Maxi-scooters are pretty popular for those who want to go on comfy, long-distance tours across Europe thanks to their comfort, practicality, and ease-of-use. Not having to worry about fiddling with a clutch on your left hand, as well as sitting on an ultra-plush saddle for miles on end sounds like the perfect way to enjoy the scenic roads and breathtaking views the European countryside has to offer.
That said, there are quite a few maxi-scooters on offer in Europe, some of which offer utmost comfort and practicality. Kymco, a Taiwanese motorcycle manufacturer known the world over for its scooters, has updated the biggest maxi-scoot in its lineup, the AK 550. Now boasting Euro 5 compliance, the AK 550, more than ever, presents itself as a formidable opponent to the Yamaha TMAX 560. Priced at just €9,999, it is €2,000 more affordable than the TMAX (pegged at €11,999).
Just like the TMAX, the AK 550 gets a parallel-twin engine, which provides smoother riding characteristics as opposed to the thumpers found in smaller displacement maxi-scooters. The AK 550's mill gets a revised exhaust system to account for Euro 5 standards. Overall, it boasts some pretty impressive performance figures. The AK 550's engine, despite being ten cubes down on the Yamaha's, produces more power at 51 horsepower and 55.6 Nm of torque, which translates to around 41 ft-lbs of torque. The Yamaha TMAX, for reference, pumps out 47.5 ponies from its 560cc parallel-twin engine.
The new AK 550 gets some revisions on its electronics, too. It now gets a thoroughly modern throttle-by-wire system, which opens itself up to a host of electronic rider aids. It also provides the rider with more finesse and control, especially in low-speed situations. The AK 550 continues to boast an impressive, lightweight aluminum frame, Brembo brakes, and plush suspension consisting of inverted forks up front and a preload-adjustable rear mono-shock.