Kymco steps up with competitive middleweight quad
Kymco’s new MXU 400 proved to be a capable trail rider, able to handle tight, technical climbs and anything else you’d expect from an entry-level middleweight quad.
The MXU 400 we are reviewing was released in Europe in 2008. The MXU 375, which is very close to the same vehicle, is part of the 2009 lineup in the United States.
Kymco has made great improvements to its ATV class since the beginning of the decade. Starting with the MXR, Kymco ATVs have been growing in displacement and quality. In 2007, Kymco introduced its first midsize 4×4 with the MXU 500, which was a big step for the company.
Though the MXU 400 shares a lot of similarities with its big brother, they feel completely different on the trail.
The air/oil cooled engine of the MXU 400 comes from Suzuki, while some of the peripherals are from Arctic Cat. Kymco engineers, however, have enhanced the cooling system by adding a second oil pump and another temperature valve. As a result, the ventilator responds quickly, ensuring the engine temperature remains at a safe level and is less likely to overheat.
Kymco made a big effort to improve the ergonomics of the MXU 400 to make it easier to handle and more comfortable during long trail rides. The saddle is large and provides plenty of space to move around. Compared to the 500, it’s much slimmer and easier to switch from sitting to standing.
The handlebars might be up a little high, but the width is about right and they provide plenty of leverage. The mudguards are wide and big, providing good protection when passing through muddy sections or water. However, holes on the floorboards allow a lot of water to get through, which could result in wet feet.
One thing that definitely distinguishes the MXU 400 from any other Kymco ATV is its climbing ability. This is primarily due to its good power to weight ratio and the linear power band.
The MXU 400 is able to follow a narrow trail with surprisingly good comfort and traction. Independent rear suspension plays a key role in the handling and allows the tires to find adequate grip. The tires provide excellent traction on wet terrain and mud.
This quad surprises you with its good stability and controllable power. Another surprise is how strong it is at descending hills. The progressive engine braking and the brake system allow the MXU 400 to descend without a lot of sliding around.
Excellent gear box
Another advantage of this quad is its refined transmission. You can select high or low with confidence, even if you get trapped. The gate range selector feels much smoother than on the MXU500 and provides soft, positive action that makes choosing ranges easy. You do have to engage the brake to change ranges, but this is common to most ATVs in the class.
Linear power band
The linear power band is the result of Suzuki’s revamped 4-stroke engine. The carbureted 367cc single cylinder engine makes the difference, especially when riding more challenging trails. Power is alive almost from idle and expands smoothly all the way up towards the end of the rpm scale.
Overall the engine is strong enough to pull you out from just about any situation and keep you entertained while riding along at higher speeds. The vehicle we tested topped out at about 55 mph on flat sections and it remained stable and predictable at top speed.
The MXU 400 is equipped with a steel rolling chassis and double A-arm front suspension system with preload adjustable shock. The shock is mounted to the upper section of the arms, making it easy to adjust. The rear suspension package offers double A-arms with similar preload adjustable shocks. The shocks mount to the lower A-arms which are lower than the overall mass. The suspension provides plenty of usable ground clearance, peaking at about 10 inches.
The front rack can support 75 pounds and the rear rack can hold 150 pounds. A small storage compartment is situated at the front right mudguard. The LCD display provides all the useful information for a safe ride. The exhaust is located between the shocks absorbers and is well protected from rocks and mud.
Among other notable features is the handbrake lever, which is on the left side of the handlebar and looks similar to those found on Yamahas. A tow hook can be attached at the rear end of the frame.
The MXU 400 in not sold in North American, but the very similar MXU 375 is available and retails for $5,299 in standard colors (red, green and silver) or $5,599 in True Timber Conceal Green Camo.
|Kymco MXU 400 MAX Specs|
|Engine Type:||367cc, Oil/air cooled, SOHC, 4-valve, 4T|
|Drive System:||2WD, 4WD|
|Final Drive:||Selectable four wheel-drive with variable front differential control, shaft|
|Bore x Stroke:||81×71.2mm|
|Power:||20.15 hp at 6,500 rpm|
|Transmission:||Continuously variable belt-drive transmission with high and low range, plus reverse|
|Length/Width/Height:||83.4 x 43.3 x 46.8 in|
|Dry weight:||615 lbs|
|Ground Clearance:||10 in|
|Fuel Capacity:||3.9 US gal. (20 L)|
|Frame:||High-tensile tubular steel|
|Front Suspension:||A-arm with single preload shock|
|Rear Suspension:||Fully independent, dual A-arm with shock|
|Front Brakes:||Hydraulic dual discs with single pot caliper|
|Rear Brakes:||Hydraulic disc with two pot caliper|
Related Reading: KYMCO introduces two new ATVs for 2009