UPDATE – April 2011 – Kymco has lowered the price on the Kymco Like 2011 to $2,599
Scooter buyers in the USA prefer retro scooter designs. The basic shape of the classic Vespa design is what US consumers seem to be drawn to in scooters. I can certainly see some Vespa LX in the new Kymco Like, and maybe even some classic Lambretta in the cowl area. The rest of the world purchases more “modern” scooters. Scooters with aerodynamic shapes and more rider protection from wind, rain and road dirt. Scooters like the Kymco People ‘S’ and the Kymco Yager GT200i. The Kymco Like is available in 2-stroke 50cc and 4-stroke 163cc versions. It is the 163cc that we reviewed.
Let’s get the whole “name” thing out of the way. “Like” is not, in my opinion, a good name for a scooter. Then again Kymco doesn’t have much of a reputation for picking names that will do well in the US market. The “Bet and Win” (yes, it’s a real scooter name) did NOT sell well here despite the fact that it’s a very fine scooter. I believe the name had a lot to do with the poor sales. The other thing I don’t like about the “Like” is the 200 part of the name. It has a 163cc engine, closer to 150 than 200. The same can be said for pretty much every “200” scooter currently in the marketplace. Let’s call them what they are folks.
I rode the Kymco Like 200i for several days and also passed it along to the very brave Jordana who gave her opinions on the scooter. Jordana normally rides a Genuine Buddy International 150 when she is not being pestered by yours truly to review something. I will include Jordana’s comments under “Jordana Says” a little later in this review.
Speedometer Reading/Speed/Fuel Economy
Scooterville in Minneapolis generously provided the Kymco Like 200i used for this review. It had just a few miles on it when I picked it up. Before starting this review I had heard from other people who had ridden the Like 200i previously that it was a pretty “doggy” scooter. I don’t know if the early production models were different or it they had ridden a pre-production machine but that was NOT my impression of the Like 200i. Acceleration off the line is brisk with the Like 200i, at least as quick as a Genuine Buddy 150. The mid-range roll-on acceleration is also strong. I am fairly certain that the fuel injection on the Like 200i is contributing to this. There is no “lag” in most places on the throttle, just quick, smooth responsiveness.
Testing with a GPS unit showed that the speedometer and odometer on the Like 200i are quite accurate. They read about 5% optimistic which is to say that the speedometer indicates about 5% faster than the actual speed. At an indicated speed of 30 MPH the actual speed is 28.5 MPH. At an indicated 50 MPH the actual speed is 47 MPH. I was able to get the Like 200i to an indicated 66 MPH which was actually 63 MPH. A lighter pilot (about 150 lbs.) was able to get the Like 200i to an indicated 70 MPH which was an actual top speed of 66 MPH. A touch disappointing as I was expecting an actual top speed of 70 MPH. Fuel economy during the review was 82 MPG. I consider this quite good as the scooter was NOT broken in and was being ridden hard. After break-in under normal riding conditions I would expect 90 MPG out of the Like 200i.
The Kymco Like 200i is powered by a 163cc fuel injected forced-air cooled engine. A CVT (Continuously Variable Transmisssion) transfers power automatically. Disc brakes front AND rear handle stopping chores and a telescopic fork up front along with dual shocks in the rear make up the suspension. The Like 200i rides on 12 inch rubber front and rear. Before we look at scooters from competitors, I thought is would be interesting to look at Kymco’s other offerings in this size class. Both the Kymco Like 200i and the People ‘S’ 200 utilize a 163cc powerplant. The People sits on bigger (16 inch) tires and is carbureted. For an MSRP that is just $100 higher, the Yager 200GT offer BOTH liquid cooling and fuel injection. All three machines have different and distinct designs.
For competitor comparison, I selected the Vespa LX150i, new from Piaggio with fuel injection and the Honda SH150, also fuel injected. Both these machines are 150s, which is close to the Like’s 163 displacement. Both are significantly more expensive. These are likely to be representative examples of other machines that the potential Like 200i buyer might be considering.
The Kymco Like 200i comes well-equipped with a nice dash that includes a clock and fairly accurate fuel gauge. There is a colour-matched trunk that is also included. The trunk appears well made and did NOT rattle at all during testing. It’s a good thing that the trunk is there because there is precious little storage space on the Like otherwise. There is a small glove box up front, but it can only be accessed with the ignition key. Not very user-friendly. If one’s garage door opener is in the glove box, one must shut off the scooter and remove the key from the ignition to open the glove box, activate the door opener and then re-start the scooter to place it in the garage. One very nice feature inside the glove box is a power socket. I like this location better than the more typical under-the-seat location. I tried to put a three-quarter sized helmet under the seat and the storage area was so shallow I couldn’t close the seat. Of course the trunk easily accepted the helmet. The fuel filler is also located under the seat. There are nice flip-out foot rests for a passenger and the seat is easily big enough to accommodate two.
The low/high beam headlight switch on the left-hand control includes a flash-to-pass function that is nice to have. All of the switches and controls appear to be high quality.
As mentioned earlier, the Kymco Like 200i has brisk acceleration and I found it to be fun to ride. The suspension was adequate to the task at hand and returned a fairly smooth and stable ride. Braking was VERY good. Not quite to the level of a Genuine Blur, but that rear disc really makes a difference in hard braking compared to scooter with a drum brake in the back. There is one issue with riding the Like 200i and that is the ergonomics of the riding position.
The Like 200i has a seat height of just over 30 inches – generally a good thing for those of us with shorter inseams. The issue is the relative height of the floorboards. As you can see from the picture, Jordana (who has a 32 inch inseam and is 5′ 5″ tall) could not find a comfortable position. She had very little leg room and her knees were close to hitting the legshields. If Jordana pushed back further on the seat, she couldn’t easily reach the handlebars. With a 30 inch inseam, I didn’t have quite the same issue, but I can see how this limits who can comfortably fit on a like 200i. Check the seating position carefully when considering this (or ANY scooter) for purchase.
Fit and Finish
Kymco has a well-deserved reputation for quality and value. The Like 200i has very nice fit and finish. The seat cover material was a little loose on our test model and the rear grab-rails seemed kind of flimsy. Otherwise all the components appeared to be very high quality. The assembly of the scooter is very good with all panels fitting well. The color and finish are excellent. I have reviewed several Kymco scooters and own a Kymco People People 250 and can say with complete confidence that they are the equal of any other manufacturer when it comes to quality.
The Kymco Like 200i is OK. It seems big and feels like I’m sitting in an oversized chair because the seating position is weird. Also some of the components feel cheap (seat cover, plastic passenger grab-rails), and the glove compartment is inconvenient because it doesn’t have the option to keep it unlocked with a push button open. I see why the top case is included (not much in the way of underseat storage). The case did hold all my packages nicely when I went to the Post Office, though. It does accelerate smoothly and feels pretty substantial in terms of engine. I like the display and the clock. It was surprisingly easy to get up on the center stand for its bulk.
The Kymco Like 200i is a well-made scooter that offers good performance up to about 60 MPH. I expect it to be reliable and durable and to return good fuel economy. It does have some ergonomic issues that will limit it’s appeal, be sure and check out the seating position for YOU when shopping for this or any scooter.
UPDATE – April 2011 – Kymco has lowered the price on the Kymco Like 2011 to $2,599