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Kymco AK 550i and Yamaha TMax DX in comparison test

Maxi scooter in comparison test

That can not be real. There is, at Roll … uh MOTORCYCLE. After the top league of scooters long ago left the cozy sofa-swing corner, it was time to see what the big things really can do. Who will prevail in the comparison test? Kymco AK 550i or Yamaha TMax DX?

First of all: When it comes to scooters, opinions are also divided in the MOTORRAD editorial team, and the discussion about their raison d’etre is not just about rational arguments. For example, there is a colleague whose name the author has just forgotten, the scooter per se as a "preliminary step to hell" (AT.edition 14/2017), but at the same time owns several BMWs, including an RT model. Careful, glass house, dear Klaus, one can only say. And we’re not just talking about the amount or area of ​​the plastic used. The pragmatists, on the other hand, say: a scooter is ideal for the city, a scooter with performance is also good beyond that.

Kymco AK 550i and Yamaha TMax DX in comparison test

Maxi scooter in comparison test

Issue 14/2017), it was clear that this had to be compared to the original of the sporty two-cylinder scooter, the TMax. After all, according to Yamaha, it has sold more than 230,000 times in Europe alone since it was launched in 2001, not only an economic success, but it was also clearly the template for the Taiwanese.

Tea technical layout in particular shows a number of things in common: Both scooters have an in-line twin firmly mounted in the aluminum frame, and power is transmitted to the rear wheel via variator and toothed belt. The tire sizes are identical front and rear. Both guide their front wheels by means of an upside-down fork with radially hinged brake calipers; the Kymco’s come from Brembo. The external dimensions are similar, as are the ergonomics, but that is probably the case if the requirement profile is essentially identical. To find out exactly where the differences are and how high the level of the scooter is in absolute terms, we make our way to Neuhausen ob Eck, where a Guzzi V7 III is being chased through the top test course.

The first differences can already be seen when driving on the motorway. The Kymco, which is in the price list for 9799 euros, has a good wind protection behind the windshield, which unfortunately can only be adjusted in two positions with tools. The wind noise soon drowns out the timing belt, which always whines a little under load. The twin with a cranked crankshaft, cultivated by means of two balancer shafts, pushes the 232 kilogram heavy Taiwanese strong. The travel speed levels off quickly at Tacho 150, provided the journey is clear. The straight-line stability is flawless, and the tightly tuned, albeit somewhat rough, appealing chassis keeps up with the pace without complaint. A co-driver is also accommodated in a princely manner, so it’s all sunshine. At least as long as there is none, because then almost nothing can be seen in the fully digital cockpit. The problem is known, however, and a solution is being worked on, according to the importer.

Change of place. Also on the TMax, which competes here in the sinfully expensive DX version, at least at the front, you sit superbly, the copilot is bothered by the protruding edges of the body, which press uncomfortably into the calves in the long run. DX means that the windshield can be adjusted electrically, there is a cruise control on board and both hands and bottom can be warmed if necessary. That puts the enormous price difference into perspective a little. There is also a standard TMax without these features for 1700 euros less. It also comes across as very noble and valuable, there are no simple-looking details and components with it. Point. The spring elements in particular respond much more finely, without sacrificing stability. It also remains neutral when braking in an inclined position, whereas the Kymco develops a significant righting moment. But its twin is a bit more sophisticated. And although the Yamaha has 5 HP less, which makes it suitable for an A2 driving license, it can stay tuned to the Kymco.

Change of scene. The test site has been reached, now it’s time! Test Georg throws himself into the leather and chases the test subjects through the slow and fast slalom and brakes from 100 km / h to zero. The mean values ​​from five timed runs give the following picture: The Kymco rushes through the fast slalom in 23.1 seconds, at the measuring point it is 99.3 km / h, in the slow slalom the values ​​are 30.1 seconds and 52.1 km / h, the Yamaha takes 31.3 seconds for this and only manages 48.9 km / h. Here, the Kymco benefits from the tight chassis set-up, as well as the enormous freedom of lean angle, which never allows it to touch down, even with two people. With the TMax, at least in pillion fashion, the main stand often hits the ground. In order to be able to sort the values ​​better, the values ​​of the Moto Guzzi V7 III, which are quite comparable in terms of performance and weight: faster (slower) slalom 22.1 sec / 99.3 km / h (31.0 / 48.5 km / H). Since ABS has been compulsory and has been used as standard, the outstanding brake measurement of 100 km / h at a standstill has lost much of its horror. The first thing this time around is the Yamaha. On average it comes to a standstill after 42.3 meters, which corresponds to an average deceleration of 9.13 m / s². A lot more could be done, especially since the TMax lies like the proverbial board, but the ABS gives away valuable braking distances with long intervals. Now it’s the turn of the Kymco. It stands at an average of 38.9 meters, corresponding to 9.91 m / s². These are very good values, but the AK then becomes very restless and tends to break away with the rear, which should certainly cause additional stress for less experienced people, but is basically harmless. Here, too, for comparison, the values ​​of the Guzzi: 40.2 m / 9.6 m / s².

After the test orgy showed that modern scooters are definitely on by with comparable motorcycles in terms of driving dynamics, the crew makes their way home via the country road. It sits pretty cruiser-like on both. The Kymco can travel 100 kilometers with 4.2 liters, the TMax only needs 0.2 liters more.

What is left in the end? The Kymco is only at the beginning of a development, the thing with the cockpit and the responsiveness of the suspension as well as the sometimes cheap value impression the Taiwanese are guaranteed to get under control. But he is already a serious challenger for the TMax. The Japanese should especially revise the ABS and the price, the rest can stay as it is. Then you might see Klaus on a scooter. Because of, it doesn’t even exist …

MOTORCYCLE test result

1. Kymco AK 550i
Direct hit! The same driving dynamics, better brakes, lower consumption, a little less equipment, but 3400 euros cheaper. The few shortcomings of the Kymco appear as few and small.

2. Yamaha TMax DX
The TMax is still the benchmark in terms of value, workmanship, functionality, image and, in this case, equipment. But you have to want to pay for that. And can.

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