The new Super 8X and 8R mark a big change in strategy for Kymco. Rather than offering a high priced premium sports scooter, they’ve moved to an affordable offering that’s slightly sporty.
Entry level design
Low tech motors
KYMCO SUPER 8R / 8X
A new generation of Kymco’s Super 8 scooter began in 2015 with two new models called the Super 8X and Super 8R. The 8X and 8R models were quite similar to each other but quite different from the original Super 8, which is discussed separately here. The Super 8X is the off-road styled version and receives touches like fat tires and matte paint or camo styling, while the 8R is a more traditionally styled semi-naked sports scooter.
In 2015, Kymco offered both the 8X and 8R in the USA and either model could be had with a 50cc or 150cc motor. In Canada, only the Super 8 R was offered that first year and only with a 50cc motor. The next year Kymco abandoned the 8R entirely and instead sold the 8X in both markets. With the switch to the Super 8X for 2016, the Canadian market also got both sizes of motor. The Super 8X remains on sale in both markets with both 50cc and 150cc engine options as of 2019.
Ever since it replaced the Super 9, the Super 8 has been Kymco’s flagship sports scooter in the small displacement end of the scooter spectrum. This continues with the new generation of Super 8, but the gap between the Super 8 and Kymco’s other offerings has grown smaller.
Rather that being a unique platform, Kymco has opted to streamline their manufacturing by basing the new Super 8X and 8R on their existing high volume Agility platform. Most of the core components of the new Super 8 are carried over from their low cost Agility model, so the new Super 8 is mostly a different stylistic expression of the same core product.
Compared with the previous generation, the most obvious difference is the physical size of these machines. The old Super 8 was physically a large scooter well suited to lankier riders. Conversely the Agility based Super 8X and 8R are more compact machines with a shorter wheelbases (52” vs 53.7”) and a lower overall weight (210 lbs vs 236 lbs for the 50cc). Similarly the new models now use 10” (8X) or 12” (8R) rims instead of 14”. As a result these models are averaged sized for a 50cc rather than being large.
Design and Amenities
With the Super 8X and 8R, Kymco took their Agility platform and upgraded a number of areas. The aluminum 5 spoke rims are a big step up from the basic steel rims on the Agility, while the rear suspension also appears to be beefed up with some adjustability.
The other noteworthy change is a new digital dash that provides a lot of useful information. The rest of the changes are largely cosmetic, with Kymco retaining the Agility headlight array and two person seat that can fold up into a back rest.
Kymco did opt for a “naked” exposed handlebars setup instead of the traditional headset found on the Agility. Also new is the panelling on the rear flanks, the rear rack is brushed aluminum instead of painted steel and the rear taillight setup is resembles that of the departing Super 8. Overall Kymco did a nice job with the styling.
The 8X and 8R are very similar machines, with the only obvious differences being the tire size, front fender and paint work. The 8X uses fat rubber on 10” rims, while the 8R uses lower profile tires on larger 12” rims. The differences are mostly trivial, but the 8X will perform a little better on rough roads while the 8R will be a tiny bit more nimble on smooth asphalt.
The 50cc versions of the 8X/8R use the same 4-stroke motor as the Agility and quite a few other Kymco’s in recent years. This is a noteworthy change for Kymco, which has almost always offered their sports scooter with a more powerful 2-stroke 50cc motor. This 4-stroke has 3.7 HP on tap, which is less than the 5 HP of their 2-stroke motor but still enough to get you around town without any fuss. Top speed is 35 mph unlike 40-45 mph for the 2-stroke, but fuel milage will be better at 90 mpg instead of 60. This motor is a proven design that won’t win any awards for technology but it’s a reliable and affordable choice.
The 151cc motor outputs 10.3 HP @ 5500 RPM which is good for a top speed around 55 mph and efficiency about 60 mpg. Again, it’s a pretty basic motor that performs fine and keeps the price tag low, but it would have been nice to see Kymco use their 13.5HP 150 motor found in the discontinued Movie 150. In any case, it’s a decent motor that doesn’t offer the performance or fuel milage of some other machines (i.e. Honda PCX 150 and Yamaha SMAX 155) but the MSRP is hard to argue with.
The new Super 8X and 8R mark a big change in strategy for Kymco. Rather than offering a high priced premium sports scooter, they’ve moved to an affordable offering that’s slightly sporty. The performance is down but the MSRP has also dropped by $200 (to $1799) compared to the outgoing Super 8. Kymco has always had the most success when they offer buyers a solid scooter for a low MSRP that undercuts Honda and Yamaha, which this new model achieves.
The 150 model is an even more obvious bargain at $2099 (8X 150). These are seriously impressive price tags compared to Honda’s PCX 150 ($3449) or Yamaha’s SMAX ($3690). At over $1300 less, the offerings from Kymco are a compelling option even if they lag in power and refinement. If you’re looking for really cheap but good transportation, these Kymco’s look to be a fantastic buy. These are a much smarter purchase than a Chinese scooter that lacks reliability and resale value.
Of course Kymco’s Agility is almost the same scooter and even cheaper still. If you’re looking at 50cc’s, the Agility offers a nice savings of a few hundred dollars for mostly stylistic differences. The larger Agility 125 is less compelling as it also saves $200 but that comes with a 25cc loss in displacement.