April 02, 2021 By Maynard Marcelo Photos by Randy Silva-Netto

Bike Review: 2020 Kymco Xciting S 400i

This review took a long while coming. We were supposed to test the Kymco Xciting S 400i last year but as fate would have it, everything comes to a complete stop because of the CoVid-19 pandemic and the ensuing quarantines and lockdown that followed, we have to postpone our review until January of this year. While we’re still living with the dreaded and deadly virus things are slowly returning to normal, or rather to the “new normal”, with reference to social-distancing and wearing of face masks and the stupid face shields. Thankfully we were able to get a hold of an Xciting S 400i test unit courtesy of our good friends at Kymco Philippines for a week of, pardon the pun, Xciting rides where the air is fresh and people are few. 

Looking at the new Xciting S 400i it’s easy to see why it is selling very well. It’s styling is sporty and elegant at the same time, with sharp creases and aggressive lines that’s, pardon the pun again, Xciting to look at from every angle. In other words, it’s a very handsome looking maxi scooter with plenty of functional features, such as the adjustable windscreen, LED taillight and headlight clusters, LED daytime running lights, and turn indicators. All of these elements blend well with the overall design that, I must say, should age pretty well for many years to come. It’s size is also spot on for a maxi-scooter of its displacement; not too big and not too small. It’s just the right size for a wide variety of riders. 

Perhaps the most important selling point of the Xciting S 400i, at least for Luzon based riders, is its expressway legal engine displacement. Having a 400cc motorbike or scooter allows you complete access to all major expressways north and south of Metro Manila. Therefore the Xciting S 400i is ideal for those who want a two-wheel alternative for their cars. At least for those who prioritize comfort and convenience over speed because there are plenty of other  expressway legal motorcycles that cost less than the Xciting S 400i asking price of PhP 359,000. But if you want a 400cc maxi-scooter the Xciting S 400i is the most affordable of the bunch. 

The Xciting S 400i is the quintessential car alternative for a number of reasons. First, it’s twist-and-go convenience is similar to an automatic transmission equipped car and requires very little thought. Second, it’s height adjustable windscreen swallows you in a turbulence-free cocoon that offers some degree of rain protection at speed. Third, it’s Noodoe feature allows you to pair your mobile phone via Bluetooth to let you enjoy music, use navigation, receive and make phone calls, and receive other notifications on the large LCD display.

Fourth, there are plenty of compartments for your personal stuff. One of which even has a 12v power outlet for charging your mobile devices. Fifth, you have the protection of an anti-lock braking system, or abs. Sixth, its LED headlights cast a bright light at night while its LED daytime running lights increase your visibility to oncoming traffic. Seventh, it has a generous passenger accommodation for when the need arises. Eight, because it is expressway legal you’ll be using your car less for those out of town trips thus saving you money on maintenance and fuel costs while having fun at the same time. Nine, it probably looks better than your car anyway.

The liquid-cooled, fuel injected, single cylinder, sohc, 4 valve motor produces 35.54 hp at 7500 rpm and 28.10 lb-ft of torque at 6250 rpm that’s pretty quick for city as well as highway riding, pushing the 195 kg scooter up to speed easily. And for a single cylinder motor, it’s also quite smooth. Tiny vibrations only present themselves at higher rpm.

Another good thing we noticed about the Xciting S 400i is you really don’t feel like you’re riding a maxi-scooter. Unlike other maxi-scooters where you really feel the weight and the size, riding the Xciting S 400i feels like you’re riding a much smaller scooter. While the seat height is a bit tall at 805mm, the front cowling is low and you have a very clear view of the road in front of you, giving you the impression that the Xciting is smaller than it truly is. It’s sporty front end geometry combined with its short 1,570 mm wheelbase and 120/70-15 front and 140/70-14 rear tires gives it the agility of a much smaller scooter as well. 

Unlike other maxi-scooters, the Kymco Xciting S 400i uses an upper and lower triple clamps just like on a motorcycle, giving it superior stability under hard braking and when cornering. The front forks are very compliant to a variety of road conditions but we find the rear suspension a bit stiff for comfort. Adjusting the rear spring preload to their lowest settings might help improve the ride, or better yet replace them with fully adjustable aftermarket shocks.

Braking duties are handled by triple disc brakes with the front having radial mounted calipers biting on dual 280 mm diameter discs. The brakes are progressive with a soft initial bite. Dual-channel ABS is standard on the Xciting S 400i. 

If you’re in the market for a very capable, fairly comfortable, very handsome looking, well made, and expressway legal long-distance commuter maxi-scooter that you can also tour on with your riding buddies on weekends, you’d be hard pressed to look for something similar at the same price range.

Kymco has a couple of newer sub 400cc maxi-scooters, namely the XTown CT 300i Noodoe, XTown 300i, and DownTown 350i TCS, that cost less than the Xciting S 400i if you don’t need the 400cc capacity for the expressways. But if a 400cc is what you need, then the Xciting S 400i should be on top of your shopping list.    


Specifications: 

Engine: EFI, liquid-cooled, single cylinder, sohc, 4 valves, 4 stroke

Displacement: 400cc

Max Power: 35.54 hp @ 7500 rpm

Max Torque: 28.10 lb-ft @ 6250 rpm

Transmission: CVT

Seat Height: 810 mm

Fuel Capacity: 12.5 Liters

Tire, Front: 120/70-15

Tire, Rear: 150/70-14

Brakes, Front/ Rear: 2 Disc/Disc, 2-Channel ABS

Curb Weight: 195 kg

Top Speed:  160 Km/h

Price: PhP 359,000

+: Handsome styling, standard equipment, agile handling, and good pricing.

-: Stiff rear suspension, plasticky switches, and small under-seat compartment opening.

C! Rating  9/10 

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