I packed my bags and headed to the hills of Appalachia to twist the throttle of the 2018 Kymco Xciting 400i ABS scooter. With lush vegetation and the Blue Ridge Parkway awaiting, I took the Xciting 400i to task in both urban and rural environments. While exploring those picturesque hills, this snappy scooter proved its prowess. Let’s get into the Fast Facts.1. The 2018 Kymco Xciting 400i has plenty of power for its class. The 399cc single puts out a claimed 35 horsepower, plus a useful 26 ft/lbs of torque. The fuel-injected 400i performs well in the city, on the freeway or in the backcountry.
2. Achieving highway speeds isn’t an issue. Even though the 400i uses a thumper powerplant, it remains incredibly smooth to the point where it could be easily confused for a parallel twin. If there is any buzziness in this motor, it can only be found at the top end of its capabilities.3. Twist and go means just that—twist the throttle and go. The 400i, like many scooters, uses an automatic continuously variable transmission (a belt and two pulleys). Though there is a bit of lag in the transmission engagement when first setting out, especially when you’re greedy with the gas, the 400i is incredibly approachable because it requires no shifting. Accessibility is one of the 400i’s most important features.4. Handling and stability are some of the stronger points of the 400i. Featuring a 61.61’’ wheelbase, 28 degrees of rake and 4.17’’ of trail, the 400i is remarkably compliant without sacrificing stability. Highly intuitive, this scooter is on the rails when at freeway speeds and above, but when one needs to tip into a nice sweeper, it does so without any hesitation. What was most impressive was how stable it was at high and low speeds.5. Three-plus gallons of fuel will allow a lot of riding. Fuel pricing is always in flux, and if history is any indication, it can hit our wallets hard—gas taxes in California go up over $5 billion next year. Kymco claims that the 400i can achieve 64 mpg, giving it a range of around 200 miles between fill-ups.6. The well-sorted suspension provides a smooth ride. The suspension is basic—non-adjustable fork and twin spring-preload adjustable shocks—but they work well with a bit over four inches of travel. Softly sprung, the 400i provides a great deal of comfort when dealing with the potholes, choppy asphalt and other inconsistencies that the open road can provide. In conjunction with good damping characteristics, the 400i settles over bumps quickly and is confident on its feet. A strong hit can bottom out the rear suspension, but it does so without drama, while the forks do dive under hard braking. 7. The 400i has admirable stopping power. Loaded with 280mm dual discs and radially mounted four-piston calipers, plus a 240mm disc in the rear, the braking has a confident initial bite, and is progressive without being overbearing. Both the front and rear brakes offer good feel, making low speed maneuvers that much easier to tackle.8. ABS is front-wheel only. Kymco has employed the Bosch 9.1 M ABS, which we did put to the test in rather wet weather. Even in those conditions, it didn’t intervene prematurely and took rather ham-fisted lever actuation to trigger it. The rear brake is not equipped with ABS, but it is difficult to lock the rear wheel at higher speeds—instead, you get some chatter. At lower speeds, it is possible to skid the Maxxis rear tire.9. The Xciting 400i has relaxed ergonomics. While many will assume that a neutral and upright riding position will be found on a scooter, the 400i remains one of the more spacious of its genre. Riders of a wide variety of sizes will be able to sit comfortably without significant knee-bend. In addition to that, the seat is spacious and firm, without moving into realms of discomfort. In fact, the seating is great for long distance trips, as well as short jaunts. Wind deflection adds an element of comfort, as well, thanks to the appropriately sized windscreen.10. Shorter riders will have to pay attention to the nearly 32-inch seat height. With a wide seat, short-inseam riders migh not being able to touch the ground at stops. With my 32-inch inseam, I didn’t have too much trouble. One helpful feature is a kickstand, which a shorter rider will appreciate. Of course, a scooter-traditional centerstand is also there.11. The 2018 Kymco Xciting 400i weighs 451 pounds, but doesn’t feel like it. Scooters have a low center of gravity, and the 400i is no exception. Even if an owner were to allow the 400i to have a bit of a tarmac nap, it wouldn’t take too much effort to right it.12. There are over 12 gallons of storage is available under the seat. With ample storage, the 400i would be great for commuters of all types. The seat compartment is unlocked by twisting the ignition key to the left. That pops the seat cushion up with its self-supporting struts.13. Charge your devices while you ride. There’s a 12-volt charging port in the glovebox, but no USB plug. You’ll have to provide your own adapter.14. The 2018 Kymco Xciting 400i is a capable scooter, suited for a wide variety of situations. Between the cargo hold, moderate power, and great handling, it’s certainly a premium scooter, at a price below $6k.15. Scooters are for men. In the United States, men must be tough and it’s tough to look menacing on a scooter…or is it? Let me set the scene. you’re in a dark alley and, suddenly, the collective LED headlights of a roaming horde of 400i owners turn their attention to you. If you have any sense of self- preservation, you’d turn tail and run because anyone willing to rob you while riding a scooter is probably a maniac anyway. With a lot of under-seat storage, they could do this for hours before letting up and counting their ill-gotten gains. And that is why scooters are for super manly men.Photography by Michael Spain SmithRiding Style
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Motos and Friends, the weekly podcast brought to you by Ultimate Motorcycling. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Motos and Friends is brought to you by Yamaha. You can check out the amazing YZF-R7 at your local Yamaha dealer, or of course at YamahaMotorsports.com. The YZF-R7 is an amazing supersport machine that is comfortable too!
In this week’s first segment, Editor Don Williams takes the smallest BMW ADV bike on an urban adventure in Los Angeles. The BMW G 310 GS is a full size motorcycle with a modest engine, so of course we wonder if it is a little too underpowered and might struggle. Don put it through its paces and gives us his take.
In the second segment, Neale Bayly and Kiran Ridley have returned from the Ukraine to Paris where Kiran is based.
Kiran is an award winning photojournalist, and as an accomplished documentarian, he has covered stories as diverse as drug smuggling around the Mexican border, to the devastation of the Australian Bush Fires, to the tragedy of the Mediterranean migration crisis. Neale and Kiran reminisce about their motorcycle adventure in the Ukraine, and their observations and experiences with the incredibly resilient people of Ukraine, who have been put through such brutal hardship.