Overall, the Super 9 is a stylish sporty scooter with strong performance to back up the look.
Fast and reliable engine
Lots of aftermarket parts
Front disc brake
High seat height
KYMCO SUPER 9
The Super 9 was one of Kymco’s best sellers in both the USA and Canada during their formative years. The Super 9 was initially offered to the USA market for 2003 and it enjoyed a nice 7 year run through the 2009 model year. Kymco didn’t enter the Canadian market until 2005, but the Super 9 was one of the introductory models there. The Super 9 has also been sold in countless markets overseas.
For the 2010 model year the newer Super 8 was sold in place of the Super 9. The Super 8 had been released a year earlier to provide overlap to smooth the succession process. The 2009 and 2010 Kymco Super 8 50 was a 4-stroke that was a big step down in performance, but Kymco would add a 2-stroke version of the Super 8 for 2011 that uses the same motor as the Super 9 and thus offers similar performance depending on how restricted it in is your locale.
Design and Versions
The Super 9 was positioned in Kymco’s lineup as their top of the line sports scooter, whereas Kymco’s ZX 50 was sold at a lower price as more of an entry level model. Both scooters (and most Kymco 2-stroke 50’s) use the vertical same motor, but the ZX50 is more heavily restricted in stock form. The Super 9 is deserving of sports scooter title with its fast looks and peppy 2-stroke engine which can reach 47-50mph in stock form and quite a bit faster with aftermarket parts. From 2004 to 2007, a higher end liquid cooled version of the Super 9 (Super 9 LC) was sold alongside the regular Super 9 AC (air cooled) that had a rear disc brake. A few hundred more got you the steady engine temperatures of liquid cooling and the nice rear disc brake, but sometime around 2008 the liquid cooled Super 9 failed to meet emissions regulations, so Kymco carried on selling only the air cooled Super 9 AC. In Canada, the Super 9 LC was the only Super 9 sold for the first few years (2005 – 2008) until they could only import the AC version.
The air cooled Super 9 AC (along with the LX50) was powered by a cloned version of Honda’s AF18E/AF16E Dio motor. Kymco worked with Honda to assemble bikes and create some parts until the mid-90’s, so when the two companies parted ways Kymco used their knowledge of Honda’s products to create a clone of Honda’s fairly new and very well engineered AF16/18 motor. The AF18 is found in numerous versions of the ‘Honda Dio’ sold mostly in the 90’s. The 1994-2001 Honda Elite 50 SR (USA market) and 1992-2001 Honda Dio (Canadian market) both use the AF16E motor, which is basically the same engine as the AF18E but slightly de-tuned. Accordingly, you can use some original or aftermarket parts intended for the ’94-’01 Elite SR, ’92-’01 Canadian Dio in your Super 9. Buyers should be cautious though as Kymco’s version isn’t entirely true to the original.
The liquid cooled version of the Super 9 (Super 9 LC) used an entirely different motor based on the popular Minarelli design of Yamaha origins. This motor performs quite similarly but is more reliable in extreme temperatures thanks to the liquid cooling.
In its stock form, the Super 9’s motor does a great job and most people will never feel the need to modify it further. The Super 9 engine achieves close to 50mph and 70mpg, which is about as good as it gets for a 2-stroke 50. The engine is also very reliable, so you can expect a long life from your Super 9.
In some markets, the Super 9 was restricted by a washer in the transmission/drive unit that preventing the machine from shifting properly. If your Kymco does less than 40mph then it’s likely restricted. A Super 9 running at full potential should be capable of at least 45mph and often 50mph. Some Super 9’s are also restricted by a rev limiter attached to the regular CDI unit. This rev limiter can simply be unplugged and removed or an aftermarket CDI can be fitted.
Motor aside, the Super 9 is a fairly well appointed scooter. It offers good brakes with a disc brake up front and a normal sized drum in the rear. The Super 9 has no glovebox, but it does have some underseat storage which comes as a bit of a trade off. The Super 9’s uses ‘vertical’ motor, which means the cylinder sits on top of the engine. This cuts into the space available on top of the motor, which is why many other scooters using this motor don’t have underseat storage. With the Super 9, Kymco raised the seat up a bit higher than normal to create some storage, so at 31.5″ you’ll find the seat of the Super 9 to be a bit taller than most scooters.
Through its six year run it seems the Super 9 sold fairly well, but it likely would have sold quite a bit better if it was priced more aggressively. At an MSRP of $2449 (2009, USA), the Super 9 was priced several hundred higher than any 50cc scooter from Honda or Yamaha over the same period. I suspect the high MSRP did enable Kymco to offer the scooter at a ‘sale’ price, while still retaining a fair profit margin.
Overall, the Super 9 is a stylish sporty scooter with strong performance to back up the look. It’s a strong competitor to scooters like the Yamaha BWs/Zuma, Honda’s Elite SR/LX, Aprilia SR50 and Piaggio Typhoon 50. The Super 9 shines as a scooter that is really fast out of the crate (often capable of 50mph direct from the dealer) and it can often be found used for significantly less than an Aprilia SR50. It’s also an easy scooter to mod to 60-70mph, because the parts are widely available and the motor design is simple and robust.