Overall, the People scooters are highly practical choices with their stable and forgiving large wheels and numerous storage areas.
Glovebox & underseat storage
Tall-ish ride height
Small foot area on floorboard
Older technology (engines date back to the 90’s)
KYMCO PEOPLE SERIES – 50 / 150 / 250
Kymco’s line of ‘People’ scooters were an original part of their lineup when they entered the USA market in 2001 and they enjoyed a long run through the 2012 model year. Over its run, the People series included 50cc, 150cc and 250cc models. The People series was notable for their large 16” wheels which are popular in many areas of the world. The large wheel eats into the underseat storage space, but provides a smoother ride over rougher terrain.
Unlike the similarly named ‘People S’ line of scooters, the People 50cc, 150cc and 250cc scooters have never been offered in the Canadian market.
The People 50 was sold from 2001 – 2012, while the People 150 was offered one year less from 2002 – 2012. Both of these models shared the same frame and body, with the 150 using a larger motor.
Despite the naming similarity, the People 250 was an entirely different machine than the smaller People scooters. It was sold from 2002 to 2008, at which time it was replaced by the newer People S 200 and 250. The People 250 used its own more stocky style. Unique to the 250 was a rear disc brake, an accessory plug in socket and liquid cooling.
The smaller People 50 scooter utilized the same 2-stroke engine found in all of Kymco’s 50cc 2-stroke models. This motor is a clone of Honda’s nicely designed AF18E/AF16E motor found in North American scooters like the ’94-’01 Honda Elite SR. This motor is hugely popular worldwide and has quite a following of aftermarket parts. You can read all the in-depth information this motor including information on derestricting it on the Kymco Super 9 page. While this motor was used in many Kymco’s, it was not always restricted equally. In the People 50 Kymco gave it a restricted variator (“transmission”) until 2005 and then switched to using both a restricted transmission and exhaust. So the latter years are more difficult and expensive to bring up to speed.
With Kymco being a strong believer in sharing engines across their lineup, the People 150 uses the same 152cc powerplant as the Kymco Bet & Win 150 and Super 8 150. This air cooled 4-stroke motor has proven to be a reliable engine and a reasonable custodian of fuel. The People 150 achives about 75 mpg in real world conditions, which means you can travel about 125 miles on the 1.8 gallon tank. 70-75 mpg is also what the 2-stroke People 50 typically musters. Since the People 50 is capable of being derestricted to cruise at up to 50mph, a lot of buyers may find the 50cc model to be the more practical choice. You can enjoy similar milage and a still respectable top speed for a lower MSRP and ongoing insurance costs. Licensing laws also typically favor the 50cc model. The People 150 is capable of indicated up to 70 mph on the speedometer, but it’s quite an optimistic speedometer with actual top speeds closer to 60mph.
The People 250 was powered by the same liquid cooled 4-stroke engine that Kymco has also utilized in their Xciting 250, Grandvista 250 and People S 250 scooters. This engine is capable of around 70mph.
Storage & Convenience
All of the People scooters share a modestly sized underseat storage area which is capable of swallowing some 1/2 or 3/4 helmets. Most of the space under the seat is occupied by the fuel tank, which is why other scooters that locate the gas tank under the floor board can typically offer more storage.
All of the People scooters are equipped with a nice luggage rack behind the seat and a glove box which is handy for securely storing bulkier items.
Overall, the People scooters are highly practical choices with their stable and forgiving large wheels and numerous storage areas. The motors are proven to be reliable, so if a low cost yet practical and well made scooter is what you are looking for then the People 50, 150 and 250 scooters are a good choice. The seat heights do tend to be a bit high and floorboards tend to be a bit small, so the actual fit of the scooter may not fit with all body types. For 2009, Kymco lowered the MSRP on the remaining 50cc ($1999) and 150cc models ($2799) by several hundred dollars, which gave them a notable MSRP advantage over their Japanese competition. Prior to 2009, the People 50 was $2449 and the People 150 was $3199 which was actually more expensive than competing scooters from established brands.