What? $4K for a decent scooter with enough power to evade cardiac arrest? Way too much. Kymco has a better idea: its swoopy Super 8 150, introduced in 2008, is quite a bit of scooter for just $2399, and it’s not your typical tiny-wheeled wobbler, either.No, those aren’t Dunlop D207s on those tasty 14-inch wheels, they’re Cheng Shin T207s, and with more than 300 miles on the clock, we’ve got them nicely feathered almost to the edges. The front disc brake’s not particularly powerful but that’s okay, because neither is the 149cc, sohc air-cooled Single that powers the Super 8. That little engine does pack enough punch to torque the 266-pound Super 8 up to 60-ish mph pretty rapidly, though, which is just enough to make rat-racing ’round the maze surprisingly invigorating—and just plain surprising to even quickish cars when the light turns green. Even full-size passengers don’t slow the Super down much.
“Scooting on the Super 8 is just plain old-fashioned giggly fun of the teenage variety, really, which no big, expensive motorcycle can duplicate around town.”
Ever since the Yamaha Champions Riding School taught me more about the virtues of trail braking, I’ve been practicing every chance I get, and on the Kymco, every intersection presents another apex. The telescopic fork and twin-shock rear are nicely damped and balanced, and you actually wind up with good feel from the Super 8’s contact patches. I’ve taken to doing the Rossi leg-out thing braking into corners, often with two or three plastic grocery bags dangling from the hook in front of the cockpit. The tires are sticky enough, the handlebar’s just the right width, and cornering clearance is GP-bike abundant. It’s all good fun, at 30 mph instead of 130 (until somebody loses a cantaloupe). If you aren’t carrying too much stuff, it’ll fit under the seat, though a helmet won’t; at least there’s a pair of locking helmet posts.
Complaints verge on niggling. The speedo reads between 10 and 15 percent fast, with the scoot’s indicated top speed of about 68 mph being closer to 60. There’s no tripmeter, so you need to try to remember the odometer reading when you gas up: 80 miles indicated is pushing it, quite literally, but a 1.35-gallon fill-up does seem to last a long time when measured in short-hop increments around town. And every time you scoot for a gallon of milk or over to the soup kitchen is one less time you start up your automobile, excellent for its longevity.
Speaking of longevity, Kymco is a well-respected manufacturer, in case you hadn’t heard of it, and the Super 8 comes with a two-year factory warranty. In addition to the blue/yellow model seen here, the 150 also is available in red/black and green/black color schemes.
Scooting on the Super 8 is just plain old-fashioned giggly fun of the teenage variety, really, which no big, expensive motorcycle can duplicate around town. For lots of urbanites, having one of these standing by while the bigger vehicles take the day off (or the week, sometimes) makes all kinds of sense. Kudos to Kymco.