The Xciting takes on other popular maxi-scooters using a value focused approach that delivers a lot of features for a low MSRP.
Standard features like ABS
Entry level motor designs
Less refined than some competing maxiscooters
KYMCO XCITING 250 / 400 / 500
Originally launched internationally for 2005 and into the USA market for 2006, the Xciting was Kymco’s first maxi-scooter and has served as their flagship maxi offering in North America ever since. It remains on sale as the Xciting 400 as of 2019.
Over its run, the Xciting has been offered in several sizes (250, 400, 500), two trim levels and two styling generations.
Over its run in North America, two generations have been offered (2006 – 2011, 2013 – Present), in two trim levels (Ri or regular) and with three different engines (250, 400, 500).
The Xciting first entered the USA market as a 500cc model for 2006 (below). A year later Kymco added a 250cc variant, which was the same scooter aside from the smaller displacement engine.
Three years later, Kymco replaced the standard version Xciting with a sportier new ‘Ri’ denoted edition (below with red calipers). This 2009 Xciting Ri was available in 250cc and 500cc variants and added fuel injection, a reworked seat and sportier styling touches. A tinted windscreen replaced the regular one, the brake calipers were dipped in red paint and a number of blacked out components (including the rims) were added for a more aggressive look. The Xciting Ri also came with the option of ABS (+$500), which was a first for Kymco.
Canadians got a look at the Xciting Ri a year earlier, when it was introduced there for 2008. This was the first time Canadians were offered the Xciting scooter, although the 250 version was never imported.
The Xciting 250 was never a top seller for Kymco USA, perhaps due to the high number of 250cc displacement scooters competing for attention in Kymco’s showrooms (Kymco sold four other 250’s in the USA during this period). So after a five year run (2007 – 2011), Kymco withdrew the Xciting 250 from American showrooms.
With the eight year old Xciting 500 showing its age, Kymco gave it an overhaul for 2013 to create the second generation of the Xciting. This new model was often still called the Xciting Ri since it also had fuel injection, but sometimes Kymco called it just the Xciting or the Xciting 500 ABS SII. The front end of the scooter was tastefully restyled and is easily identified by it’s new dual headlights (below) that are reminiscent of Kymco’s Downtown 300. Kymco also gave the brakes some attention, with a new generation of ABS replacing the older system.
When the second generation Xciting was introduced, the non-ABS version was discontinued, so $6899 became the price of admission for the second generation ABS equipped model ($6995 in Canada).
After 10 years, the Xciting was dropped from Kymco’s 2015 USA lineup, but it returned for 2016. In Canada the Xciting has been offered continually from 2008 to present.
After updating the styling for 2013, Kymco addressed the aging motor for 2018 by switching to a new 399cc engine. This new motor produces almost as much power as the old 500 (35 vs 38 HP) but shaves 37 lbs off the scooter and offers improved fuel milage.
The Xciting 500 used its own unique motor from Kymco – a 498.5cc DOHC mill. In the first generation Xciting 500, this single cylinder thumper put out 40 HP at 7500 RPM – good enough for a 10.3 second jaunt up to 60mph and a 100mph top speed. It’s a fine motor but not as fast or efficient as the parallel twin motors found in Honda Silverwing and Yamaha’s TMAX. For comparison, the TMAX reaches in 60mph in just over 8 seconds.
With the Ri update, the Xciting scooters became Kymco’s first North American scooters to boast fuel injection. The Xciting 500 motor was tweaked to yield about 50 mpg instead of 45 mpg. Power declined slightly to 37.8 HP but this was also available at a lower RPM (7K vs 7.5K) so performance is quite similar.
The smaller Xciting 250 used a fuel injection version of 249cc motor also found in the Grandvista 250 and Bet & Win 250. This single cam, liquid cooled single cylinder motor hauls around the same frame and body as the larger motor, so performance is predictably slower while milage is higher at 55-60mpg.
The 399cc motor first launched in the 2018 Xciting 400 boasts 35 HP (7500 RPM) and 26.6 lbs-ft of torque (6000 RPM) which is only slightly lower than the old 499cc motors, while offering improved milage around 55mpg. This motor is an entirely new design from Kymco, so it’s parts are not interchangeable. Besides the improved milage, the new 399cc engine also features a higher 8000 RPM redline, a DOHC 4-valve head design and next generation fuel injection.
Brakes / Suspension / Handling
The Xciting uses dual disc brakes up front, which is pretty standard for the scooters of this size. A single disc brake can be found in the rear. The Xciting added the $500 option of ABS for 2009, which became a standard feature for 2013. Kymco updated the ABS for 2018 to a more responsive Bosh 9.1M system, but this ABS remains on the front brake only.
Non-ABS braking performance models is said to be fair, while lagging the Yamaha TMAX and Suzuki Burgman 650 by a small margin. ABS typically doesn’t reduce stopping distances a lot, but it makes hard stops much easier to do without worry of losing control.
Handling of the scooter is said to be fine under normal use, but a bit unpredictable when the scooter is pushed hard. The Xciting uses adjustable rear shocks and four position adjustable brake levers, so there’s some room to dial in the suspension for your body.
Storage & Convenience
The Xciting’s instrumentation is based around a symmetrical three gauge cluster. An analog speedo occupies the center position, while a tachometer and fuel/coolant temp gauge reside on its flanks. Stylistically, the gauges are nice without breaking any new ground. Below the speedo, a small display offers information on miles travelled, engine diagnostics and the time of day.
Elsewhere, the Xciting boasts a pretty full list of features. The seat boasts a cavernous storage area replete with a 12V power outlet and storage area light. On the seat itself, an adjustable backrest is equipped for the driver. Auxiliary storage exists up front in the form a nicely sized and lockable glovebox. Other nice touches include a side stand and center stand, a parking brake and rather nice folding passenger pegs.
The Xciting takes on other popular maxi-scooters using a value focused approach that delivers a lot of features for a low MSRP. Kymco USA has priced the Xciting 400 at $5999 which is a about two grand less than competing scooters like Suzuki’s Burgman 400.
Kymco’s value oriented approach makes these scooter an appealing ride for a lot of customers. The single cylinder motor lacks the outright power of the competing parallel twin motors, but it still offers ample power and keeps the costs down. Similarly, the brakes are more than adequate for the job, while not matching the TMAX’s superlative brakes which were taken almost unchanged from Yamaha’s R1 sportbike.
Ultimately, the Xciting is a good fit for riders who don’t demand the utmost in performance from their machines. This Kymco trades a bit of prowess in the handling and acceleration departments, for a much lower MSRP. Buyers looking for a capable scooter with an affordable MSRP will find nothing not to like with the Xciting and as such, it represents a great value option in the maxi-scooter class.
The Xciting 250 was less clear in its purpose. It had the looks, comforts (and weight) of a maxi-scooter but the 250cc engine wasn’t well suited to high speed touring. On level road it can achieve 75mph, but it’ll lag behind faster maxi-scooters up hills or on windy days. If you keep the speeds down then milage is better, but if you’re flogging it to keep up then you won’t notice much of a savings at the pump. Ultimately the choice depends on your intended use. 250cc will definitely be enough power for non-interstate cruising, but the 500 is the well rounded machine that provides the complete package. If you’re looking at the Xciting 250 then a few other touring oriented alternatives from the same era include Kymco’s Grandvista 250, Honda’s Helix and Yamaha’s Morphous.