2018 KYMCO Like 150i First Ride Review: Retro Reborn

Date posted on March 18, 2020
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The all-new KYMCO Like 150i ABS possesses a stunning design of a modern scooter with futuristic-retro style. It was named the 2017 Best Scooter in the USA at the prestigious Motorcycle.com Awards for its modern features and performance, unprecedented for a lightweight scooter category.

It is powered by KYMCO’s newly-designed 4V technology engine, which has an increase of 1.4kW to the power of its predecessor, making it the best in its class. It provides a smooth and linear output throughout its power band. The roller rocker arm in the engine reduces friction within the valve driving system, while the lightweight cylinder head enables the engine to generate more power.

 Capable of high speeds for any urban setting, the Like 150i can run on any full-access highway or cross bridges, complemented by the ease of a twist-and-go automatic transmission and stable yet super light steering.

Wearing both the classic and modern looks, the scooter comes with a modern retro LED headlamp, a highly luminescent full LED tail lamp, a fully digital instrument panel, a glove box compartment with lock and USB charging port, a 12” aluminum alloy wheel and Bosch antilock braking system, and an easy front fuel filler opening. Moreover, its innovative design allows better balance and stability, while exuding European elegance.

 We got to see the prototype sample, the first KYMCO Like, way back in early 2009. We are very close friends with Mr. Gilbert Limjoco of KYMCO Philippines. He allowed us to test ride the KYMCO Like and I immediately got attracted to it because of the styling and especially its price. It was only 70 something thousand pesos then. At that time, the Vespa, the original one, was 200 thousand plus. So, the KYMCO Like was really a bargain.

InsideRACING Magazines’ Mr. Al Camba

 Immediately, I placed an order to Sir Gilbert and because of our good relationship. Actually, the first KYMCO Like unit was given to me. I bought the white unit and then the second one went to Ricci (Richard Abrina). Ricci got the Super 8 two years earlier and is very happy with KYMCO and he also bought a KYMCO Like. And the third unit, I think went to Mr. Ryan Chao of Motoworld. That’s how impactful the first Like was in terms of styling and value for money. I kept the Like for maybe 3 years, using it. That time it comes with a top box. I changed it to a bigger top box and you can actually read our first impression report in InsideRACING Magazine way back in 2009.

Today, 10 years later, good thing that there is the new KYMCO Like 150i. Aside from the styling, the good thing in the 2009 model is that we were already impressed with the braking and the power of the motorcycle. It was only a 125 carburetor model. The braking, although there’s no ABS, was really strong. And the tires are also nice. On top of that, for a price that’s like a Japanese motorcycle, it’s a good feeling that you own something that is retro-styled. With the new version, KYMCO did a very good job.

InsideRACING ‘s Mr. Ricci Abrina

The concerns that I had with the old model, if I could remember, there were only two things. First and foremost is the hard rear suspension and the old KYMCO Like is not that smooth to ride and there was also the high floorboard. But among others, this is the first to have a USB port. And like I said, the brakes are very strong. With the new Like 150i, the styling is actually closer to the inspiration and we cannot deny it, its inspiration is the Vespa scooter. If you compare this Vespa to the new KYMCO Like, they resemble in terms of styling but the KYMCO is better because of the LED lights and its instrument panel is more advanced. Too bad, the unit that we had was the lower version which doesn’t have the Noodoe. The Noodoe is something you can pair your phone with, you can do navigation and facebook.

 The new engine of the Like is already much smoother and more powerful. There are 3 reasons and these are fuel injection, 4 valves and of course it’s bigger at 150cc. It’s much smoother and more powerful. Acceleration is really impressive. In fact, comparing it with the Vespa that we have which is less than 3000km, it runs better. And one thing I also like about the new KYMCO Like is its stability.

I felt more stable riding the new Like probably because of the size of the wheels and the geometry is more relaxed. Mentally, the new Like is not tiring. The Vespa is a bit twitchy but it’s not that bad. But the new Like is much more relaxed to use. And of course the price is good. We really like the styling resembling the Vespa. Even the seat now has a different color. Mine was also white, I had to modify the seats and modify some to look like retro. And what I liked about this is that the new Like has many metal chrome trimmings. The group chrome trims at the side of the foot body work is continuous and it’s metal. It’s not chrome plastic anymore. Also the rear grab reel, from plastic now it is chrome like the Vespa. Of course the instrument panel is much nicer and there is a fuel gauge, voltmeter and most importantly the ABS Indicator, because this new Like has an ABS from Bosch. So, safety-wise it’s very good.

The old Like has strong brakes. This new Like still has strong brakes but is much safer to use because of the ABS. Now in terms of the suspension that I mentioned a while ago, the complaint I had with the old one is now gone, this new Like is much smoother to ride. Before we were searching for replacement shocks in the old Like, now with this new one you don’t have to. Again, then new Like is smooth to ride like the Vespa. And yet, although the Vespa has metal monocoque chassis, the new Like has a more solid feeling closer to the metal monocoque chassis feel of the Vespa.

 10 years after, the new Like  still has this proposition that it’s very stylish and you feel like you’re owning something not Asian, it really looks Italian. If you want to be different from the other scooters, the other Japanese scooters, and if you are not a fan of racing or graphics, then the KYMCO Like is for you. It’s elegant; you don’t have to go fast. Just chill. It has this elegant and upscale feeling.

 Congratulations KYMCO! This is a big step up and a lot of old Like owners will upgrade to this new one. And of course it has the same quality of KYMCO. Again, thank you KYMCO Philippines!

by Al Camba