When it comes to maxi scooters the Kymco AK550 truly fits that sports tourer category for me.
The stealthy black paintwork and aggressive lines especially at the front matched with those incredible LED lights, the AK really does looks like an aggressive beast. When riding the AK550 out and about it gained a lot of nods from other bikers while they looked at its impressive styling – you could see their faces trying to recognise what bike they were actually looking at.
On the road it gives a really big road presence with typical maxi scooter height and comfortable seat positioning, but more about this later on, first let's talk about power….
When it comes to powerplants in a maxi scooter there isn’t that many in the market more powerful that the AK550, which kicks out almost 53bhp and over 55nm of torque. What this equates to on the road is a really impressive engine, that can handle fast roads with absolute ease and will excel at touring thanks to that decent amount of power, plus it really does gives the rider the chance to be quite sporty too.
In normal mode, the acceleration is pretty darn impressive for a maxi-scooter of this size and weight - in fact it completely took me by surprise! I would not be shocked to see this reach around 120mph, you will enjoy that acceleration, the speed of this thing is something that I am sure will shock many other motorists too. The option of a wet mode is also a nice addition just to turn that power down a bit for those slippery days.
The model I tested benefited from having an aftermarket Malossi exhaust which everyone here at BikeMatters absolutely loved! On the road test video on the AK550 I made sure to give this a quick blast through a tunnel too, so viewers could hear the audio delights it has to offer.
Tech (and lots of it!)
Unsurprisingly for a flagship maxi-scooter the AK550 is packed full of tech and gadgets, no doubt I will fail to mention everything or give it enough justice for just how cool some of the features really are, but I will try my best!
First up is that Kymco Noodoe digital dash, this fancy piece of kit connects to the users smart phone via the Noodoe app (Bluetooth) which can be found on App Store or Google Play. This app then has some cool, rather novelty facilities such as customisable clock faces, photo gallery etc, but it has the expected features such as navigation, text message display etc that really is the main impressive features of the Noodoe system. The display itself is extremely clear and well positioned, and everything can be navigated easily.
This 550cc maxi-scooter is also keyless, so you get a rather futuristic dial, that might seem alien at first but after using it a couple of times you soon get acquainted with its workings and it really isn’t a problem. The keyless range might be however, I don’t know the true distance it carries but I know from experience it is quite far, around 5m when we tried it, and the bike can still be turned on. I know this is something that has been altered or updated though, and the keyless range has been reduced on new models coming over here too. It is quite easy to drain the battery on the AK but handily it comes with a battery power bank, which you can then use to boost start the bike if flat. There is a cable tucked away in the left glove box which, when you connect the battery, boost-starts the battery and away you go.
As standard you get heated grips with three heat settings so you can keep you hands nice and toasty on those chilly days!
OK, so you are not going to fit two full face helmets under the seat but you will likely fit one and possibly some other smaller items beside it! Still plenty of storage really, there are also two small glove boxes too which will handle items such as a your smart phone.
Kymco have really built a scooter of great quality, even the buttons and switches on the instrument panel seem top class, nice strong plastics with reassuring clicks and feel to it. I really like the Kymco use of a ticking sound when the indicators are on, these little things that let you know that Kymco really thought about more or less everything when designing this scoot.
It packs a Bosch ABS system and at the front it has twin 270mm front discs along with the same 4 pot Brembo brake callipers you’ll find on a Triumph Thruxton, at the rear is a 260mm disc, so there is incredible stopping power.
You’ll also get the confidence of some mighty fine tyres too with Metzeler rubber doing a grand job tackling the best and worst of British weather and don’t forget you can put the bike in wet mode if you want to be a bit more cautious on power.
It comes with a manually adjustable windscreen, which will require the use of an allen key to move positioning, a button operated screen would have been great, but it’s omission is not really a make or break factor. So either bring an allen key with you, or set-and-forget at a good height for you - easy enough.
The AK550 is a lot of bike and is clearly a flagship model, it starts from £8,879 in the UK which might seem like a lot of money but when compared to other similar spec maxi-scooters, the AK550 is extremely competitively priced and with the impressive components and gadgetry it has to offer is a serious contender to anyone looking for a large touring scooter or touring motorcycle.
On the road
This Kymco may not be light at 226kg dry, but thanks to most of that weight being low and having a low centre of gravity, it really does ride and handle well.
As typical with a maxi-scooter you feel like you have a really dominant road positioning, and that is definitely the case with the AK. The mirrors placed further forward on the bike worked well for me to be honest with nice clear view behind me.
The suspension is great and will provide plenty of comfort whether you are popping around town or touring for hundreds of miles. The seat and ride are comfortable though noticeably firmer when you compare it to the blissful armchair like comfort of the Kymco Xciting S400, but then again the AK550 is rather sporty, so I think an ever so slightly harder ride is to be expected. The seat is quite wide, though with a seat height of 785mm doesn’t pose too much hassle even to a small person with short legs such as myself (5’ 6”).
I do think there might be a slight issue with the accuracy of the fuel gauge as after flashing it's near empty warning light at me I then filled it up, but it really didn’t take anywhere near a full tanks worth of fuel and after only a few miles it had already dropped two bars on the fuel gauge, so would be good to see this addressed.
That power and acceleration is tremendous fun, you can be sensibly commuting away, but with the twist of the throttle you’ve gone straight to blasting around. The AK really does fit both worlds - comfortable enough for touring, yet with that suspension and engine you can have some faster fun too. It commuted and filtered perfectly well in town, soaked up the bumps of country lanes and was a great blast on national speed limit roads.
The AK550 might be a big beast but get this maxi on the road and that weight disappears to really give a great riding experience, steering is a joyful experience and lighter than I was expecting. Acceleration is great fun, especially with the accompanied tones of the Malossi exhaust we had guesting on our demo.
The price might seem steep at first but compare it against other large maxi scooters in this category and you’ll find Kymco have priced the AK very competitively. It is a flagship scooter with some really impressive components and tech, a clear sign that Kymco have really invested and made a great attempt at establishing themselves in the large capacity maxi scooter market. Though large maxi scooters might be a niche market in the UK, they are very popular elsewhere such as Europe, and we might just see the Kymco brand grow in popularity with the likes of the AK.
|Model Name||AK 550|
|Fuel Capacity||15 litres|
|Max Speed||120mph (estimate)|
|Engine||550.4cc in-line 2 cylinders, liquid cooled, 4 stroke|
|Front Brake||Dual 270mm discs|
|Rear Brake||260mm single disc (Bosch ABS)|
|Front Suspension||41mm Up-Side Down Fork|
|Rear Suspension||Horizontal Trailing Arm Rear Suspension|
|Speedo||Digital – Noodoe System|
|Stand||Side & centre|
|Warranty||2 years manufacturer|
|Price (correct at time of article)||£8,899.00|
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