a hydraulic shock absorber at the rear. The suspension is fine, it’s comfortable and as the bike is so slow, you never really ask more from it. 

A 16” front wheel and 14” rear wheel mean it rides and steers well.

The engine is a 125cc 4 stroke, single cylinder, air-cooled unit that produces 8.8hp (6.6 kW) and 9Nm of torque. Kymco says it’ll do a claimed top speed of 52mph (85 km/h). 

The brakes are good, with a basic linked braked system, which is common on this type of bike; CBS (Combined Brake System). 

Build quality is good for a Chinese-built, low-cost scooter, it would be well suited to learners or commuters looking for a cheap way to get to work.

The Agility City 125 is an adequate bike, it’s fine if you’re looking for cheap, economical transport. The issue is that it looks so old. It has an analogue dash, the styling is old, there are no LED lights and at £2559 + otr there are better, cheaper bikes out there. For example, the Sym JET 4 RX 125cc is more modern, better equipped, has 30% more power and a much bigger dealer network. The Sym Symphony 125cc is a great bike too, modern, big wheels and more power and at only £2499 is well priced or the Lexmoto Aura 125; a great looking, well put together, modern scooter with very good dealer network for only £2199.99. All of these bikes make the Agility look old and will certainly have a better residual value.

  • Engine Type – OHC, 4 Stroke, Single Cylinder
  • Cooling System – Air Cooling
  • Displacement – 125cc
  • Max. Power Output (kW/rpm) – 6.6 kW (8.8 HP) / 8500 rpm
  • Max. Torque (Nm/rpm) – 9.0 Nm / 6750 rpm
  • Wheel Drive System – CVT
  • Dry Weight Amount (kg) –  114 kg
  • Length x Width x Height (mm) – 2050 x 735 x 1210 mm
  • Seat Height (mm) – 815 mm
  • Wheelbase (mm) – 1340 mm
  • Fuel tank (L) – 7 L
  • Front Wheel Size – 100/80-16
  • Rear Wheel Size – 120/80-14
  • Front Suspension – Telescopic
  • Rear Suspension – Double Swing
  • Brake System – CBS
  • Front Brake System – 260 mm Disk
  • Rear Brake System – 240 mm Disk


VSR 125

This is where many of us started our biking journey, on a little, low-cost 125 cc naked bike.

Kymco’s VSR 125 is a modern version of the bike many of us started on and took me back.

I say a modern version, but I don’t mean the bike is modern. In fact, this bike was first released in 2014 as the CK1. Back then it had a carb but otherwise its the same bike. That makes it 10 years old now. In 2014 Visordown wrote, “Those large plastic panels which extend from the rider’s pegs to the tank hide a startlingly ugly frame design.” 

In 2014 it was outdated and lacking compared to its competition, we’re 10 years on now with almost no development, apart from adding fuel injection. 

The Chinese CST tyres (Cheng Shin Tire) are sadly lacking and make the bike look like it’s 10 years old. It has 17” alloy wheels, unbranded hydraulic telescopic forks at the front and a single shock absorber at the rear. It’s pretty softly sprung, but rides ok.

The engine is a single-cylinder, 4-stroke air-cooled 125cc engine that makes 10.2 hp (7.6 kW) and 10.6 Nm torque and has a 5-speed manual gearbox. The engine is typical for a basic air-cooled engine but feels underpowered and needs to be revved. The gearbox is quite agricultural and I found it missed gears several times and it was occasionally hard to find neutral.

Styling is a problem. It looks old compared to a modern 125. It doesn’t have an LED headlight and the dash is still analogue. If you turn up to McDonald’s carpark to meet your mates on this, you might need to keep your helmet on so no one recognises you.

Brakes consist of a 276 mm disk up front and a 220 mm disk at the rear with unbranded calipers that do a good job. It has a linked braking system;  CBS (Combined Braking System).

The VSR125 is £2495 which is just too much money. Lexmoto for example offer 9 125cc bikes for less money than the VSR, the cheapest is just £1619. The Benelli BN 125 is much better than the VSR and is only £2499. At similar money you can get the grown up Sym NHT 125cc at £2599.

  • Engine Type – OHC, 4 Stroke, Single Cylinder
  • Cooling System – Air Cooling
  • Displacement – 125cc
  • Max. Power Output (kW/rpm) – 7.6 kW (10.2 HP) / 8000 rpm
  • Max. Torque (Nm/rpm) – 10.6 Nm / 6000 rpm
  • Wheel Drive System – Clutch
  • Dry Weight Amount (kg) – 136 kg
  • Length x Width x Height (mm) – 2050 x 740 x 1140 mm
  • Seat Height (mm) – 780 mm
  • Wheelbase (mm) – 1330 mm
  • Fuel tank (L) – 13.5 L
  • Front Wheel Size – 80/100-17
  • Rear Wheel Size – 110/80-17
  • Front Suspension – Telescopic
  • Rear Suspension – Adjustable Hydraulic
  • Brake System – CBS
  • Front Brake System – 276 mm Disk
  • Rear Brake System – 220 mm Disk

VSR 125 – *PRICED AT £2,459

The main issues with Kymco for me are poor brand awareness in the UK, poor dealer network and the bikes.

Ironically, the brand is very well known outside of the UK, but in the UK they only registered 202 bikes in 2023, in the whole of the UK. Kymco is better known here for its mobility scooters, not exactly cool.

The dealer network is a problem for owners. The network is very small and many dealers are pretty much dormant and don’t even stock any Kymco’s. The dealers they have often don’t want to work on the bigger maxi scooters. 

As for the bikes, I’ve covered that above. If they were really cheap, you could make a choice based on price vs quality, but these days there are lots of better bikes, from much more recognisable brands, for the same money or less.

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