Kymco Myroad 700i | Scoot

Step-Through Superbike

By Peter Starr, Photography by Peter Starr

They say: “The King of the Road.”
We say: “Just not our roads, not yet anyway.”

The shape of two-wheel transportation is changing. Maybe not quite so fast here in America, where the bike business has been slow, but changes are definitely afoot elsewhere and likely to follow here.

I have half-heartedly followed scooters since my exposure to the Mods ‘n’ Rockers days of the late-’50s/early-’60s, and then in particular when Triumph/BSA, where I worked, brought out the Sunbeam Tigress and later the smaller Triumph Tina. The Tigress was designed with a 250cc four-stroke, twin-cylinder engine and foot-operated four-speed gearbox to attract the motorcycle crowd, and was advertised as having good performance and handling. Well, the scooter world has indeed come a very long way and is likely to be launched into a wider orbit with the planned introduction in the U.S. of the Kymco MyRoad 700i scooter.

Technically, the MyRoad 700i is what you might expect from a 21st Century scooter. A liquid-cooled, 699cc parallel-twin with four valves per cylinder, dual overhead cams, fuel-injected, putting out nearly 60 horsepower and 46 lb.-ft. of torque through a CVT transmission. The double-cradle frame carries three-stage electrically adjustable damping for the suspension, adjustable on the fly. The triple-disc brakes are ABS-equipped and quite capable of hauling down the 600-lb. machine from its maximum speed of more than 100 mph to zero with great confidence. Its tire-pressure monitoring system is a plus on the safety side, as are the ergonomics. The commodious underseat storage easily accommodates two full-size helmets and then some.

I rode the MyRoad 700i for eight days and nearly 700 miles all over Taiwan, along lots of narrow and very twisty mountain roads plus more urban environments, such as rush hour in downtown Kaohsiung, where scooter racing appears to be a parochial pastime! After the first half-hour of acclimatization, I found every confidence in its performance and handling. Its styling is very angular, but everywhere I went people gathered around to look at it, which speaks volumes.

I know that many motorcyclists look down their noses at scooters, but let’s face it: Here is a scooter that is capable of speeds that will potentially put you in jail, with advanced technology comparable to modern sportbikes, but with the convenience of putting your shopping under the seat. For many people considering commuting on two wheels, who also like to feel like they have some real power between their legs (or, in this case, under their derriere), large-displacement, high-tech scooters will provide a real option for the future of this country.

But not just yet: Although the MyRoad 700i is available elsewhere in the world, it's not expected in the U.S. until September. In the meantime, as Americans begin to embrace scooters, we look forward to its arrival. MC

The specs on the U.S. MyRoad 700i should be similar to the Taiwanese model, with the possible addition of an electric windscreen and centerstand, plus an adjustable seat.

Tech Spec
Pricena
Engine typel-c parallel-twin
Valve trainDOHC, 8v
Displacement699cc
TransmissionAutomatic
Claimed horsepower59 bhp @ 7250 rpm
Claimed torque46 lb.-ft. @ 5500 rpm
FrameDouble cradle
Front suspensionTelescopic fork with electronic damping
Rear suspensionTwin shocks with electronic damping
Front brakeDual two-piston calipers, 280mm discs with ABS
Rear brakeTwo-piston caliper, 240mm disc with ABS
Front tire120/70-15 Maxxis Radial
Rear tire150/70-14 Maxxis Radial
Seat height30.7 in.
Wheelbase63.6 in.
Fuel capacity4.0 gal.
Claimed curb weight608 lbs.
Contactwww.kymcousa.com

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By Peter Starr
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