By Mike Lester
I’ve always been a sucker for the underdog and I just love it when one does something to justify my support. Kymco USA has put together some excellent new products for the 2010 season.
Most notable is its putting independent rear suspension on the popular MXU 500 (you’ll read about this one in the upcoming issue of All-Terrain Vehicle Magazine) and the totally new 375 Maxxer.
The Maxxer takes its guts from the 375 MXU introduced in ’08 and still this writer’s favorite engine in the Kymco lineup. Its 366.9cc 4-stroke churns out 26 ponies – not overly impressive if you’re a big bore fanatic, but for young riders or those loving to give it everything on the trails, this engine makes impressive power. There’s plenty of torque down low and consistent power all the way across the curve.
Bodywork and styling is brand new from the ground up and the Maxxer’s fit and finish is some of the nicest we’ve seen in the industry. There’s what Kymco USA engineers coin as a “crossover” feel to the Maxxer.
Essentially picture an MXU with the racks removed, the plastic trimmed up and a cool looking brush bar thrown on the front. You’ve got all the trail performance of a utility ATV including IRS, with more aggressive styling and a few pounds shed for a lighter, more performance oriented feel. Sound familiar? We’re thinking the Renegade should be flattered.
Kymco USA has also added steel braided brake lines to the dual lever braking system – this rider’s setup of choice. Stopping power from the hydraulic discs is on-a-dime excellent.
Also, since the Maxxer is based on the 375 MXU, it has a CVT with high/low range and reverse. Switching to 4WD in the goo is as simple as pushing a button and will get you unstuck quick.
We’d love to see diff-lock introduced featuring a sweet on-the-fly switch similar to the 500 MXU and hope Kymco USA takes this into consideration as larger displacement iterations of the Maxxer make their way into its lineup.
The independent rear suspension is a great escape from solid rear axle sport rides. Trail chatter is soaked up and spit out with very little harshness translating up to the rider. Open it up down rough, open stretches without fear of chiropractor visits later.
Kymco USA is onto something and has definitely sent an alarm warning the competition it’s a serious player in the ATV biz.