Reader test: Kymco Super 8
After spending a year away from home at varsity with no transport, I realised what I could do with my savings. A month later I was in possession of a shiny new Kymco Super 8 scooter. It has given me only joy since then, and with each passing day I realise its merits.
So, what is it about?
Visually, its combination of blue and yellow panels and decals are scattered everywhere. The overall image is one of sportiness complemented by superb black mags. While it does have some underseat storage, I have expanded this with an aftermarket back-box.
How does it ride?
The Super 8's four-stroke engine comes to life instantly and is very smooth and quiet. With a displacement of 125cc, maximum power output is 6.5 kW at 7 500 r/min, while maximum torque sits at 9.1 Nm at 6 500 r/min.
This may not seem like much, but real life driving proves otherwise. The acceleration is rather surprising and you find yourself at 60 km/h in no time. Since the Super 8 is equipped with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), the revs are kept in just the right band. The highest gear ratio is reached at about 80 km/h.
Top speed is 110 km/h, but this is really at a push and the engine gives a very strained note in this range, which only means excessive fuel consumption and engine wear in exchange for a fraction more speed.
Despite all these good qualities, riding up long hills where the engine can run out of steam does prove to be problematic. However, the Super 8 can hold itself at 60km/h uphill which is adequate.
Comfort and road-holding abilities are absolutely superb. This is mostly due to the longer-than-normal wheelbase and larger wheels. This not only makes maneuvering a breeze but also gives a very smooth ride. I have been told that it rides more like a motorbike than a scooter.
There are disc brakes up front while the rear makes do with drum brakes. They are very sharp, but watch out on rainy days when the brakes tend to lock up!
Ownership and other things
A major advantage is fuel consumption; my average is about 28 km/l. However, if I calm down a bit I can return up to 34 km/l! The fuel tank can take 5 litres thus one can achieve a distance of about 150km between fill-ups. It always brings a smile to my face when the fuel bill comes to a meagre R35!
My Kymco can also save me so much time. I don't even think of rush hour anymore! It is great to whizz down the middle of crawling traffic as they eye me with jealousy. Parking is also a breeze.
Services are at 3 000 km intervals and the cost varies depending on what needs replacing. The cost can be anywhere from R300 to R500 which is really decent.
So what don't I like?
The speedometer over-reads by a massive 10km/h! I discovered this after attaching my Dad's GPS to the display and comparing true speed to the speedometer readout. The fuel gauge readout also fluctuates depending on the slope, speed and acceleration of the scooter. However, after some time one can get used to the errors and quickly correct them in your mind.
Other issues include high oil consumption, squeaky suspension, and the fact that the rubber seal over the join between my right mirror and the arm keeps coming loose. But this is really nitpicking.
I have had my Super 8 for a year and have travelled 8 500 km in total. Everything is still in tip top condition and it goes like a dream! One does pay a small premium for a 125cc scooter, but I feel that it is justified given just how fantastic the Super 8 is.
In exchange for R15 000, one can have a superb appliance that is incredibly light on fuel and can save you so much time getting around, especially in rush hour. Furthermore, you have peace of mind knowing that you are going easy on the environment!
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