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2013 Kymco Downtown 300i Review

3-18-2013

by Amyot Bachand , moto123.com

The 2013 Kymco Downtown 300i loves hitting the open road as much as tackling city streets. Nice weight distribution and handling make it fun to ride at all times.

Kymco Downtown 300i 2013

Styling
The designers of the Downtown 300i combined some retro styling cues with a definite touch of sportiness, and the result will appeal to many fans of touring scooters. The nose looks particularly sporty with dual headlights that add purpose to the overall package. Notwithstanding the stylish taillights, the rear section retains a classic look.

The black paint option makes the scooter stealthier, while the red or yellow alternatives will get you noticed everywhere.

Ergonomics

The 2013 Kymco Downtown 300i offers a convenient seat height of 775 mm, helping you secure the machine at idle. While city riding proved quite comfortable, I would have liked the small backrest to be 1-2 inches farther back and the slanted floorboards a bit closer to the front to allow a more relaxed position on the highway. Of course, it all depends on your body size.

The passenger sitting behind you will be pleased, however. The footrests are nicely located, and the raised seat provides a better view of what lies ahead.

The fully digital instrument panel on the 2013 Kymco Downtown 300i is easy to read. You can even switch from metric to imperial units. The controls are readily accessible, especially those on the left handlebar. I really liked the headlight flashing control to make my presence and intentions clearer.

Another key attribute of the Downtown 300i is an effortless parking ability thanks to a sturdy centre stand, along with a spring-assisted side stand. The way all 166 kg are distributed helps a lot, too.

Storage
You can fit a helmet and a small bag under the seat of the 2013 Kymco Downtown 300i. The front panel also houses two convenient storage compartments; the left one even includes a 12V power outlet to plug in a GPS. The fuel trap (with a lockable cap) is exactly where it needs to be, while the optional rear top case becomes almost necessary for longer trips.

2013 Kymco Downtown 300i Storage
You can fit a helmet and a small bag under the seat of the 2013 Kymco Downtown 300i. (Photo: Amyot Bachand)

On the road
The 2013 Kymco Downtown 300i isn't a sporty scooter, yet it benefits from a powerful and flexible engine that delivers confident acceleration off the line and during passing manoeuvres. You can easily cruise at 110-117 km/h (top speed is rated at 140 km/h), although you should probably subtract about 10 km/h from the readout for a more accurate assessment of the machine's velocity.

What impressed me even more was its handling, especially around town. Out on the open road, the 2013 Kymco Downtown 300i remains pretty calm and stable, almost as if crosswinds had no effect on it. In corners, just lean toward the apex, and the scooter will happily follow your lead. Add safe performance from the disc brakes, and you get a smooth, stress-free riding experience.

My only complaint is the non-adjustable windshield. Again, probably due to my own size, the top of my helmet was constantly being struck by the wind. Other than that, however, this scooter offers good protection against the elements of Mother Nature.

Bottom line
At $5,995, the 2013 Kymco Downtown 300i looks to me like a great compromise between city riding and long-distance touring. Poise, performance, comfort, and balance make it an excellent commuter.

2013 Kymco Downtown 300i side view
You can easily cruise at 110-117 km/h (top speed is rated at 140 km/h) (Photo: Amyot Bachand)

Pros
Handling
Weight distribution
Performance
Ride quality

Cons
Rider backrest could be a bit farther back
Slanted floorboards on the front panel need to be revised
Missing a height-adjustable windshield