2013 Kymco Compagno 110i Review
Four-stroke scooter power on a budget
Kymco isn’t one of those brands that come to mind the moment you talk scooters. For most, that honor goes to that Italian company, something with a -spa. Inspired by the Italians, Kymco’s European-styled scooter is called the Compagno – that translates to partner or comrade.
Powered by a 112cc 4-stroke engine, the fuel-injected Compagno starts up easy and has plenty of power for urban commuting. Scaling in at purported dry weight of 198 lbs and equipped with a CVT transmission, the Compagno 110i is easy to handle and offers up a smooth ride. Its 29-inch seat height should be amenable to all but the shortest of riders. Paired with a low price of entry at a touch under $3k, the 110i does more than just charm with its classic scooter looks.
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The Compagno family starts with a 49cc single-cylinder version called the 50i. The Compagno 110i uses a similar chassis but features an engine with more than double the displacement.
Power and Economy
To keep ahead of urban traffic, the Compagno 110i’s air-cooled overhead-cam, 4-valve Single cranks out a purported 9.6 hp and 6.7 ft-lb of torque. With my 200-lb body on board, I found myself rocketing this little scooter to a top speed of nearly 60 mph on a downhill stretch with a happy tailwind. Expect a top speed of nearly 55 mph on level ground. At that kind of speed the Compagno 110i rides steady but, given the sitting-on-a-chair-like riding position of a scooter, can be unnerving when hitting ruts and bumps that briefly lift you up off the seat.
Speed may not be what the Compagno 110i is built for, but fuel economy sure is. From a full tank to nearly bone dry I managed a little over 90 miles on 1.3 gallons of 87 octane fuel – the scooter has a 1.45-gallon tank. Kymco estimates 65 mpg for the Compagno 110i, while my aggressively ridden 90+ miles yielded a surprising 69 mpg. This figure was impressive, as every one of those miles saw me hold one of two throttle positions: either fully open or closed all the way; definitely no hyper-miling.
COMPETITION: Read our Honda Elite 110 review
Taming the Ride
It’s not particularly advisable to ride a vehicle of this caliber as aggressively as I did. Its 90/90-10 tires are small to yield quick reflexes in urban environments, but their performance envelopes are stretched at higher speeds. The 10-inch-diameter tires are susceptible to being deflected by potholes and can be affected by pavement grooves. High velocities also tax the Compagno’s brake system, a single disc with two-piston caliper up front and a humble drum brake out back – ABS is not available.
Ride the Compagno 110i and its 9.6 horses calmly, and you’d be rewarded with a smooth and relatively comfortable ride. The telescopic fork and dual rear shocks offer a smooth ride while being stable over most road surfaces and cornering situations. However, the shocks would occasionally bottom out under my mass when ridden over particularly rough roads, making me question the wisdom of carrying a passenger. But considering the Compagno’s diminutive size, it delivers reasonable ride comfort.
Style and Convenience
Above all, the Compagno looks good. Styled after the likes of classic scooters from Europe, smooth curves and flowing lines are tied together nicely with retro touches and modern accents.
An oval front headlamp is integrated into the handlebars so it points in the direction of travel even around corners. I’m pleased to see Kymco utilize a design feature Vespas have always had. Light accents continue in the form of LED lights that circle a Kymco ‘K’ just above the front wheel. There are also integrated LED turn signals that serve as little more than decoration in North America, as federal regulations dictate the addition of stalk-mounted front and rear turn signals to these scooters.
For colors, the 110i comes in brown and blue, or, as Kymco puts it, “Metallic Mocha” and “Light Blue.” The textured seat of the Compagno is outlined by subtle white piping that gives the machine an air of class.
A single key and locking mechanism control the scooters start/stop, fuel cap, underseat storage and steering lock. The lock also features a magnetic locking mechanism that slides a solid metal plate over the keyhole to prevent unwanted tampering and can be easily opened with the reverse end of the matching key.
Scooters, no matter how small, tend trump motorcycles when it comes to built-in storage. The Compagno is no different, offering up enough under-seat space for an open-face helmet and a few other trinkets. There are two hooks in the footwell for hanging a larger helmet while parked or small grocery bags while riding.
COMPETITION: Read our Yamaha Zuma 125 review
Forget what you think you know about this Taiwanese scooter manufacturer. The Kymco Compagno 110i (called the Many in Taiwan and the New Sento in Canada) is a terrific product that is hard to fault.
The 110i has few rivals in the 4-stroke 110cc category, but the most obvious one is Honda’s Elite 110 we reviewed in 2010. Its $2.999 MSRP matches the Kymco’s to the dollar, and it adds liquid-cooling, a 12-inch front wheel and combined braking to the equation, plus Honda’s enviable reputation. However, you’ll have to search for a leftover model as Honda doesn’t appear to have imported the Elite since 2010.
The Compagno makes for a great small-displacement, classically styled scooter that proves to be easy to handle, proportionally powered for even enthusiastic urban riding and very fuel efficient. It’s a solid value.