The 2017 Kymco Downtown 125 may look like a maxi-scooter, but it’s more agile than you’d think.
At first glance it’s hard to see how the 2017 Kymco Downtown 125 could work: it looks good, but it’s also very big and heavy for a 125cc scooter. With a net weight of 176kg, you’d be excused for expecting a sluggish and uninspiring ride. But add to the mix a maximum power output of 14.2bhp and it’s anything but a dull ride! In fact, it’s one of the most fun and capable 125cc scooters I’ve been on for a while.
If you squint a bit, the Kymco Downtown 125 looks remarkably similar to the Kawasaki J125 – that’s because it is. The J125 is manufactured by KYMCO for Kawasaki, and if you look at the styling and spec sheet, there’s very little separating the two, apart from the logos.
The styling is sporty and elegant, and for a physically large scooter (2205mm long and 825mm wide), it looks very sleek. Everything is big: the headlights, the screen and the seat. But they’ve been designed so that they don’t look out of place, and the general impression is modern and stylish.
The clocks are big too: there’s an analogue tachometer as well as a speedo, with a digital screen nestled in between them. It looks good, even if you don’t really need to pay attention to the tachometer on a twist and go machine.
The engine is great! There’s plenty of power (15 bhp to be exact) pumping out of the 125cc single-cylinder, four-stroke, two-valve, liquid-cooled ohc engine. Claimed maximum speed is 65mph and we easily achieved that on the test ride. It’s also notable how quickly the big scooter picks up speed. It feels like there’s a bigger engine masquerading as a 125cc.
The automatic CVT transmission is flawless. It’s so seamless that you don’t have to give it a second thought at any point, and can just get on with enjoying the ride.
With the long wheelbase, big comfortable seat and decent suspension, this is a very pleasant scooter to ride. Add to the equation the big screen that keeps wind, rain and bugs out of the way, and a massive underseat compartment, and you realise that this scooter could do some serious mileage. There’s also a glovebox with a 12v socket to keep your phone charged too.
Rear suspension is preload-adjustable, in case you want to really load the scooter up with luggage. With just me on board I found the factory settings fine both in the city and on bumpy A-roads. Although not cramped by any means, for such a big scooter, the foot space isn’t huge. There are, however, places to put your feet at the front if you want more of a feet-forward riding position, but they are a bit high up and I couldn’t really get on with them.
The 2017 Kymco Downtown 125 has been updated to meet Euro 4 standards, so it features an automatic headlights-on system, ABS brakes and on board diagnostics, as well as complying with the emissions regulations. The brakes work well and bring the heavy scooter to a standstill quite effortlessly.
The 2017 Kymco Downtown 125 is a very comfortable and capable scooter, but you have to be quick to get your hands on one as Kymco will be replacing it with a new model sometime in 2017!
2017 Kymco Downtown 125 Specs & Price
ENGINE: 125cc, Single-cylinder, 4-stroke, OHC 2-valve, Liquid-cooled
POWER: 15 BHP @ 9.000 RPM
TORQUE: 11.6 N.m @ 7.000 RPM
TRANSMISSION: Auto CVT
FRONT TYRE: 120/80-14
REAR TYRE: 150/70-13
FRONT BRAKE: 260mm – Hydraulic Disc Brake, Bosch ABS
REAR BRAKE: 260mm – Hydraulic Disc Brake, Bosch ABS
SEAT HEIGHT: 775mm
WEIGHT: 167 kg
FUEL CAPACITY: 12.5 litres