Kymco has been importing ATVs to North America for more than 15 years now and has established a good dealer base and a growing and positive reputation with enthusiasts.
The companys ATV line-up is very comprehensive and offers sport-utility models from 700ccs down to kids models. Theres also an extensive list of Kymco semi-sport ATVs like the Mongoose and Maxxer that attract a fair share of attention.
The bread-and-butter of the Kymco line-up is the MXU 500i. This ATV seems to hit the sweet spot with shoppers looking for a multi-purpose wheeler – work, trail riding, fishing, hunting – and Kymco has always offered consumers a bit more when it comes to value versus price.
The MXU 500i formula begins with a 36-hp 499cc DOHC single with EFI driving through a CVT tranny and a full-featured, selectable 4WD system, including diff-lock.
This is the starting point and is the basis for an overall package that includes 4-wheel independent A-arms and disc brakes up front with a single disc on the rear driveshaft.
Although the 500i doesnt own a lot of Kymco-specific innovation (these features are all offered by various competitors) it does offer all of the above on a value priced model with nothing held back.
The first time we test rode a 500i we suspected it might be merely a conglomeration of the most popular features available on any ATV consolidated into one model. We were partially correct but what we overlooked was the fact the 500i is a wholly integrated package that competes strongly in its function with anything else in its class.
Kymco did a restyle job on its MXU line a couple of years back and the bodywork turns heads and surprises doubters with its classy appearance.
The new body changes actually went far deeper as Kymco beefed up the chassis at the same time to offer more strength and rigidity.
Even since its earliest days on these shores this company has excelled at covering the details with its products and fit and finish is very impressive.
Its also worth noting Kymco has been a supplier to Arctic Cat for nearly a decade and its engines, used in several Cat models, have proven to be durable, innovative and reliable.
The 500i specs out very competitively with 10.4 inches of ground clearance and decent suspension travel. Rack capacities and towing figures all fall into the same range as the competition. Youre getting steel wheels instead of aluminum but thats pretty much the standard for the ATVs in this article.
Theres a growing acceptance of Kymco as one of the universal players in the industry and the companys favor has been earned with consistent quality and fair pricing. It might be time to take a serious look.