Kymco’s Venox 250 is the only motorcycle that the Taiwanese firm specializing in scooters and ATVs has made. For a company known for producing smaller vehicles, Kymco surprised the two-wheel world with its Venox. The motorcycle has a peppy engine that can keep up with competing Japanese brands such as Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha, yet maintains the reliability that has become a hallmark of Kymco vehicles.
The Kymco Venox has a 63-inch wheelbase and wide cylinder fins; for such a large body, the V2 engine displacement is only 249cc, much lower than one would expect for such a powerful-looking bike. However, the massive vehicle deceives the eye: the large cylinder fins are simply rubber-mounted covers that are attached to lightweight, industrial-size liquid cooling heads. They are much wider than the cylinder heads, thereby giving the impression of a much larger engine. The two-stroke, liquid-cooled engine that is present, however, does not lack the durability and power of a large engine. It features dual overhead cams and four valves per cylinder, proving to be a state of the art motor that is as good as its sporty counterparts. Furthermore, the Venox features both an electric and kick-starter, the former for the driver’s convenience, and the latter faring better in the event of any sort of troubles the driver may find in attempts to ride the motorcycle in more challenging terrain.
Though the motor is powerful, at 26.82 horsepower, the acceleration that it offers is only modest, and it may not satisfy those who are used to a more powerful motorcycle. The powerband employed by Kymco in the Venox implies that it is meant for use in a sporty chassis instead of a cruiser. Drivers can expect to feel a little torque at the low end, accompanied by a slower wind-up in the mid-range, but the higher rev range is where the most power is felt. The maximum speed tops out at around 75 to 80 mph, so a driver would do well to remember that, despite its seemingly large physique, the bike is not meant to be raced alongside bikes with much larger engines. In fact, drivers should expect to drive below approximately 60 mph without stressing the motor.
In spite of its diminutive displacement, the Kymco Venox 250’s girth and powerband make it feel like a heftier bike. The 436-pound wet weight lends it some density, as does the relatively high 29-inch seat and wide-set handlebars. The seat is cushioned, and aside from the plush seat, any rider, however large, might construe this bike to contain a larger displacement at first glance, perhaps 500 or 600cc.
Aesthetically, the body work on the Kymco Venox is lively, and the steel fuel tank can hold up to 3.7 gallons of fuel. Plastic fenders and side panels adorn the sides of the motorcycle and add to the sleek appearance of the Venox. Chromium accents on the fuel tank and covering the shock absorbers are also plastic, but the covers on the engine are genuine chrome, which adds some weightiness and sophistication to an otherwise mostly gilded body and frame.
On road tests, Kymco’s motorcycle proved to be a pleasant ride, with a nearly noiseless exhaust and a comfortable seat, in both material and height. The comforts built into the motorcycle allow it to be suitable for long highway drives. Though the seat is wide enough for one, the dual seat may be uncomfortable for more than one rider, even though it is built to hold a passenger. For a cruiser bike, the Venox was a thrilling ride, especially when taking tight turns and clearing corners. The five-speed gearbox shifts smoothly and without excessive grinding, and the twin piston calipers that cling to the single front disc brakes, as well as those calipers that clutch the rear drum brake, did not fault when braking suddenly.
Kymco’s reputation for reliability was not sacrificed for niceties, but yet extra amenities are included in the bike. These features include a pair of twin chrome exhausts on the ride rear side of the body, dual chrome shocks, a disc rear wheel, a frenched-in taillight, and the traditional Kymco look of a clear lens headlight with a fluted reflector. The front brake line is braided steel, and Maxxis Classic tires flank both ends of the body, 120/80-17 in the front and 150/80-15 in the rear. To accessorize, the driver can buy bungee hooks to attach to the bike for carrying a small amount of luggage near the rear of the seat. Though there is no tachometer or center stand, the driver can estimate how fast he is going since the Venox is only a 250cc bike. The only shortcoming noted by test drivers is that the rear shocks are not up to par; they perform well in normal situations, but falter when driving over potholes or large bumps and dips. The fork suspension in the front, though, is well controlled and even.
The Kymco Venox is an impressive bike. It has been described to have “a lot of presence” for a 250cc bike, with a desirable finish and comfortable seat and fit. The engine comes alive at reasonable speeds, especially in higher gears. Kymco’s first attempt at a motorcycle comes as a pleasant surprise to motorcyclists who normally would not give a second glance to a company that makes only scooters and ATVs.