One of two machines due for release by Landboss New Zealand at Fieldays is its U550 side by side.
And as discovered during 10 days on farm, the machine was very capable without being too complicated.
At the heart of the UXV, a 695cc SOHC, 4-stroke with four valves per cylinder pushes out a usable 45hp. Electronic injection enables immediate starting and smooth tickover and acceleration through the rev range.
The transmission is a quality CVT with high, low, neutral, reverse and park positions. And a big plus goes to the selection action that is slick, trouble free, positive and achievable even on slopes that impose a load on the transmission. This is much better than many of its classier contemporaries.
Further down the drive line, a rotary dial to the left of the steering wheel allows on-the-fly selection of 2WD, 4WD and 4WD with diff lock.
Out on the farm, the suspension deserves special mention for its independent double A-arm layout in each corner with 7.5 inches of travel.
It uses Kaifa long travel gas shocks with adjustable pre-load, compression and rebound settings normally only found on sports machines. All this combined gives a very supple ride over all types of terrain.
Wheel equipment is 12-inch steels shod with 25-inch Maxxis off road tyres that plugged through mud.
Two people get a good ride in high back bucket seats, and safety is provided by a substantial ROPS frame, door opening nets and inertia reel seat belts with speed inhibitors.
A comprehensive digital display offers information on all key features.
Rated top speed is a capable 87km/h and safe stopping is by dual discs up front and a single disc at the rear.
Living with the machine is easy, given the slick gear selection and well weighted electric power steering. Add to that a centre binnacle that prevents the occupants sliding together, good handgrips for the passenger and the customary cup holders then you get the picture.
Storage in the operator/passenger area is a glovebox to the right, a centre cubby hole and a lidded bin under the driver’s seat, plus a useful bin under the front hood, although it is a little awkward to get to.
Vents at the middle of the centre binnacle release hot air from the engine bay -- ideal for warming hands.
The Kymco easily climbs inclines and safely tackles declines using its excellent engine braking achieved in the low range selection.
The load tray holds 250kg and while it looks a little smaller than its competitors it worked well. It has recessed release levers on each side and gas strut assistance for easy tipping.
Towing capacity is rated at 550kg with a heavy duty 50mm receiver carrying the tow-bar.
Underneath, robust bash plates protect the underside and a well designed driveline helps cleaning with a hose or pressure washer.
The compact dimensions deserve a mention as they make manoeuvring easy in tights spots. Negatives include a badly positioned park brake under the centre of the dashboard, and the lack of a turf setting resulted in marks on the writer’s lawn.
Certainly worth a closer look but make sure you negotiate a windscreen in the deal.
• Kymco set up in 1964
• 3000 employees
• R&D spending 7% of sales revenue
• Output 570,000 vehicles each year
• Presence in 102 countries
• Working alliances with BMW, Kawasaki and Arctic Cat