Founded in the early 1960s and headquartered in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, the Kwang Yang Motor Company (Kymco) is frequently described as the largest manufacturer of scooters, motorcycles, and ATV’s in the country. Incredibly easy to park, store, and for zipping in and out of even the harshest traffic jam, scooters are so overwhelmingly popular in Asia that in Taiwan alone, road infrastructure has been built specifically with two wheelers in mind, with added separate lanes and intersection turn boxes reserved exclusively for them.
Kymco was originally a part manufacturer for the Honda Motor Corporation until it took matters into their own capable hands, launching their first motor scooter in 1970. Within eight years after that auspicious moment, the Kymco company had reached the coveted 500,000-motorcycle mark in accumulated production, with another half-million following by 1983. Many millions later, and Kymco’s line of scooters are still going strong.
Over the ensuing years, Kymco continued to retain and solidify its reputation as a leader in motor scooter production, boasting one of the deepest and most extensive scooter lineups across the industry. In 2001, Kymco finally forged their way into both the American and Canadian marketplace, establishing Motorsports USA located in Inman, South Carolina, where the warehouse, management, and marketing facilities are currently located.
Marking their U.S. debut, Kymco sold the ZX 50, Filly 50, Cobra Cross and the People 50 large wheeled scooter. The ZX50 and the similarly styled Filly 50 were both sporty looking scooters with the ZX50 having 2-stroke power and the Filly 50 offering less power but better fuel economy with a 4-stroke engine. Discontinued over the next few years (the models had enjoyed great success in other countries before arriving in North America), these now aging designs made way for an entirely new generation of souped up vehicles.
During a four-year period between 2004 and 2008, Kymco produced a sweeping array of motor scooters including the 125 Stryker, the Agility, the Dink, the Maxxer, the People, the Venox 250, and the Xciting model. First launched internationally in 2005, Kymco’s Xciting line marked the company’s first venture into the maxi-scooter market. Maxi-scooters are larger touring vehicles saddled with engines ranging in size from 250 to 850 cc, and employing larger frames than normal scooters.
The first Xciting to hit the American shores was a 500cc model in 2006 with a 250cc variant added to the available lineup a year later. By 2009, the Xciting had received a substantial overhaul: added fuel injection, a reworked seat, and some much needed sportier styling touches. The Xciting was also given a sleek tinted windscreen, hot red colored brake calipers and a number of blacked out components (including the rims) that were added to the bike for some additional machismo. Despite the fact that the Xciting 250 was withdrawn from the U.S. market in 2012 - due to poor sales - the 2013 model received a nice update in terms of its exterior design and motor train.