Scooters are big in European and other markets – around here, not so much. “Scooters and soccer,” Kymco PR rep Peter Jones tells us, “they’re just not a part of our culture.” Still, Kymco doggedly sticks to its guns, offering a full line of scooters where many OEMs have reduced or eliminated their scooter offerings.

“The coolest person you know, that’s a scooter rider,” Jones goes on to say, and 54-year-old Taiwanese firm Kymco’s latest offering caters to the coolest of them. It’s the Like 150i ABS, a product that clearly takes aim at Vespa’s Primavera (and Sprint) 150. It offers similar performance, safety and style, but at just $2,599 is half the price of its Italian cousin’s $5,099 MSRP. The new Like also promises connectivity and coolness for 2019, when the Noodoe instrumentation package will be offered.

The new Like follows Kymco’s tried-and-true formula. Steel frame, plastic bodywork, air-cooled motor. But now it’s all been tweaked so it’s not just durable and affordable, it also offers looks, performance and handling that will likely (heh, heh) hang with the best Japan or Italy has to offer.

2018 Kymco Like 150i ABS leg shield and headlight

The Like 150i’s styling and detailing need make no excuses – it’s a high-quality product.

The Like features a zesty fuel-injected, air-cooled, 149.8cc four-valve Single good for a claimed 13.3 horsepower at 9,000 rpm. It’s a mid-sized ride, weighing in at a claimed 264 pounds dry with a 31.1-inch seat height and 51.8-inch wheelbase. The rear suspension is preload-adjustable rear shocks, and braking is handled by triple discs and standard-equipment Bosch 9.1m ABS. The floor-mounted, 1.8-gallon tank should get you deep into triple digits of range.

We got a chance to ride the Like, dodging rainstorms to take an urban tour around Asheville, North Carolina. Zipping up and down Asheville’s tight, bumpy and meandering byways, I got the impression of a scooter that’s smooth, peppy and easy to ride. Power felt about as advertised, and it should get this little guy up to around 60 mph and more than adequately keep up with traffic during an urban commute. Handling was light, and the bike rode well over the bumps. The motor felt smooth, but you won’t mistake it for an electric.

2018 Kymco Like 150i ABS Review

Maybe the most impressive feature of the Like is the good build quality. It’s built in Kymco’s mainland China facility, but the free-living Taiwanese are pretty good at whipping communist laborers into shape, with very little of the chintzy materials or crappy finish you see from mainland products. The paint and chrome, for instance, looked and felt like something from a high-end manufacturer, easily up to the standards of more-expensive manufacturers.

2018 Kymco Like 150i ABS NooDoe connectivity system

Kymco’s NooDoe connectivity system connects to all manner of gadgets to give you notifications from social media, text and email as well as weather and other info. Yes, you should pull over before accessing that stuff…

The 2018 Like will have standard instrumentation, including a clock, volt meter and fuel gauge, but the next model year will sport Noodoe, a connectivity system that’s kind of like a simplified version of Apple CarPlay. It will connect to WiFi, GPS and smartphones via Bluetooth to give the rider updates from social media, text messages or email as well as allowing customization options, just in case the riding experience will be enhanced by a photograph of your cat or kids on the speedometer. Disregard my snark – the Noodoe will add a fun feature for not much money.

Fun for not much money. That’s the core concept of the scooter, no? The 2018 Like 150i ABS delivers on that promise, providing sensible, good performance with a measure of safety you don’t see at this price point. Kymco’s got the scooters, but soccer is on its own.

2018 Kymco Like 150i ABS Review

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  • Old MOron

    Best looking Asian scooter I’ve seen. Price is right, too.

  • ColoradoS14

    Not ashamed to say that I would love one of these! For that price this thing is tough to beat. I used to have a Piaggio with a 70cc 2-stroke that moved out pretty good and was a hoot to ride, I have ridden a Vespa 250GTS and that was very nice and this strikes a nice middle ground…. Would be a nice way to ride to the Light Rail here in Denver in the mornings…

  • Mark D

    I’ve ridden the prior model, the 200i Like (actually 165 cc . . .) and found it to be a great scoot. It had a built-in top case, though, which was a great selling point. I’m sure this has an accessory option, but having the top-case come standard was a great deal for a city scoot.

  • Old MOron

    Argh, there’s one thing I don’t like. I’ve seen this on other bikes, too. Look at the “check engine” light. It’s a goddamned car engine.
    http://motorcycle.com.vsassets.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/053017-2018-kymco-Like-150i-ABS-instrument-cluster-768×576.jpg

    • LOL! I’ve noted that same thing myself. But what are they going to do? A different outline of every possible motorcycle and scooter engine configuration? Would you even recognize a scooter-engine outline?

      I especially like it when I see this icon on electric vehicles!

      • Old MOron

        They use one generic car engine for all cars. I wouldn’t mind if they picked one bike engine for all bikes. As for electric cars, ha ha ha!

        • ColoradoS14

          I think use a classic v-twin profile for the bikes.

  • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

    nice scooter! i still am going to get a bike,but if i were in the scooter market this would likely be the one

  • martin collins

    No mention of underseat storage which is a must on a scooter so one can stow the full-face helmet and walk away dressed for whatever occasion.

  • Jami Sanderson

    Kymco build a great product, however the body fit is awful. To me (and I’m 5’5″), the floorboard is so high in relation to the seat height it feels like my legs are under my chin. This seems to be a “thing” for Kymco.