TAIWANESE scooter giant Kymco has had a presence in the UK for more than a decade now and its range is growing all the time. One of the latest scooters to hit the dealers is the retro-styled Like, a four-stroke automatic scooter which is available as learner-legal 50cc and 125cc models.
The Like can be forgiven for looking similar to a Vespa because it was designed by Italian Massimo Zaniboni, who took his inspiration from classic scooters of the 1950s and ’60s. With chrome detailing, curvy lines and subtle pearlescent paintwork, the Like looks great at an affordable price.
At a time when retro is cool and almost every advert on telly has a vintage scooter in the background, you can see why firms are imitating the Italian classics of yesteryear.
As with most modern scooters, the Like 125 features an automatic transmission – so simply twist and go. The engine is air-cooled, fuss-free, economical and very useable. On test, our new scooter was quite nippy and quickly showed 65mph on the clock, so expect to see nearer to 70 once it has loosened up a bit.
As well as being a looker with its pearlescent paintwork and contrasting chrome detailing, the Like is a practical tool. It has a fairly large lockable glovebox up front (with a 12-volt socket inside) and the usual storage space beneath the seat, and there’s a handy top box which comes as a standard fitment.
It may spoil the look of the machine (in my opinion, at least) but it is worth having if you are using the scooter on a regular basis and need to carry some gear; and you can quickly remove the top box if you don’t want it on all the time.
The Like boasts front and rear disc brakes, twin shocks at the rear and telescopic forks which help to provide a fairly comfortable ride. Its price of £1,769 may be something you’ll like, too.
In addition to the 125cc Like, a 50cc version has also been released. It features all the same goodies, including 12in alloy wheels; halogen headlight; neat digital instrument panel with fuel gauge; electric start, and lockable storage, and it even comes with free or subsidised insurance (depending on age).
Fuel economy is reported to be in the region of 100mpg, making it an affordable and economical choice of transport for a 16-year-old. The Kymco range is backed by a nationwide dealer network and also has an unlimited-mileage, two-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Lazy customers can even buy a Kymco online by simply logging on to www.kymco.co.uk, selecting a local dealer and arranging for the scooter to be delivered, ready to ride, to your doorstep without even leaving the comfort of your home.
Despite the recession, the latest crop of automatic scooters are winning more commuter traffic, especially in London, where the opening up of bus lanes to motorcycles and mopeds has been a real boon.
Riding a moped in London was a frightening experience. Being restricted to 30mph and yet forced to ride in a stream of faster cars and vans did not make for a relaxing journey.
Automatic scooters are as easy to ride as a bicycle, but take no effort. To find out all you need to know about taking to the road for the first time, log on to www.geton.co.uk. The site has all the information you’ll ever need, and you can even arrange a free one-hour ride on a bike or scooter at a local dealer. Go on, give it a go.
Model: Kymco Like 125, £1,769 (50cc £1,499)
Engine: Air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke of 125cc
Seat height: 780mm
Colour: White only