Kymco Scooters - Style, Quality and Price
Somewhere between the quality of Japanese scooters and the price of Chinese scooters lies Kymco, a Tawianese scooter manufacturer. Like the Japanese manufacturers, Kymco have a network of official dealers in the USA and offer products with a real warranty and dealer support. However like the Chinese scooters, Kymco have a number of models which are more affordable than their Japanese counterparts.
My pick of the Kymco line for someone wanting a low cost scooter would probably be the Kymco Super 8 150cc model. It's a "sport bike" style scooter (which appeals to me) and is shown below in its most striking blue and yellow color scheme!
Kymco Super 8 150cc - $2299
The current list price is $2299, which is around $1000 more than similar looking Chinese scooters, but the Kymco comes with dealer support and a two year warranty. The closest Japanese scooter in terms of size and price would be the Yamaha Zuma 125cc model at $2999.
The Kymco Super 8 150cc also comes in a red and green
The Kymco super 8 150cc has a top speed in the region of 55mph and a fuel economy in the region of 75mpg. It has an air cooled 150cc engine, front disk/rear drum brakes and dual rear shocks. It uses 14" wheels, slightly larger than most similar 150cc chinese scooters (which typically have 13" wheels". The larger wheels provide a more stable ride.
150cc scooters provide what I think is the best compromise of versatility and price. They are fast enough to keep pace with traffic on any road other than a freeway, while delivering excellent gas mileage. They're fast enough to be fun, while being controllable enough to be safe. Smaller 50cc scooters have trouble keeping up with traffic on faster suburban roads, while larger scooters cost more and use more gas. The one limitation of all 150cc scooters is that though they are legal to ride on on the freeway, they can't really keep up with the pace of freeway traffic, which even in 55mph zones tends to flow at 60-65mph. Though a 150cc scooter can reach 55mph, that's really about the limit, so most other vehicles will be passing you.
Kymco do make larger scooters. There's the People S 200 with 16" wheels at $3,299 - but note that despite the name, the engine is a 163cc model, not a 200cc model as you might expect! They also have 250cc models starting at $4000 and a 500cc touring scooter at $6300.
LEFT: Kymco People S 200 scooter - 163cc - 16" wheels - $3299
RIGHT: Kymco Agility 50 scooter - 50cc - 12" wheels - $1599
There are also smaller, 50cc Kymco scooters, starting with the Agility 50 at $1599 and going up in price to the Kymco People S 50 at $2449