If you’re a loyal follower of the Kymco brand, you are probably already familiar with the People series of Kymco scooters. This highly respected Taiwanese powersport manufacturer has been introducing scooters to the United States market since 2001, and had been making scooters outside America for decades before that. They introduced themselves to American scooter fans with the Kymco People, and the 2008 Kymco People continues that tradition.
The 2008 Kymco People is available with a 49cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, two-Stroke engine or a 152cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, four-stroke version, with the smaller vehicle featuring a Reed Valve configuration and the 150 a Single Overhead Cam. Both scooters feature an engine linked to a smooth automatic continuously variable transmission.
Probably the most noticeable aspect of the Kymco People scooter (as well as its descendant, the People S), is the extra-large wheels. The 16-inch wheels on the Kymco People may look a bit unusual to some, but they’re actually fairly standard outside the U.S. the main reason for that is that it’s in Europe and other parts of the world that you’re more likely to find roads that are uneven, gravelly or otherwise challenging to navigate, and a larger wheel is surprisingly helpful for navigating these tough roads with a scooter. While there is no shortage of paved roads in the U.S., we’re quite sure you can find some more adventurous paths to travel across the United States, and the extra stability and smoother ride provided by that big wheel will be just as welcome on tough roads in the U.S. as they are elsewhere, not to mention how handy they come in when you happen to run across a cracked sidewalk or pothole while driving in more traditional urban environments.
Truth be told, the look of the 2008 Kymco People may be off-putting to some who may be used to a more modern look. It doesn’t quite have the sleek, sporty design that’s typical to many of its competitors. The People presents much more of a classic scooter look, and there hasn’t been much change to the design since the People first arrived on the scene. For some people, this is perfect. Certain scooter drivers may not be looking for a flashy ride. However, if you want something with a more modern feel, you might be better served by something in the People S line. In addition, the seat of the Kymco People is fairly high, and that combined with some limited floorboard space means that the People is ideal for small and average-sized riders, and taller riders will probably want to feel the People out before buying. Ultimately, much taller riders with concerns about comfort will probably want to look at a more accommodating model.
You’ll actually get a lot out of the People motor. You can usually get about 75 mpg, which means you can travel pretty far on one tank and gas prices won’t hurt you too much. A derestricted People 50 can get up to 50 mph, while the 150 can theoretically get all the way up to 70 mph.
Due to the nature of the design, there’s not a great deal of under seat storage space compared to other scooters, but fortunately, there are other space options, including a large glove compartment, so you should still be able to find room to store all your necessities.
If you’re looking for a practical, fairly affordable scooter with a classic style, and you don’t mind a high seat and a lack of under seat storage, the 2008 Kymco People 50 and 2008 Kymco People 150 are definitely worth a look.