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2015 marks some aggressive updates to an aging Kymco lineup and we had an opportunity to evaluate several cool offerings this past week in South Carolina – notably an updated MXU 700 available in 2015 with electronic power steering.

EPS was an incredibly welcome addition to the MXU and made a considerable difference in the handling of the front end.

Significantly less muscle is now required to maneuver through tight tree-lined trails and massive hits from rocks and harsh nose down landings that could literally end a day of riding are dramatically softened.

We’ve had many readers ask us when Kymco was going to add power steering to its ATV line as the front end handling of the base model MXU is a workout and delivers a harsher than expected ride over rollers and rough trail. This first generation EPS makes a world of difference to the handling of this vehicle. We’ll be happy if Kymco continues to evolve its power steering system, as we’d like to see slightly more input and a smoother regression as speed builds.

The MXU 700 EPS LE simply drips with showroom appeal boasting glimmering plastic and some unique chrome accents that absolutely pop in the sunlight. Maxxis Bighorns wrap around beautiful black wheels and offer durability and traction to tackle slick, mud-covered hills with ease.

The digital gauge is easy to read and tubular steel racks although rudimentary, are functional and capable of loading up with gear as needed. There’s also a handy winch to help get you unstuck from anything the combination of low range, 4 wheel drive and aggressive meats simply cannot handle.

We think Kymco missed an opportunity to add upgraded shocks to the LE package. A set of more durable, piggyback clickers from Fox or Walker Evans would increase the value of this unit and also provide much needed adjustability to tailor your ride to its desired level. Although they do their job, the stock shocks tend to pack up at times in big rollers and their springs felt too soft for our riding style.

Kymco’s 695cc fuel injected powerhouse propels this ATV forward with enough vigor to satisfy most riders. We noted it felt really soft off engagement and a bit lazy at initial squeeze of the throttle, but as power builds to mid range it operates smoothly and continues to a strong enough top end for aggressive trail speeds.

This writer is a fan of dual-lever hand brakes especially when they work independently of one another to modulate either front of rear brakes. The setup on the MXU 700 LE works admirably and we had plenty of opportunity to test it out as we navigated tight wooded areas and slippery slopes throughout the Big Buck GNCC course. This system is a win and we’d like to see it standard across Kymco’s full sport utility ATV line.

Is the 2015 MXU 700 EPS LE the answer to all your ATV prayers? Maybe not, but if you’re browsing through a Kymco dealership, we think you’ll be mighty tempted to park your cheeks on its seat and if you’re a current MXU owner that’s been patiently waiting for lighter handling, this is definitely your year.

Mike Lester
Mike Lester
Mike Lester is Staff Photographer and Digital Content Manager for Dirt Trax TV. He is also a Contributing Editor and Guest Correspondent on the show.

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