The Kymco Agility 50

This is a brief, first hand, review of the Kymco Agility 50. I'm qualified to review it because last summer I bought one!

For those who don't know, Kymco is based in Taiwan and has been making motor scooters since 1963. Prior to that they made parts for Honda. They have a good reputation and in fact in early 2008, KYMCO was chosen by BMW to supply the engines for their G450 X Enduro bike. In late 2013, Kawasaki announced that their new J300 scooter is manufactured in partnership with Kymco.

This means that their engineering is a step or two up from that found in most Chinese branded scooters, though it's maybe not quite as good as the best Japanese manufacturers like Honda. Working on My Kymco Agility 50 I certainly found that the quality of the parts, the engineering design and the assembly of the scooter was quite a bit better than that I had previously found on a Roketa Chinese scooter that I owned.

The Kymco Agility 50 is what you'd expect from a 50cc scooter. It's small, light and reliable, easy on gas and easy to ride. Many come restricted from the factory to comply with regulations in states which allow 50cc scooters to be ridden without a motorcycle license. The restrictions are:

  • The CDI (ignition module) limits the engine to 7000rpm
  • The Variator has an oversized boss to limit maximum speed
  • The carburetor jet is small to limit fuel flow

All these together limit the scooter to a maximum speed of under 30mph (as required by regulations for non licensed riders). all can be easily removed (either by a dealer or by the owner) which makes quite a bit of difference and increases the top speed to close to 45mph as well as improving the acceleration.

You can replace the CDI or do some surgery on the stock module, which will limit the engine to 9000rpm rather than 7000rpm. You can remove the oversized boss which will give you a little more top speed and you can install a slightly larger main jet which will richen the mixture slightly for better performance (but it will use more fuel).

The brakes are typical for this class of scooter with a disk at the front and a drum at the back. Both work well (the back works much better than it did on my previous Chinese scooter). Wheels are 12", which again is typical for this class of scooter and certainly better than the 10" wheels found on some 50cc scooters. The gas tank hold 1.3 gallons, which should give you a range of at least 100 miles. Kymco quote 95mpg, but I'm not sure if that's with or without the restrictions. Derestricted and riding it quite hard (including up some steep hills) I'm getting around 75mpg.

The Agility 50 has a nice feature in that the seat is split in two and the rear half of the seat can be locked in an upright position to act as a back rest as shown below:

Underseat storage capacity is good. I can just get a full face helmet in there. A rear luggage rack is included as standard. It doesn't come with a top-box, but one can easily be attached to the luggage rack. There's a speedometer (kph and mhp) and a oddometer (but note that mine reads in kilometers not miles) but no tachometer (you can add one pretty easily though for checking engine performance). There's a fuel gauge and the new models also have a clock.

The engine is the usual air cooled, 4-stoke, 2 valve 49.5cc GY6, which has been used in many, many scooters over many decades. It's a tried and tested engine capable of long life if properly built and maintained.

Lighting is typical small scooter lighting. I would not want to ride far using only the illumination from the headlight on a dark night. It's not very bright (35W) and the pattern isn't great either. You can install a brighter bulb, but you have to be careful the extra heat from a brighter bulb doesn't melt anything! On the other hand you probably won't be going very fast (it's a 50cc scooter), so you really don't need a searchlight illuminating the road 1/2 mile in front of you.

Current list price is $1699, which is perhaps double that of a cheap Chinese Scooter, but sill a lot less then you'd have to pay for a Japanese Yamaha Zuma 50 (around $2600) or an Italian 50cc Vespa ($3400).

Overall it's a pretty good scooter if you need a 50cc scooter. It comes with a real 2 year warranty and a US dealer network to fix it if there any problems. No Chinese brand scooter is likely to offer you that. The only downside is that it's a 50cc scooter and no matter what you do to it, it won't have a lot of power or go very fast. However it's small and light (200lbs) and frugal on gas, so it makes a great commuter where speed isn't an issue.