A GOOD STARTING POINT
Kymco is one of the biggest and best of the Taiwanese-based ATV manufacturers. Their quad product line consists of everything from their Mongoose 50 up to their biggest model, the MXU 500. Since Kymco is the largest scooter manufacturer in Taiwan, their mini quads also benefit from their expertise at building reliable engines for those vehicles.
The Mongoose 50 4T is their youth mini quad aimed at the six-years-old and up crowd. It features a rugged 49cc, single overhead cam (SOHC) fan cooled, four-stroke engine, with a CVT style fully automatic transmission, a wide 35-inch width, stock floorboards, and drum brakes up front with a disc brake located on the back end. Best of all, the Kymco Mongoose 50 sells for a reasonable $1699.
HOW IT COMPARES TO THE COMPETITION
In the battle of the pocketbooks, the Kymco 50 4T has the advantage over its more familiar Japanese and Polaris rivals. At $1699, it is lower priced than the ’07 Yamaha Raptor 50 at $2199, the Polaris Predator 50 at $1999, the ’07 Suzuki QuadSport Z50 at $1899, and the ’07 Kawasaki KFX50 at $1749.
Price without reliability is no bargain, but the Kymco factory feels that their product is on par with the competition and, in their view, maybe even superior. They back up their claims with a 12-month limited warranty on their product, while their aforementioned competitors only offer a six-month warranty for their machines. Lower price and longer warranty? This bears checking into.
Kymco has addressed the need for safety on a beginner quad with a stock engine cut-off lanyard which a parent can use while their child learns the ropes of off-road riding. The Kymco 50 also comes with the standard throttle and speed limiter that let the parent decide when junior is ready for more speed. Once your child has mastered the basics, it is relatively easy to get the Kymco 50 running at a clip that won’t bore your young charger into tears.
You can, occasionally, judge a book by it cover. The Kymco 50 quad runs strong and during our long test sessions was very durable and rugged. We ran it wide open from the time we got it, and have not had so much as a hiccup out of it yet.
START AND GO
To get the motor fired up, the Kymco 50 comes with an electric starter and a backup kickstart. The electric starter worked fine but the kick starter might be a bit much for a smaller six-year-old to operate. With the ease-of-use CVT transmission, there is no shifting, so your child will only need to concentrate on riding.
Full floorboards offer up a wide area to stand on, and the Kymcos are wide, with lots of gripping teeth, to keep a youngsters feet on them where they belong. The relationship of the seat, handlebars, and floorboards is well thought out.
It uses a chain-driven rear end to get power to the ground and comes with a set of Maxxis AT 16×8-7 tires with steel rims. The brakes are operated by a pair of handlebar levers with no foot brake pedal. Dry weight is 221 pounds, which is well above the Suzuki Z-50 at 167 pounds but under the Raptor 50’s hefty 237 pounds.
In the suspension department, the Kymco 50 has a single A-arm front end with dual, independent front shocks with 2.5 inches of travel. On the back end, a single shock swingarm suspension is standard equipment. It also offers up 2.5 inches of travel. Unlike its Japanese counterparts, though, the Kymco 50 does have adjustable preload settings for both the front and back end.
(Left) While there is not a lot of travel available with the single A-arm front suspension (2.5 inches), it does have adjustible pre-load. (Right) A single shock swingarm rear suspension on the Kymco 50 has adjustible preload and 2.5 inches of travel.
Our youngest charges liked the simple durability and ease-of-use that the Kymco 50 4T delivered. It was very easy to get on and get up to speed in no time at all. The fully automatic CVT tranny took some throttle and rpm to get moving, but once it kicked in, the machine moved right along.
It was not zippy or snappy power, more mellow and high revving, until it hit the throttle limiter. The machine’s handling was very predictable and smooth. No sudden jarring, or veering off course. Point it straight ahead and gas it. The wide chassis helped contribute to this feeling of predictability in the steering. It went where you pointed it.
The suspension, while not exactly long travel, held up well and kept the machine on a straight course. The overall ride was fairly comfortable, especially for a machine this size. Braking was judged very good, and the rear disc was especially noteworthy. It had good feel and much better stopping power than a comparable drum-braked machine.
We had our testers put in a lot of full throttle time aboard the Kymco 50. We were looking to see if we would need to avail ourselves of their longer term warranty. Zip. Nada. It didn’t so much as hiccup during the course of our lengthy motos. Even with our most hardened thumb throttle jockeys aboard, the Kymco 50 came out smelling like a rose. That, combined with its attractive price point, makes it a good buy in our book.
2007 KYMCO MONGOOSE 50
|Engine type: Single Overhead Cam, fan cooled, 4-stroke
Transmission: CVT automatic
Final drive: Chain
Fuel capacity: 1.4 gal.
Ground clearance: 5.7″
Claimed dry weight: 221 lb.
Colors: Red, yellow, blue, white
Front: Single A-arm, w/2.5″ travel
Rear: Swingarm w/2.5″ travel
Front: Dual drum
Rear: Single disc
Front: Maxxis AT 16×8-7
Rear: Maxxis AT 16×8-7
Retail price: $1699
Mfr./Distr: Kymco USA: (919) 656-6315 or www.kymcousa.com