The MyRoad 700i represents a milestone for Kymco. Its 699.5cc parallel-Twin engine is larger than anything the Taiwanese company has ever mounted in a two-wheeler, 200cc bigger than the Xciting 500i. The MyRoad also boasts three-way electronically adjustable suspension, radial-mount brakes and passenger footpegs that flip out to deploy in James Bond style. Hop aboard, Ms. Moneypenny.
The MyRoad faces stiff competition swimming in the deep end with market leaders such as Suzuki’s Burgman and BMW’s C650 – both of which represent the crème de la crème of big-bore scooter style and performance. But with 14 models of varying engine displacements (50, 110, 125, 150, 200, 300 and 500cc), Kymco’s no stranger to scootering.
Pile on Kymco’s 13 ATV and 11 side-by-side models (eight of which own 700cc engines) and it becomes obvious that Kymco’s not afraid of taking the fight to its more established rivals. This begs the question of when will Kymco produce and export to the U.S. a proper motorcycle? Proper being the operative word, which discludes the Quannon 150 imported here a few years ago.
For now, though, Kymco’s confining its U.S.-bound two-wheelers to those of the scooter variety, the new MyRoad 700i being the flagship scoot. Our job: To determine if the MyRoad sinks or swims.
Initial impressions of the MyRoad are of it being an attractive scoot with a distinctively modern visage from its trio of headlights up front to its sleek bodywork ending with an integrated taillight/blinker assembly. There’s 50 liters of underseat storage capacity (enough to fit two full-face helmets) and a luggage rack rated with a carrying weight of 11 pounds. So far, so good.
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The first thing anyone sitting on the MyRoad will notice is the compactness of the rider triangle and generous width of the seat. The seat’s backrest doesn’t allow enough rearward movement, making you feel as though you’re tyrannosaurus-rexing the handlebars. There’s also insufficient legroom for taller riders. Both front and rear brake levers are adjustable, but we had them at the closest setting leaving the remaining three settings for people with giganto hand syndrome.
Gauge cluster arrangement includes an analog speedo and tach separated by a small digital display – informative but nothing fancy. The ignition switch is multi-functional, as it opens the fuel lid and unlocks the seat, but the operation is somewhat complicated. On the left side of the dash is a small, unlockable storage compartment, while above the rider’s right foot resides the parking brake that requires an exceptionally hefty tug to release.
The two most annoying aspects of the cockpit are the fugly, misshapen mirrors and a blinker module that emits a click-clack audible two turns into the future.
The fuel-injected, DOHC, liquid-cooled parallel-Twin fires easily and settles in to an audible, vibey idle. “The engine’s a little sluggish off the line and annoyingly buzzy at freeway speeds,” says Associate Editor, Evans Brasfield. To which Scooter Boy Editor, Troy Siahaan adds, “I expected more power from the 700, it feels like it lags a bit finding the right transmission ratio, say, when trying to overtake another vehicle.”
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In the handling department the 633-pound (wet) MyRoad skillfully masks its girth and displays commendable chassis stability – especially notable considering its scootering tires sizes of 15 and 14 inches, front and rear, respectively. The MyRoad’s greatest handling compromise is the unsorted damping of its suspension and ill-functioning electronic damping adjustments.
“I was looking forward to experiencing the joys of electronically adjustable suspension on the Kymco but was mostly frustrated with it,” says Chief Scooterist, Kevin Duke. “It was surprisingly harsh on its softest setting, so there was no reason to adjust it firmer. After reducing rear shock preload to the lowest setting, overall suspension compliance improved. However, the front end still displays a harshness I’d blame on excess high-speed compression damping.”
The MyRoad’s braking system has unusually high specifications for a scooter. It boasts dual four-piston radial-mount front calipers and a two-piston rear caliper, both with steel braided brake lines and featuring standard ABS. Braking power, while not mind blowing, is ample for a 600+ pound scooter, with a firm lever but a soft bite. Toothier brake pads could prove to be a performance gain considering the high-end components.
Carrying a retail price of $9699 keeps the MyRoad at the lower end of competing MSRPs (Honda Silverwing $9270, BMW C650GT, $9990, Suzuki Burgman $10,999) but is it enough to sway a scooter shopper away from the better-known name-brands? We’re in the process of determining where the MyRoad stacks up against these other scoots and will soon be bringing you the results.
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Until then, Duke best sums up Kymco’s 700i saying, “The MyRoad is a solid effort in this segment, but it’s relatively unrefined next to its challengers. Another six months of R&D – improving mirrors, turnsignal-indicator noise and engine vibration – would’ve been time well spent.”
Kymco MyRoad 700i Specifications
|Engine Type||DOHC 4-Stroke Parallel-Twin 8-Valve|
|Engine Capacity||699.5 cc|
|Horsepower||Claimed: 59 hp @ 7250 rpm|
|Torque||Claimed: 46 ft-lbs @ 5500 rpm|
|Front Suspension||41mm telescopic fork with S, M, H Electronic Damping|
|Rear Suspension||Twin shocks with with S, M, H Electronic Damping|
|Front Brakes||Four-piston radial-mount calipers, 280mm discs with ABS|
|Rear Brakes||Two-piston caliper, 240mm disc with ABS|
|Seat Height||30.7 inches|
|Curb Weight||633 lbs (approximate)|
|Fuel Capacity||4.0 gal|