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KYMCO Venox 250 Cruiser Review
Rider Test & Review 3 – Rider: Andrea

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KYMCO Venox 250 Cruiser
“Try it out as your first bike and you will be impressed!” – Andrea

I was really excited to have the opportunity to try a motorcycle that is not only brand new but also new to Canada. I have only recently heard of the Kymco brand, although the company has been in business for over 40 years. After testing their new Venox motorcycle I was surprised that they haven’t tried to break into the North American market sooner.

My expectations of the Venox were actually quite low, considering that Kymco is not a well-known name and the MSRP for the bike is…well…cheap.

My first impressions completely turned my assumptions around. What I saw in front of me was a much larger machine than what I was expecting (it is only a 250 cc) and the fit and finish was much better than the price would let on.

The Venox seems so much more substantial than other 250 cc bikes on the market.

I was expecting that the Kymco Venox would be similar in size to the Honda Rebel. However, I was so pleasantly surprised with the size of the Venox; it has a medium-sized frame and the entire bike teases you by looking more like a 500 cc bike. By walking around it and looking closer at each of the parts of the bike I would honestly say that it does not resemble a 250 cc at all. This was probably the most impressive part of the Venox; the bike seems so much more substantial than other 250 cc bikes on the market.

For the price of the bike I must say that Kymco did not cheap out on the parts. I was pleased to see that they were able to include a solid rear rim, even though it was not chrome. The solid rim along with the cast front rim looked very sharp. Being a cruiser, of course there is some chrome on the bike and in my personal opinion it is just enough to set off the entire look. Some of the chrome on the bike is actually plastic, but for the price I certainly don’t mind. The paint job of the bike we test rode was incredible; the paint was black with metallic dark blue flake making it more impressive than just plain black. The actual feeling of all the controls (throttle, starter, turn signals, etc.) was well beyond what I was expecting and I would go as far as to say that they are better quality controls compared to other bikes in the Venox’s price range.

Now that my initial impression was out of the way, the next step was to start up the bike and see what it was like when it was idling. The first thing I noticed was that the bike sounded quite throaty, just like a cruiser should sound. When revving the throttle I was super pleased with the sound the bike produced and noticed that it was not overly loud. There was also very little vibration due to idling.

When I jumped on the bike the first thing that came to mind was how comfortable the seat was.

When I jumped on the bike the first thing that came to mind was how comfortable the seat was. I know that cruisers are renowned for their comfy seats, but the Venox’s seat was over the top. It was well beyond what I was expecting. Before taking off for the ride I was familiarizing myself with all the controls and everything seemed to be as it should be. The speedometer is on the top of the tank and there is no tachometer. The foot pegs are in a very comfortable position and I could already tell just from sitting on the bike that the ride would be enjoyable due to the comfort of the seating position.

Taking off for the first time was a little tricky for me. I am not used to having to rev an engine high to get going, but since this bike is a 250 cc it is necessary to do so. I must admit I had some troubles finding the sweet spot too. It always seemed to be later in the clutch than I had expected. The bike definitely appreciates a higher rev when taking off , which is not unlike any other 250 cc bike. If I let off the throttle too much when trying to take off the bike would get a very slow start (to the point that it would feel like it almost wanted to stall). However, once I rode the bike for a few minutes in city traffic (starting and stopping) I felt that I had the sweet spot under control and I was much more comfortable riding it.

The fit and finish was much better than the price would let on.

The bike has great pick-up to get itself going and I sure love the sound it produces when accelerating. I had a leisurely ride around the neighbourhood before hitting the main roads and I must say it was a very relaxing tour. Once I hit the main roads I was given the chance to see what kind of power the bike has. I am not one to accelerate hard whether in car or on motorcycle, so with my normal acceleration I found that the Venox had adequate power. Shifting is very simple and the brakes are well tuned for a cruiser.

The bike is easy to handle thanks to its lightweight design and low centre of gravity. I rode the bike when it had an entirely full tank of gas (14 litres) and it was not at all top heavy. In a parking lot I practiced slow manoeuvres and loved how the bike could turn on a dime. Cracking u-turns was a breeze and because the bike is so light I never felt that it was out of control during any of my slow speed testing.

Heading back to the road I decided to hit the freeway. I must say I was nervous about trying to get up to speed due to the 250 cc engine. I entered the inner city freeway from a standard on-ramp (not very downhill) and, without using full throttle, brought the bike to the speed limit of 100 km/h by using only the first 3 gears. During this hard acceleration I did notice that the seat of the bike started vibrating, but after up-shifting out of third gear those vibrations dissipated. I shifted from second to third at about 85 km/h and then shifted into fourth only after surpassing the speed limit.

The bike is easy to handle thanks to its lightweight design and low centre of gravity.

The freeway I was on had some gentle uphill climbs ahead so I stayed in fourth gear in order to keep my speed steady. Once I hit the flat part of the freeway I shifted into fifth and enjoyed the cruising. I did notice that fourth gear was better when following city traffic on the freeway. As traffic speed fluctuated between 90-105 km/h I found that fourth gear would respond to the speed changes better than fifth. To me, fifth gear was strictly a cruising gear and not to be used for accelerating.

I would have no problem riding long distances on the highway with the Venox because at no point did I have to go full throttle and yet I was able to keep up well with the speed limit. Also, since the seat is so comfortable I could not see myself tiring of riding over long distances.

Overall I had an extremely pleasant experience with the Venox. My concern about the bike only being a 250 cc went completely down the drain when I saw the physical size of the bike and I realised that the bike has more than enough power to do what I would need. The bike is definitely suited to city riding but with my experience on the freeway I believe you could easily take this bike on a trip. I know most North Americans are biased against small-engined bikes such as this one, but the Venox is not one to write off just because it is a 250 cc. I think it is a great bike to start on, but I could also see people continuing to ride it for many years down the road. As I mentioned before, the Venox is of a substantial size and it feels like a bigger bike than it is. As a result, I could see people starting off on this bike and not feel like they instantly had to buy a bigger bike to fit into the biker community.

Try it out as your first bike and you will be impressed!

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