In recent years Kymco has been developing a strong reputation for low- and mid-displacement ATVs and UTVs. The Taiwan-based manufacturer continues its progression in 2010 with the release of two new ATVs and three limited edition models.

We had a chance to take Kymco’s new vehicles for a spin on a Land Rover Experience course at the historic Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. We’ll have full reviews of these vehicles in the coming weeks.

Maxxer 375 IRS 4×4 ($5,999)

The Maxxer is the vehicle that has the folks at Kymco the most excited and it marks the company’s entry into the sport/utility segment.

Take a quick look at the Maxxer and you’d be hard pressed to compare it to anything else in the Kymco lineup (though it does strike a similar pose as the Yamaha Wolverine 450). A look at the specs data, however, shows that the Maxxer is built off the same platform as the MXU 375 IRS 4×4 released last year.

The Maxxer 375 is a utility ATV with sporty edge.The Maxxer 375 is a utility ATV with sporty edge.

Like the MXU 375, the Maxxer is powered by a 366.9cc, air cooled, single-cylinder engine that produces a claimed 26hp. Other similarities include front and rear independent dual A-arm suspension with seven inches of travel, dual hydraulic disc brakes up front, single disc brake in rear, and dimensions (L/W/H) of 83”/43.4”/46.9”. Similarities end though, with the specs data. The Maxxer is a different beast altogether.

Squeeze the throttle and you’ll be surprised the Maxxer is powered by a 366cc engine.Squeeze the throttle and you’ll be surprised the Maxxer is powered by a 366cc engine.

Throttle response is much snappier on the Maxxer. In fact, this sport/utility quad will pull away from Kymco’s bigger 500cc quads and get up to top speed much quicker. It never feels like you’re riding a quad with a sub-400cc engine, which is surprising considering the Maxxer tips the scales at a claimed 590 pounds.

This certainly isn’t a hard-core racing quad – nor was it intended to be – but its performance belies its weight. We were quite surprised with its reasonably nimble handling. The Maxxer slides around corners with ease and we never got the feeling like the rear tires wanted to dig in, an issue we’ve had with some other IRS-equipped models. Also, with 10 inches of ground clearance, most rocks and other trail debris slide safely underneath the machine.

Adding to the sporty package, quality Maxxis tires are wrapped around very nice looking Kymco alloy wheels. In addition, the Maxxer comes standard with hand guards, front bumper and rear grab bar. For those who might want to take it a step further, Kymco offers nerf bars, aluminum A-arm guards and skid plates. The Maxxer is available in black, red, blue, and white.

MXU 500 IRS 4×4 ($6,299)

It didn’t generate the same excitement as the Maxxer, but the MXU 500 IRS 4×4 is an important step for Kymco. The 499cc mill is the largest in the Kymco lineup and up until now it was missing independent rear suspension.

IRS is king in the utility quad market and Kymco needed its flagship quad to join the party. Kymco only introduced the IRS last year with the launch of the MXU 375 4×4 IRS and the UXV 500 4×4, but if it wants to compete with the major manufacturers this was the direction it had to go.

Kymco brings IRS to its largest displacement ATV.Kymco brings IRS to its largest displacement ATV.

The MXU 500 is utility to the core and it comes standard with a front differential lock to help you get up, over and through just about anything. Front and rear suspension each provides 7.5 inches of travel, while large 4-ply Kenda Pathfinder tires help to give you an impressive 10.2 inches of ground clearance. You can carry what you need along for the ride on cargo racks with a combined load capacity of 300 pounds (100 front, 200 rear).

Limited Edition Models

Historically, we haven’t seen much in the way of limited edition ATVs from smaller manufacturers – typically this has been the domain of a select few major off-road producers. Kymco, however, saw the chance to offer its customers some extras they’d normally only find on more expensive, high displacement ATVs and bundle them together in an affordable package.

For 2010, Kymco is offering three limited edition models: the MXU 500 IRS 4×4 LE ($6,999), MXU 375 IRS 4×4 LE ($5,999), UXV 500 4×4 LE ($9,499).

Both the MXU 500 and 375 limited edition models come in basic black and feature a 2,500-pound Kymco winch and alloy rims, along with Kolpin Powersports rear contoured cargo box, gear grips, and side-view mirror handguards. Each of these limited edition packages costs $700 more than the base models.

Black paint and alloy wheels highlight the LE package for the MXU 500 and 375.Black paint and alloy wheels highlight the LE package for the MXU 500 and 375.

The UXV 500 side-by-side was a hit when it was released last year and Kymco has kicked it up a notch with the UXV 500 LE. It comes with a Kymco/Warn 3,000-pound winch, alloy rims, gear rail package, gas pack, and a full soft enclosure and windshield from Seizmik. Like the MXU LE models, the UXV 500 LE comes in basic black, but there is nothing basic about this way this unit looks. With the $1,300 LE upgrade, the UXV 500 is absolutely eye-catching.

The LE package takes the UXV 500 to whole new level.The LE package takes the UXV 500 to whole new level.

Related Reading 2010 Kymco MXU 500 IRS Revealed 2009 Kymco Mongoose 300 Review



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