Gear: Thor Static Helmet:...
Gear: Thor Static
Helmet: HJC SPX Contact
Boots: Alpinestars Tech 2
Goggles: Smith Intake
Kymco MXU 375 IRS 4x4
The Kymco MXU 375 is a machine that's almost easy to overlook; after all, it's a newer Taiwanese brand with a short history here in the United States. Once it caught our eye, though, we quickly realized this was no knock-off and was quite well put together. The MXU is, in fact, a great-looking machine, and the fit and finish was comparable to everything else in this comparison.
Ergonomically, the 375 is on par with the rest of this bunch. The seat, floorboards and controls all work well together for a comfortable feel when seated or standing. The Kymco's handlebar is a bit ape-hanger-ish but still relatively neutral feeling. The instrumentation includes a digital speedometer, odometer and tripmeter, which is pretty impressive considering the MXU 375 is literally hundreds less than any other machine here. The seat is comfortable and plush, and the overall fit and finish of the unit is solid.
Braking duties on the Kymco are handled by a foot-actuated rear brake and handlebar-mounted front brake; unfortunately, the lack of a handlebar-mounted rear brake has us scratching our heads and was once again a big issue with the test crew. An odd and somewhat disconcerting feeling we noticed was the loss of pressure in the front brake lever while applying the rear brakes. Despite the lack of rear brake levers and perceived pressure loss while stopping, the MXU stops surprisingly well.
Steering on the MXU was downright scary. The front end suffers from serious bumpsteer and darted unpredictably at most speeds. The steering issues were such that it was hard to attack the test loops with any kind of speed or confidence. At low speeds and while in work mode these issues were a lot less obvious.
The suspension on the MXU is actually quite good and is the saving grace of the handling package. The 7 inches of travel soaked up all of the stuff we inadvertently hit (thanks to the bumpsteer) with ease.
Powerwise, the MXU is pretty good. It had enough get-up-and-go to keep things fun, and the delivery of the power itself was quite nice. The sole issue we had was belt slippage when wet; outside of that the only other power-robbing issue was the hitch receiver. Much like the Arctic Cat 366, the MXU's hitch constantly got us hung up and high-centered. In utility work mode, the MXU was fine, and the hitch was a huge plus in our books. In utilitarian settings, the 375 felt right at home and towed, hauled and labored with the best of them.
As a whole, the Taiwanese Kymco MXU 375 was surprising. For starters, to be 100 percent honest, the quality startled us all. Not that we had low expectations, but the MXU exceeded our expectations and crushed our preconceived notions that only the Big Four (plus Polaris, KTM, Arctic Cat and Can-Am) have an ability to produce well-built machines. With that said, the Kymco's steering issues really did scare us beyond our expectations. The bottom line is the Kymco isn't what we'd consider a great high-speed recreational machine, but at low speeds and in light-duty utilitarian roles it's a great bargain, and with the money you'll save you can remedy the steering issues.