In case you haven’t heard, the 125cc class of streetbikes is hot. The Honda Grom kicked off the latest craze, which was followed this year by Kawasaki’s Z125 Pro, as well as a few entries from China. However, all but one of the entries have teenie 12-inch wheels, making the bikes feel a little less than full-grown.
So, in steps Kymco with the 2017 K-Pipe 125 and a pair of 17-inch rims, and we’ve gotta wonder if the wheels will make a noticeable difference. Since customers looking at motorcycles in this category are extremely price-focused, the Kymco offers one significant advantage when compared to the Grom: a $1,999 MSRP versus $3,199 (and $2,999 for the Kawi).
Though the K-Pipe is labeled a 125, its single cylinder displaces 123.7cc. The rest of the mill is pretty pedestrian: air-cooled, carbureted, and SOHC with two valves. The transmission does deserve special note, though. First, the shift pattern has neutral at the bottom instead of between first and second gears, as is the case with all other motorcycles in the U.S., resulting in a N-1-2-3-4 shift pattern. Additionally, the shift lever throw is quite long, which translates into riders having to move their left foot twice as far to change gears as on most motorcycles.
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