Many scooter buyers in the U.S. seem to like retro designs – that basic shape of a classic Vespa or Lambretta – while the rest of the world has moved on to more “modern” scooters featuring aerodynamic shapes and improved materials.
Kymco’s Like 200i (MSRP: $2,699) achieves both objectives, offering a classic-looking design wrapped around a thoroughly modern machine.
The bike I picked up from Scooterville in Minneapolis had just a few miles on it. I rode it for several days and also passed it along to the very brave Jordana, who graciously assisted with photographs and gave me her opinions about the scooter.
Powered by a 163cc fuel-injected forced-air cooled SOHC engine that makes a claimed 2.8 ft. lbs. of torque at 5,500rpm and 11.3hp @ 7,250rpm, the Like further features an automatic Continuously Variable Transmission, single front and rear disc brakes, a telescopic fork and dual shock suspension, and 120/70-12 front and 130/70-12 rear rubber.
The 245-lb. Like’s acceleration off the line is adequate; mid-range roll-on acceleration is brisk. I am fairly certain that the fuel injection contributes to that performance. There is no “lag” in most places on the throttle, just quick, smooth responsiveness that makes it a fun bike to ride. The suspension was adequate to the task at hand and returned a fairly smooth and stable ride. Braking was strong and easy to modulate. That rear disc really makes a difference in hard braking compared to scooters with a drum brake in the rear.
Testing with a GPS unit showed that the speedometer and odometer on the Like 200i are fairly accurate. The speedometer indicates about 5% faster than the actual speed. At an indicated speed of 30 mph the actual speed is 28.5 mph, at an indicated 50 mph the actual speed is 47 mph. I was able to get the Like 200i to an indicated 66 mph, which GPS showed as 63 mph. A lighter pilot (about 150 lbs.) was able to achieve an indicated 70 mph, which was an actual top speed of 66 mph. A touch disappointing as I was expecting an actual top speed of 70 mph. Fuel economy during the review was 82 MPG. I consider this quite good as the scooter was NOT broken in and was being ridden hard. KYMCO promotes an estimated 80 MPG.
As for amenities, the Kymco Like 200i comes well-equipped with a nice dash that includes the speedometer/odometer, a clock and fairly accurate fuel gauge, switches and controls that appear to be high quality, a color-matched trunk included that appears well made and proved rattle-free during testing, and a small glove box up front that features a power socket and can only be accessed with the ignition key. I like the glove box power socket location better than the more typical under-the-seat location, but it’s a good thing that a trunk is included because there is precious little storage space otherwise. I tried to put a three-quarter sized helmet under the seat and the storage area proved too shallow because of placement of the 1.6-gallon fuel tank. The underseat area would accept a light jacket or backpack alongside the fuel-filler, however. The trunk easily accepted the helmet. Passenger amenities include grab rails, sturdy flip-out footrests and a large seating platform from the one-piece seat.
Yet, if there is one issue with riding the Like 200i, it’s the ergonomics. The Like 200i has a seat height of just over 30 inches – generally a good thing for those of us with shorter inseams. The issue is the relative height of the floorboards. As you can see from the picture, Jordana (who is 5’5″ tall and has a 32-inch inseam) said she could not find a comfortable position. She had very little legroom and her knees were close to hitting the leg-shields. If she pushed back further on the seat, she couldn’t easily reach the handlebars. With a 30-inch inseam, I didn’t have quite the same issue, but I can see how this limits who can comfortably fit on the Like. Check the seating position carefully when considering this (or any scooter) for purchase.
Aside from her seating position, Jordana said she enjoyed riding the Like and was able to utilize the trunk to get a bunch of “ordinary errands” done on the scooter. She said she thought it was quite smooth running and found it easier to get onto the center stand than other scooters.
Ultimately, the Kymco Like 200i appears to be a well-made scooter that offers good performance up to about 60 mph. Kymco has a well-deserved reputation for quality and value. The scooter has a nice fit and finish, with all panels fitting well. I expect it to be reliable and durable and to return good fuel economy. And, if not, there’s a two-year limited factory warranty.
The Like 200i this year is available in Ivory, Blue/Black, Red, or in a Special Edition trim bedecked in Metallic Gold and a 50th Anniversary emblem ($2,799).
Twin Cities scooterist David Harrington owns and operates the website JustGottaScoot.com