By Guido Ebert
guido@mnmotorcycle.com

KYMCO Goes Big with the MyRoad 700i

Debuted at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show, the KYMCO MyRoad 700i looks to finally be coming to U.S. soil. In fact, KYMCO USA already has a few of them in the States for PR purposes.Photo courtesy of KYMCO USA

It has been a long wait for this large-capacity touring scooter designed specifically for the big bike market of Europe and North America.

I know what most of you are thinking; “A six-year-old bike we’re supposed to be excited about?”

Some company sources say the delay came due to KYMCO’s co-development of the C 600 Sport & C 650 GT with BMW, others say it came as the result of some re-engineering that had to be done to reduce vibration. Whatever the case, the bike – priced at $9,699 – is now on its way to market and set to take on the BMW C 600 Sport & C 650 GT ($9,590-$9,990) and Burgman 650 ABS ($10,999) for maxi scoot superiority (you’ll recall Yamaha pulled the TMAX in the U.S. after only a short run).

I caught first glimpse of the engine parts that combine to power the MyRoad 700i in 2004 during a trip to KYMCO headquarters in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. While I was there to ride the development mule for what later would become the Xciting 500, a side tour of the R&D facility offered a glimpse of numerous undertakings in connection with the forthcoming 700cc powerplant.

Today, the fuel injected 699cc parallel twin with four valves per cylinder churns out 59hp @ 7,250 rpm and 46 ft. lb. @ 5,500 rpm, and powers KYMCO’s most technologically advanced product to date.

To be sure, while the MyRoad 700i looks the part of the “modern tourer” with its domineering size, sleek Eurobike styling, large windscreen, plush seat, triple eye headlamp with running lights and LED rear tail lamp, the real innovations to scootering are tucked away beneath all of that flowing bodywork – I’m referring, most notably, to the electronically adjustable suspension, ABS and tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS).

The MyRoad’s riding comfort and performance aptitude is aided by a telescoping fork and twin rear shocks that are mated to a three-stage adjustable electronic damping system switchable via the push of a button. Want to carve some corners? Switch to “H” for hard and grind that center-stand.  Have a passenger? Switch to “S” for soft and float down the freeway. Just out for a cruise? Leave it on “M” for medium feedback.

Introduced to the KYMCO line on the Xciting 500 Ri and an important addition to this 608-lb bike, Bosch ABS keeps the front dual 280mm discs with twin-pot calipers and rear single 240mm disc with twin-pot caliper in controllable under panic conditions. The TPMS, always a handy amenity when relying on only two wheels to save you from the pavement, keeps the 120/70-15 front and 150/70-14 rear Maxxis radial tires in check.

Ergonomics and Amenities

The MyRoad’s wheelbase, at 63.6 inches, is a full two inches longer than on the Xciting 500 and translates into more knee room for the operator. Up top, an analog speedometer and tachometer (yeah, on a scooter) are joined by a digital odometer, trip meter, fuel and temp gauges and clock.

The 30.7-inch seat height is exactly the same as on the Xciting 500 and, in concert with the seat’s thoughtfully tapered shape, allows most operators the ability to stand flat-footed. Carrying a loved one? Despite the bike’s 32.6-inch width, flip-out passenger pegs won’t make the pillion feel as if they’re at the gynecologist.

Lift the one-piece seat and the storage compartment (with 12v outlet) gobbles 13 gallons of gear (two full-size helmets). A dash-mounted, lockable glove compartment can easily carry smaller necessities like a phone and wallet. A third flip-up door, on the tunnel between the operator’s legs, offers access to the low-mounted 4.0-gallon fuel tank.

Look for the MyRoad 700i, available in white only, at KYMCO dealers by end of summer, and expect a bunch of accessories to follow.

MMM

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