Kymco Downtown 300i Review
The Downtown 300i is turning heads with the UK Telegraph motorcycle journalist, Kevin Ash writing a rave review of the Kymco Scooter.
If there were no badges on the Kymco Downtown, you’d guess it was Japanese, or maybe Italian, writes Kevin Ash from the UK newspaper, The Telegraph..
It has a solid feel, with no squeaks or rattles, the seat closes with a positive click, the panel gaps are consistent and narrow, the paint is glossy and even the controls feel sophisticated. Technically it’s advanced, with its 299cc single-cylinder, four-stroke engine using four valves, liquid cooling and fuel injection to develop 22bhp. It all suggests Japanese.
The styling is sleek, with a distinctive, Italian, look – not surprising, as it was penned by designer Massimo Zaniboni in Italy. In fact I’ve never had as many complimentary comments about a scooter’s style, usually followed by disappointment that you need a full motorcycle licence to ride one.
Kymco, however, is Taiwanese. While once this meant oddball looks and dependable, if dated, technology, these days Kymco is close to or matching the benchmark build and styling standards. The prices aren’t always as far below rivals’ as they used to be, but you still get good value. The Downtown comes with ABS on the front brake, span-adjustable levers, a 12V power point, twin halogen headlights and even tyre pressure monitoring. There’s space under the seat for a pair of full- face helmets, with more storage in the front bodywork.
In the dash between the rev counter (rather pointless on an automatic) and speedometer is an LCD display with confusing operation, although the information is clear and useful.
The quality feel continues once you’re riding thanks to the smooth and strong engine, which is good for about 90mph, with decent acceleration up to 75mph. The handling is secure and not bad for a scooter, and the suspension is compliant apart from the generic scooter problem of the weight of the engine and transmission at the rear affecting composure on the worst potholes.
You could certainly commute longer distances on the Downtown, even when these include some motorway riding, and you could normally expect real-world economy of up to 70mpg, giving a range of at least 180 miles from the 2.75 gallon tank.
In all, this machine is proof that Kymco has come a long way. The Downtown is not an alternative because of its lower price, it stands on its own merits and quality and happens to be cheaper as well. And that places it at the top of the class.