The Super 8 is an affordable entry into the high performance scooter scene and it’s also a lot easier to work on and cheaper to maintain than the SR50.
Lots of parts and performance potential for 2-stroke 50cc
Front disc brake
High seat height
Low tech engine designs
KYMCO SUPER 8 50 / 150
The Super 8 is Kymco’s flagship sports scooter. It was introduced for 2009 (or 2010 in Canada) and remained on sale through 2014 in the USA before being replaced by the new Super 8X and Super 8R models for 2015 (or 2016 in Canada). The second generation Super 8R and 8X are dealt with separately here.
The Super 8 was introduced as a replacement for the popular but aging Super 9. The logical name for the replacement of the Super 9 might have been the Super 10, but perhaps Super 8 rolls off the tongue a little nicer. In any case, the Super 8 scooters are great machines. Kymco gave these scooters a very sporty look reminiscent of Aprilia’s SR50, which is quite a compliment because the SR50 is an extremely sharp scooter.
The first thing you’ll notice with the Super 8 (besides its good looks, which are even nicer in real life) is the size. It’s about 20% larger than the typical 50cc, which is good because most 50’s are undersized for non-short riders. The Super 8 has a properly sized cockpit for the average rider and it will accommodate riders in excess of 6 feet. Small riders may want to look elsewhere, as the seat is likely too high for anyone with an inseam much under 29”.
Design and Amenities
Being a larger 50cc scooter (or a small 150cc), the Super 8 has a stretched 53.7” wheelbase and a higher than average weight of 233 lbs (50cc) or 258 lbs (150cc). With the larger wheels and long wheelbase the Super 8 corners very well, but it takes a confident rider to get the full performance as the higher seat (31”) takes some getting used to.
Protection from the elements is surprisingly good, with a deceptively effective legshield incorporated in the Super 8’s style. At speed, a rider can keep most rain off their lower body. The windscreen is too small to provide a substantial benefit, but it does reduce the wind buffeting the riders chest. The style of the Super 8 works really well from front to back and the whole rear end flows nicely to a sport bike inspired pointed tail. Kymco has done a great job with this design, but enthusiasts may want to trade a bit of spray protection for cleaner lines by tidying up the large rear fender.
Other practical considerations include good underseat storage but no glove box. Putting a top box on a scooter this stylish is a crime, so owners will have to keep their insurance papers in their wallet.
The Super 8 offers an excellent front disc brake, which is among the best found on a 50cc scooter. It offers amazing outright power along with predictable modulation. In the rear is a pretty standard drum brake which fulfills the role. It’s harmless enough that you can mindlessly grab a handful to slow down, and if stopping urgency is required then look to the front stopper.
Over its run, the Super 8 has been sold with a choice of three motors, none of which are particularly advanced but that’s not to say they aren’t nice reliable mills. When the Super 8 was introduced in the USA for 2009, buyers had a choice between a 4-stroke 50cc or 4-stroke 150cc motor. For 2010 Americans were offered the same two choices, while Canadians were offered the Super 8 for the first time and with a choice between a peppy 2-stroke 50cc engine (the same one as the Super 9) or a 4-stroke 150cc. Unlike in the USA, the Super 8 50 was as fast as it looked. The 4-stroke 50cc motor was fine, but its non-restricted 35-40 mph top speed doesn’t exactly perform as well as the racing leather press photos implied. Conversely, the 2-stroke 50 can attain 45mph on flat surfaces.
For 2011 Kymco USA added the Super 8 50 in a 2-stroke version and for 2012 dropped the 4-stroke 50 entirely. The 2-stroke version uses Kymco’s version of Honda’s AF18/AF16 motor that dates back to the mid 90’s. This motor is a basic design (air cooled, carbureted) but it is reliable and has a lot of performance potential (these motors can easily be modified to 60mph and beyond). The ’94 – ’01 Honda Elite SR shares the same basic motor as the 2-stroke Super 8 (with some small differences) so many aftermarket parts for that scooter can be used including big bore kits. You can learn a bit more about this motor and derestricting it at the Super 9 page.
Fuel economy for the Super 8 ranges from about 70mpg (2-stroke 50cc and 4-stroke 150) to 90mpg (4-stroke 50). You can expect quite a bit less from your 2-stroke 50cc if highly modified. The fuel milage isn’t class leading but it’s pretty good. A derestricted 2-stroke Super 8 is capable of 45mph, so buyers should choose carefully between the 150cc model and the 2-stroke 50. The 150 model is faster still (about 60mph) but the insurance costs are likely to be quite a bit lower if you opt for the 2-stroke 50cc.
Overall, the Super 8 is very nice scooter. It’s got sharp sporty styling and the 2-stroke has the performance potential to compete with scooters like Yamaha’s BWs 50 and Aprila’s SR50. The low price of the Super 8 is likely going to be enough to convince many buyers that it’s worth accepting simpler engine technology while competitors like Aprilia’s SR50 are using fancy liquid cooled, direct injected, fuel injected motors. Like its competitors, the Super 8 has a front disc brake and reasonable underseat storage. Aprilia does take it a step further with a glovebox and a rear disc brake, but you do pay a large premium for that. The Super 8 is an affordable entry into the high performance scooter scene and it’s also a lot easier to work on and cheaper to maintain than the SR50.
Lots of parts and performance potential for 2-stroke 50cc