Friday, July 30, 2010

A Scooter by Any Other Name

The boss collects old scooters. His latest aquisitions -- a fairly recent KYMCO Agility 50 and a People 150-- got our collective juices flowing. KYMCO makes great scooters, but sometimes finding the right replacement parts can be challenging. Even locating the correct size 16" tires for the People and People S series scooters is often difficult as many local tire stores may never have even heard of 100/80-16 rubber.

My buddy Mike, the official Monster Scooter Parts mechanic and subject matter expert extraordinaire, tore the Agility 50 and People 150 down to their proverbial nuts & bolts and made a rather interesting discovery about parts compatibility. Although almost every other scooter manufacturer in the world uses AC CDI modules, KYMCO scooters require DC CDI modules! It took some doing, but we have located a source of supply for replacement DC CDI modules and are now awaiting the shipment. If you need a DC CDI and are frustrated with trying to get parts from a KYMCO dealer, give us a call.

Among some other identified replacement parts that we have in stock for the KYMCO Agility 50 scooter:

19 mm Carburetor with Electric Choke
Ignition Coil
12 Volt Electric Starter Motor
Clutch Shoe Assembly
Automatic choke unit
Tires, spark plugs, throttle cables, CVT belts, bulbs and more.

It came as a surprise a while back to find out that KYMCO scooters were from one of the top five makers of scooters and motorcycles in the world today, along with Piaggio (Vespas, Aprilias, et al.) and the Japanese Big Three (Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki). KYMCO (Kwang Yang Motor Company, Ltd) actually got its start as the subsidiary engine parts supplier to Honda. Unlike some of the generic (or best left unmentioned) scooter manufacturers on the Chinese mainland, the Taiwanese KYMCO continue to uphold Honda's high standards of quality control and assurance.

A Scooter by Any Other Name
"O, be some other name! What's in a name? That which we call a Grand Dink by any other name would smell as sweet." -- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 1600

Well maybe the Bard's young Miss Capulet wasn't really pining away for her KYMCO Grand Dink scooter, but the sentiment remains the same. Of all the major scooter makers in the world, KYMCO evidently had a marketing crew with either the greatest sense of humor, or the least understanding of branding for the American scooter market. Scooter models with names like Yup, Top Boy, Bet & Win, Dink and the ultimate curiously (but very nobley) titled Grand Dink are all examples of KYMCO's undeniable silliness with the English language. In my mind I can hear the voice of an American public relations expert taking the KYMCO Vice President of International Marketing aside and saying; "uh sir... I don't think the folks here in the US will be all that enthusiastic about a scooter called the Yup. You may want to rename it into something that sounds a bit zippier like maybe 'the all-new KYMCO Sting 50' or something like that. Now about that Grand Dink thing..."

So other than the Bet & Win models, KYMCO naming in the USA is often quite different that that used in other parts of the world. I am still waiting to see the definitive cross reference listing of all the KYMCO scooter models, along with each of the various & sundry names used in different countries and when it was that they used them. Maybe not great literature for the casual reader, but for the die-hard scooter enthusiast or the student of international marketing it might make for more than a few raised eyebrows.


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