2014 Kymco MyRoad 700i First Ride

Motorcycles come in all shapes and sizes and those that seek a full-sized riding experience without the extra effort of a manual-style clutch or gear shifter might consider the 2013 Kymco MyRoad 700i ($9699). This Taiwanese-built scooter combines the power of a mid-sized motorcycle with the everyday and around town convenience of a moped.

The MyRoad is the brand’s top-of-the-the-line offering. Under the hood it boasts a 700cc Parallel Twin engine that is liquid-cooled and fed from a 4.0 gallon fuel tank via fuel injection. It puts power to the pavement through a belt drive and continuously variable-style automatic transmission. This simplifies the riding experience and makes accelerating from a stop as simple as a twist of the wrist with no gears to change as speed increases.

Pop open the seat and the MyRoad has a fair amount of storage, capable of swallowing just over 13 gallons of gear. A smaller storage pocket for a cell phone or camera is just beneath the handlebar while the fuel cap is hidden on the other side. Another nice touch is the tail section has passenger grab handles that can double as a mounting point for bungee cords to hold more gear.
(Top) The MyRoad 700i has a comfy saddle and a fair amount of storage beneath the seat. (Center) The cockpit is cramped for a taller rider with our six-foot tall tester complaining that the handlebar would occasionally touch his knees. (Bottom) Instrumentation is functional however its appearance is dated and not at the level we’d expect based on the MyRoad’s lofty price tag.

Press the starter button and the engine fires right to life, well, most of the time. Curiously, on occasion we had to depress the red button a couple times before the engine would light. Once fired it settles into idle with no other hiccups. Twist the throttle and it rolls forward smoothly without lurching. The throttle’s accurate response paired to the engine’s mild low-end power are a great recipe and make the big Kymco less intimidating to ride, especially in situations that require a delicate throttle hand. Acceleration becomes brisker as the scooter gains momentum and it has enough passing power at freeway speeds and can even sprint in excess of 100 mph. The engine runs quietly, is smooth and free from vibration at all speeds. Due to the short nature of our ride we weren’t able to record actual fuel mileage.

The engine is positioned inside a sturdy double cradle steel chassis and rolls on a 15-inch front and 14-inch rear wheel shod with tubeless radial tires from Maxxis that are rated up to 112 miles per hour. A conventional fork and twin shocks soak up bumps and provide the push-button convenience of three-way electronic damping control. Meanwhile braking components consist of a pair of sturdy radial-mount four-piston calipers that latch on to 280mm discs up front with a smaller 240mm diameter disc and twin-piston caliper combo out back. The front and rear brakes also feature anti-lock functionality and can be used independently of one another (not linked).

Lifting it off its side or centerstand requires considerable effort due in part to its 608 pound weight without accounting for fuel or any other fluids. Also working against it is how large it is dimensionally. Nose-to-tail the Kymco measures 7.64 feet long with a wheelbase of 63.6 inches. It’s wide too, taking up nearly three feet of lane space. Its seat is also pretty lofty measuring 30.7 in. above the ground.

Seated at the controls the 700i has a relaxed riding position for a six-foot tall rider but the handlebar is too close and on occasion bumps into the knees. There also isn’t a whole of leg or foot room making the lower half of the cockpit feel cramped. Wind protection was decent despite the fixed height of the windscreen. The brake levers offer four-way position adjustment but curiously it’s opposite in comparison to Japanese and European motorcycles. Instrumentation is effective but appears dated giving the MyRoad a cheaper overall feel. The buttons also lack the tactile feel of a motorcycle in this price range.
(Top) The MyRoad 700i offers plenty of ground clearance and can be ridden briskly with no hard parts touching down against pavement. (Center) The MyRoad 700i’s ABS-equipped brakes are strong and very friendly to operate. We love that the brakes aren’t linked front to back, or vice versa. (Bottom) The MyRoad 700i is a capable tourer but needs additional refinement or a substantial price reduction to be a true contender in the class.

At parking lot speeds the MyRoad feels top heavy, but add velocity to the equation and its clumsiness fades. The suspension delivers a so-so ride and doesn’t respond as accurately to bumps as other motorcycles or scooters we’ve tested recently. This compromises ride quality and makes it less comfortable to ride on longer trips. Its electronic suspension damping also proved to be ineffective with no discernible change in ride in any of the three modes. Lean into turns and it responds predictably and has considerable ground clearance. At a moderate pace handling is acceptable but faster rides exposes a propensity to wander around the road slightly.

Stopping performance was strong and the brakes are easy to apply due to their mild initial pad-to-rotor bite as well as the well-sorted calibration of the ABS. It would be nice if it could be manually disabled if the rider so desires.

We applaud Kymco for finally bring over its premium 700cc scooter stateside. It’s got a smooth engine that’s plenty peppy on America’s open roads plus it has great brakes that are simple to use. Heck it even looks kind of of cool, too. Problem is it lacks the refinement necessary to compete at the top level based on its current price tag. If it could slash the price by a couple thousand or improve the calibration of the suspension and rework the cockpit it’d have a winner on its hands.