A high-octane ATV was not Kymco’s intention with the Maxxer 375. It is a sport 4×4 and is directed at a market where only a couple manufacturers have a hold, including the Polaris Scrambler 500, Yamaha’s Wolverine 450, and Can-Am’s Renegade 500 and 800. Along with its much cheaper 6k price tag and a novice rider attraction, we think Kymco has made a big step up in 2010.
The Maxxer was solid in the mud, which helped us when racing in the Yadkin Valley GNCC. It rained for nearly four days before the race, and the Maxxer felt right at home for most of it.
POWER TO THE MAX?
At just under 367cc, the Maxxer’s single overhead cam, four-valve, single-cylinder, air-cooled engine does not offer an overwhelming amount of power. On long straights, it was only pulling about 40 mph. For an entry-level rider, this is plenty of juice, but good novice riders will start to ask for more. On tighter, more technical trails, the low-end power provides a fun ride.
The CVT transmission features a low and high range as well as neutral and reverse. This setup is good for learning riders, and it makes good use of the engine’s power. It seems to be smooth and reliable.
Having 4×4 capabilities on a sport quad is where it’s at. The Kymco features a selectable-on-the-go 2WD/4WD function. There is not a front differential lock feature. The Maxxer 375 made its way through deep mud sections and water crossings that a two-wheel-drive sport quad would have issues with. A few problems did come up, though. The Maxxer, as well as Kymco’s now IRS-equipped MXU 500, have a poor vent location for the clutch. It is found towards the bottom of the plastic cover and is very susceptible to moisture. If you spend a lot of time 4x4ing, you most definitely will get that area wet.
The Maxxer powerplant consists of a liquid-cooled, 367cc, single-overhead cam, four-valve, single-cylinder motor.
SUSPENSION & MORE
The Maxxer’s chassis offers an overall length of 83 inches, a width of 43.4 inches and a height of 46.9 inches. The Maxxer weighs 590 pounds and is really close in size to Yamaha’s Wolverine 450.
Both the front and rear of the Maxxer 375 offers a double A-arm setup that provides seven inches of wheel travel. A rear swaybar limits body roll. The chassis is based on the MXU375’s, but the Maxxer has a wider stance thanks to its longer A-arms.
The Maxxer rides well. It feels much lighter than it is, and the IRS doesn’t cause it to lean during hard cornering.
Mounted on cast aluminum wheels are 23×8-12 Maxxis M609s up front, and 23×10-12 in the rear. Traction was plenty, especially in the loose, muddy sections of our test course. The ten inches of ground clearance helped in the mud department as well.
Bringing the sport 4×4 to a halt are dual-hydraulic discs up front and a single-hydraulic disc in the rear. They worked well, but we had a few problems with the right brake foot pedal getting stuck from mud. Luckily, the unit has two hand-brake controls. The Maxxer’s engine braking also slows the machine controllably down hills.
The Maxxer feels much more like a sport quad than a 4×4. It offers a comfortable ride with plenty of room for your legs. Plus, hand-to-control ergonomics are ideal.
The handlebars feature an instrument panel with a graphic fuel gauge, digital speedometer, trip meter and clock. Lighting is good as well, with two front 35-watt headlights and a tail/brake light.
There’s not much storage space available, but a rear rack and a small luggage rack are available options. The Maxxer can pull more than its weight as a work machine, too, since it comes with a two-inch hitch receiver.
The Maxxer’s 590-pound chassis offers an overall length of 83 inches, width of 43.4 inches and height of 46.9 inches. The underside has complete plastic skid plate coverage as well.
YADKIN VALLEY STOMP GNCC
To further test Kymco’s Maxxer 375 sport 4×4, we sent Associate Editor Brad Howe to Yadkinville, North Carolina, to compete in the Yadkin Valley Stomp GNCC. “The 4×4 Lites class was my choice for competing. It consisted primarily of 500cc 4x4s and a few Renegade machines. The flag dropped, and my line was off through a series a tight turns, which played in my favor. I was overpowered off the line, and the quick back and forth section had me heading into the woods in a mid-pack position. From there on out, I stayed my pace and focused mainly on evaluating the Maxxer.
“Unfortunately, the race ended one lap early for me. The Maxxer we raced had only been in the States for a few days. It arrived a day before the 2010 intro, and went straight from the intro to Yadkinville, with only minor adjustments. The right front tie-rod became loose and bent when my front tire slammed into a deep corner.
“Over the two hours I was running on course, the Maxxer had very few problems. The motor took a beating, and ran solid throughout. It is not blistering fast, though. I ride at an intermediate-type level, and the Maxxer is best at a novice-type pace.
“The rear IRS system worked well. I had plenty of ground clearance, and I never felt off balance throughout the race. The front suspension needs work. Even after stiffening the shocks to its highest level, it was still too soft for my 180-pound body. When pulling in the brakes, the front end would dive much faster than it should have, which is just not right. Aside from that, the Maxxer was a comfortable and surprisingly fun ride in the woods. There are plenty of rookie riders that would have fun and learn quickly aboard the Maxxer.”
At $5999, the Kymco Maxxer 375 is the lowest-priced sport 4×4, but it’s also the smallest machine in the class. Yamaha’s $6399, 421cc Wolverine 450 is closest in size and price, and the larger Polaris Scrambler 500 sells for the same $6399. Can-Am’s $8049 V-twin Renegade 500 is not for the same novice rider as Kymco’s Maxxer.
Overall, we came away impressed with Kymco’s new Maxxer sport 4×4. It is not meant for the advanced rider, but for the beginner to novice trail technician. It is tough, and aside from a minor failure, it would have finished a tough GNCC race.