Monday, January 14, 2008

Kymco side-by-side quad is on its way

People have started asking about it, so thought I would dig up what I could on the Kymco 500 UXV side-by-side.

Recently seen at the Milan, Italy motorcycle show, it looked nearly identical to a Yamaha Rhino. The Taiwanese and Chinese (like so many other industries) have essentially built a core competency in reverse-engineering US designed and engineered products and importing them to the US at much cheaper costs.

Originally expected in the first quarter, sources are now indicating a summer release as more likely for the Kymco 500 side-by-side. In fact, not sure what to read into it, but pages I found for both an "on road" and "off road" version of the 500 UXV on the main Kymco site are no longer there this morning! That link is just a blank page now, and they were never on the Kymco USA site.

So I'll hold off on publishing the final specs, but will be nearly 1200 pounds, pretty heavy for the 500cc powerplant being adapted from their MXU 500 utility ATV. But a more juicy rumor is surfacing as well. Kymco is said to be doing tests of a 700cc motor through joint work with BMW that will be put in this same side-by-side frame at a later date.

I wanted to say in fairness, Kymco is not simply exporting knock-off products to the United States market like some companies. A recent joint venture between Kymco USA (the exclusive distributor in the United States for KYMCO brand ATVs) and Kwang Yang Motor Company, Ltd. (KYMCO - the actual Taiwanese manufactuer) is bringing greater levels of support for a growing dealer network that already includes over 600 locations in the United States and Puerto Rico as well as more engineering focus on specific needs of the US market.

Further, KYMCO USA was the 11th and newest all-terrain vehicle manufacturer to join the
Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA) this past summer. The SVIA is the not-for-profit trade association founded and funded by the leading manufacturers and distributors of ATVs in the United States to support the longstanding programs and efforts to make ATV riding safer and more enjoyable for all riders and advocating for state legislation to regulate known problematic behaviors. SVIA also is an accredited standards developer by the American National Standards Institute for the four-wheel ATV in the United States.

And finally, there are also rumors of a Kymco-backed racing effort for the new year!