Sunday, 12 July 2015 06:00

A workman-like package

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Kymco side-by-sides is a new brand but worth a look. Kymco side-by-sides is a new brand but worth a look.

The New Zealand market for off-road vehicles seems to know no boundaries, and over the last few years we have seen an evolution of quads into a new category called side-by-sides well suited to NZ farming practice.

The normal layout is usually two seats, a rear load tray and an all-important roll cage.

Kymco is a relatively new name on the scene in NZ, but its parent company has a history that dates back over 60 years. Originally a parts supplier to the Honda Corporation, Kymco in 1963 set out on its own journey. Today it has about 3000 employees who produce around 850,000 units annually, exported to 80 countries. The NZ company was formed in 2013, and now has 19 dealers, and plans for major expansion in the next two years

So what of the machines? Its UXV 500i is one of the most popular in the range and well suited to farming. It is powered by a DOHC liquid cooled engine developing 36hp, coupled to a belt drive CVT transmission offering hi and lo ranges and a top speed of 70km/h. A full frame steel chassis supports independent A-arm suspension units front and rear for good ground adaption and operator comfort and has around 310mm ground clearance. Drive capability is taken care of by selectable 2WD or 4WD on-the-go and traction is enhanced by diff locks to the front and rear.

Braking is by dual disc brakes at front and a single hydraulic disc at rear. Both systems are aided by the engine braking function of the CVT unit.

Towing capacity is 550kg, and the manual tip rear load tray can carry 190kg.

Operators are protected by a roll cage, seat-belts and headrests, and are seated in bucket style seats either side of a central console that houses the gear shift lever. 

Optional comfort extras include roof, windscreen, wipers and winch systems, all readily available. 

The vehicle also has sealed storage areas for the odds and sods needed during a farming day.

The Kymco offers a workman-like package, and though not one of the better-known brands is worth a closer look.


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