REVIEW: KYMCO XCITING S 400i
The team at scootersales.com.au take the new KYMCO Xciting S 400i for a test ride.
The Kymco Xciting S 400 Sports Touring is designed with Kymco’s long standing “Win My Heart” spirit, well recognised for its agile handling, best-in-class horsepower and smooth and quiet delivery, to make it the next generation maxi scooter.
Kymco Xciting S 400i Review
I just arrived back from Taiwan where I was invited to the Kymco Xciting S 400i Press Ride Asia 2019. This was an event centring around the launch of the new Kymco Xciting S 400i to the Asia Pacific market. The experience consisted of a track day and mountain ride to put the new model through its paces and here at Scootersales.com.au we were very impressed with what we saw.
The maxi scooter market in Australia the has alway been an interesting one. It sits between the smaller bodied nibble city scooters and the big bike market but if you are looking for a scooter that can meet all your riding needs I believe the Xciting S 400i could present something with enough sporting flare to attract bike riders or give current smaller scooter riders something to upgrade to.
From the Kymco marketing team: “The Kymco Xciting S 400 Sports Touring is designed with Kymco’s long standing “Win My Heart” spirit, well recognised for its agile handling, best-in-class horsepower and smooth and quiet delivery, to make it the next generation maxi scooter that meets the stringent demands of riders seeking nothing but the best of “Sports Touring”.” I can honestly say they have summed up this model well.
Now let’s have a closer look at what the new Kymco Xciting S 400i has to offer.
On the engine side Kymco do not disappoint with the true 400cc Euro 4, 4-stroke, liquid cooled, fuel injected 4 valve motor that puts out an impressive 26.5kW / 38.4Nm power out-put with max.torque(Nm/rpm) 38.1Nm / 6250 rpm. What does this all mean in riding terms? Well it offers seamless and smooth performance. It has plenty of power to pull this larger framed scooter off the lights and enough top end power to sit comfortably on the freeway without feeling like you are over working the motor and it also has that bit extra in reserve to pull past any upcoming motorists.
The Xciting S 400i is designed with “Sports-Touring” in mind so our trip included a day on the track to experience the sports nature of the scooter and then a trip up Mount Hehuan for the touring experience. On the race track my first impressions where that it felt a little heavy off the mark but I think I had my race helmet on and when I adjusted to the fact it is not a sports bike but a maxi scooter it exceeded my expectations and at 195kg it really isn’t that heavy for a maxi. It accelerated off the line smoothly without having to labour and got up to speed quickly. I was very impressed by the smooth nature of the motor which affirmed the advancements from Kymco in their larger single cylinder motors, a class of which have historically felt lumpy. This scooter felt as smooth as a 300cc off the mark but with benefit of extra power of being a 400cc. The hanger-axle which is the more secure mounting of the engine to the frame increased the rigidity, increased the manoeuvrability and the high speed stability giving it a more sports orientated ride.
On the second day when we took the scooter out to the country side where we were able to test its touring nature. The scooter sat comfortably through the twists and turns as we made our way up the mountain side. I was asked the question, “could it do with more power?” My first answer was yes but after thinking about what Kymco are doing with this model I reconsidered. The Xciting S 400i is your go to all rounder and for longer commutes or weekend touring and hence it leaves me thinking it is more than enough to be your go to all-purpose scooter. If you are wanting a high performance sports bike orientated scooter Kymco have the AK550.
As part of the ride experience we rode through mountain ranges and on descent from Wuling to Sun Moon Lake the weather was unfavourable. With wet, cold roads the scooter still sat comfortably and handled the conditions well, feeling solid and planted.The longer wheel base helped the scooter sit into the corners and the deceleration down some steep descents was assisted by the engine braking as I backed off the throttle.
The Xciting S 400i boasts telescopic wet forks float the front end on 4.33 inches of travel, and the dual coil-over shocks at the back deliver 4.213 inches of travel with adjustable spring preload. This gives for a sport feel rather than a plush softer ride. I found it a bit rigid in the rear on the 2nd softest setting but did mean it sat firmly through tight corners and gave feed back from the road surface. While on the topic of sporty feeling the 42 degree lean angle highlights it strong association to the term “Sport” in “Sports-Touring” (although I wasn’t pushing it on the wet roads I was really able to lean into the corners on the track).
The radially mounted Kymco branded twin front brakes give plenty of stopping power and there is peace of mind in knowing it also has Bosch 9.1 ABS will pull you up quickly if needed.
The combination of 14” rear and 15” front Metzeler tyres give you a good balance between power delivery, manoeuvrability and road handling. I really like the use of Metzeler rubber here to as it shows they haven’t tried to cut corners on important things like tyres.
Kymco continue to push the envelope in innovation and quality and this model is testament to their forward thinking. With it’s clean lines and modern, sporty look and feel it is definitely a scooter for the rider who is posed with the question, scooter or motorbike? From a styling perspective it sits between that of a Yamaha and a BMW and there is no surprise why it has been readily accepted into the scrupulous European market with its sporty flare accentuated by its distinct lights. This scooter would not look out of place either manoeuvring the streets of Milan or cruising the autobahns of Germany. They have definitely nailed the look and feel of this model.
The matt paint job adds to the high-quality feel, that coupled with the quality finishing with alloy parts and even the material and detail of the seat trim all add to a what we are getting used to with Kymco. With the Xciting S 400i’s sharpened lines and edgier look I can see it appealing to a younger demographic of rider who would have in the past thought a maxi scooter to be an “older riders” vehicle of choice.
Now let’s have a closer look at some of the features of the Xciting S 400i:
On taking the Xciting out for a longer ride through Taiwanese mountains the seat was firm but supportive, I did find I had to stretch my legs to get the blood flowing due to the amount of time I spend on the saddle between stops but this was easily done on the higher foot positioning boards.
The seat itself has been redesigned from previously models and has a larger rider backrest for extra support and is also tapered towards the front allowing for you to easily get feet to the ground while stopping. I am 6 foot and found it fit me well and there were a couple of shorter riders who managed it fine. The large rear seat and grab handles would also make it a great scooter to pillion on.
Aside from a thorough and impressive revamp, the Xciting also boasts a new higher screen. It’s adjustable to five positions and can be moved by using the lever located inside the middle of the screen. The lever itself is a bit fiddly so it isn’t easy enough to operate on the move and adjusting the screen is a two hands job but you don’t need to get any tools out to adjust it which is nice. This adjustment will suit all rider heights and alleviate any wind buffering while providing adequate weather protection.
The addition of an easy to use park brake on the left hand bar holds the scooter in position when parked on the side stand, something I usually recommend not to do but being a bigger scooter and heavier to lift onto the centre stand a decent side stand and handbrake give you confidence in parking on the side stand while quickly running into the shops or parking in the garage.
This bike gets Kymco’s Noodoe interface, which connects to your phone via Bluetooth, and provides a load of options. You can display sat-nav directions on the dashboard, read texts, check weather, and even show pics from your gallery, like a digital photo frame. The speedo display is also fully customisable, via a special app on your phone. Owners will be able to upgrade the display via the use of the Noodoe App without hardware modification or the use of an extra GPS/mobile phone stand.
The Xciting S 400i also has full LED lighting with CE approved daytime lighting (a first on a scooter). The new LED lights are distinctive with three horizontal stripes run across the rear and are flanked by twin running lights with integrated indicators which greatly improves visibility whilst also intensifying the aggressive and dynamic design of the scooter.
If you want a weekend away for two you need a top box or soft luggage. The storage space does extend towards the back of the scooter but still isn’t as spacious as it could be. One full face helmet fits, on first attempt I thought it was one of those square pegs in a round hole type scenarios but after trying the wrong angle twice I found it did fit with success, closing seat without putting pressure on the helmet. It also has a handy two stage seat design allow for access to the under seat compartment without the pillion having to get off the scooter or also handy if you have luggage strapped to the pillion seat. The under seat can either be operated by turning the key left in the ignition or by pushing the left hand side button for quick access.
The Xciting S 400i also has two small compartments behind the front fairing. One houses a 12v charge point and both lock automatically when you put the steering lock on, as does the seat. I tested and my larger iPhone fits in the compartment with the usb charging port which was nice for a change.
These are just a few of the features. This is a scooter that hasn’t cut corners and has a number of the nice touches that your more basic budget scooters miss such as adjustable levers, audible indicators, underseat light, easy to adjust mirrors and even hazard lights (these actually came in useful when navigating around the foggy mountain country in Taiwan with poor visibility).
A great mid-sized maxi scooter for those who demand more power and performance. With it’s sporty look and feel it is definitely a scooter for the rider who is posed with the question,” scooter or motorbike?” but who wants more practically that a scooter can offer without compromising on performance.
Summed up it is a great looking, all rounder that does everything well. Designed to be cover all bases and will be well suited to rider looking for a solid larger bodied scooter for a mid to long commute or who wants to be able to stretch their legs and head out for a weekend or sneaky mid-week ride freeway ride. Being in the maxi class it would suit your second generation scooter rider over the learner rider due to its physical size and power. The Xciting S 400i would be a natural replacement for someone looking for a decent upgrade from their current smaller scooter or dated maxi.
There are so many positives with this model but if I was looking for any cons they would be that the storage is a bit limited but this can always be overcome by adding panniers or case options. Kymco could also add a few more features (thinking traction control and heated grips) but also know it is trying to remain competitively priced in a growing market. Overall we were very impressed with the Xciting S 400i and think it is a great mid size competitor to the market. I was trying to hold back with the “Xciting” puns when writing this but this model does have a lot to get excited about. Definitely worth a test ride.
Pricing and colours are yet to be confirmed for Australia but we will be seeing this model hit Australian shores in the last quarter of 2019. For more information on the whole Kymco range visit kymco.com.au and contact your local dealer.
More to come on this model. In the meantime check out our friend in the Phillipines quick look at the model launch: