The maxi-scooter segment, in many ways, can be considered as the happy medium between the innocent, light-hearted nature of a scooter, and the more serious, long-distance appeal of a full-on touring motorcycle. Way back in 2001, Yamaha released the TMAX, the maxi-scooter which has practically set the standard when it comes to high-capacity, long-distance scooters all the way to the present day.
Now, Yamaha is showcasing the 2022 TMAX, better than ever, and loaded with more tech than previously thought, in EICMA 2021. So, too, is the scooter which many consider to be the TMAX's main rival, the Taiwanese-made Kymco AK550. Now, this premium maxi-scooter debuted in the market back in 2017, and was a direct response to the success of the TMAX, particularly in Europe and Asia. Adopting a sportier take on the maxi-scooter platform, the AK550 has remained unchanged ever since its launch, until now.
For the 2022 model year, Kymco is dialing things down a bit, and adopting a more touring-focused approach, at the expense of letting go of some sporty features. For staters, the bodywork has been revised to offer a tad more wind protection, lending itself to longer, more comfortable rides on the saddle. The windscreen, too, is now taller, and even features electronic adjustment—a feature found only on the top-range Tech Max variant of the Yamaha TMAX. Kymco has also taken this opportunity to revise the AK's saddle. It now gets a cushier, more ergonomic saddle that's sure to offer utmost comfort and stability on long rides.
The 2022 Kymco AK550 also boasts modern-day electronic features such as a traction control system, riding modes, and a keyless ignition system. It continues to draw power from a 550cc parallel-twin motor rated for around 50 horsepower, enhanced to comply with Euro 5 emission standards. It goes without saying that the AK550, tipping the scales at 222 kilograms, is quite the hefty machine, especially considering the fact that it's a scooter. Expect the new AK550 to hit Kymco dealerships at the start of 2022.