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2022 Matte Deep Blue Kymco AK 550
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Finally got to personally see and touch one of these elusive AK 550 scooters. Actually two of them, both 2021 models, one in each color.
Just some initial impressions minus a test ride.
Had a very nice visit with the owner/manager of First Turn motorcycle dealer in Scott, LA just outside of Lafayette (visiting with my son and family). Bill Young does like to talk and walked me through what he knew about the AK and I also mentioned a few things he didn't know but I knew from my own research.

I put each up on the center stand and could easily tell they are a lot lighter than my Burgman. They practically jumped up onto the center stand and the first time I ended up with the AK sliding back along the floor from the momentum when I popped it up. Keep in mind I come from learning center stand technique when I owned a 1990 GL1500 Gold Wing. That heavy beast became relatively easy after much practice so anything that came after it is like nothing to pop up on the center stand. I also put up both side and center stand and pushed the AK around the floor a bit. It was definitely easier to maneuver around.

LOTS of raining happening about this time around Lafayette so no test ride was happening. This dealer didn't yet have an AK ready for demo so he didn't want to allow test rides anyway. I wasn't prepared to test ride so no big deal to me this time. I did sit on both of them while up on the center stand and also when off the stands. I could tell the seat was just a little bit taller than my Burgman 650 with Corbin seat but not really much. I actually had to think about it before I really noticed. That may be more due to my Corbin seat being different than the stock Burgman seat. I did notice that my reach to the floor was just a bit farther on the AK than it is on my Burgman. Depending on how I sat on the seat and if I scooted up a little toward the nose I could still flat foot on both feet but if I sat back in seat as I would while riding I could only flat foot one side but still have most of my other foot solidly on the floor (heel was only up a very little). But with feet on the foot boards was where I felt more room. I really wanted to see how the AK "fits" me. How much leg and knee room there was. I adjusted the bum stop all the way back and found that with my feet on the level part of the foot board there was no less room than on my Burgman, possibly even a little more. I really didn't feel my knees were bent as much on the AK 550 as I normally bend them on my Burgman, less in fact! The few times I put my feet on the flat level part of the foot boards of my Burgman I have felt my knees were sticking up almost like I was sitting on a chair that was just a little short for me. Not so on the AK! And there was more than enough room between my knees and the closest part of the front fairing/dash. There was plenty of room also with my feet up on the slanted forward part of the foot board. I was thinking at first that there was just a little more reach and I could straighten my legs a bit more on my Burgman but then I realized I was scooted up on the seat and I had some space behind me to scoot back some more. I really could stretch my legs almost as much as on my Burgman. It was hard to tell much difference to me. I also noted how my arms reached to the grips and that was almost exactly the same as on my Burgman IMO. I'm 5 ft 9 in tall (175 cm) and have a 32 inch inseam (81 cm). These details were what I was most wanting to find out about the AK 550.

Out of curiosity I mentioned about the long range of the fob and Bill (owner) helped me test that theory to see just what the range was with a new fob with a fresh battery. Now, I know that once the AK is turned on the fob is not needed to start the bike, lock the steering, open the seat or fuel door. But the issue comes in with the AK turned off and the fob IS needed to turn it on. So he took the fob and backed away about 15 ft at first. No problem turning on the AK. He doubled that distance a few times and finally got to a place about 60 ft away and the AK would not sense the fob and would not turn on. We found out that the straight line distance with nothing between but air was between 45-50 ft and the AK would then turn on. I know that is the distance since the floor has 12 inch tiles and I counted them (Bill was straight out along a line of tiles so it was an easy count). And THAT is the only concern I have that I've mentioned before and why I would feel much more comfortable tent camping with that fob in a Faraday pouch. As was said elsewhere that once the AK is turned on (unlocked?) you can open the seat and fuel door and start the engine, all without the fob. I also did some learning about that control knob. Found out that you cannot open the seat or (correction) fuel door while the engine is running. Sorry to those who just think they HAVE to be able to fuel up the tank with the engine running. It's a safety measure that I agree with and have no issues with. The reason that you can't is that to open the fuel door you have to turn the control past the engine shutoff position, thus killing the engine, to get to the fuel door position. For the seat the on button at the bottom center of the control knob doesn't do anything unless it is pointing to one of the two engine shutoff positions. (correction) You have to turn the control knob past engine shutoff to lock the handlebars. If the bike is still turned on while the knob is at the steering lock you can turn it to the next position to the left to open the seat. So that can be done while the steering lock is enabled. All this can be done with the AK turned on. When the AK is turned off (control knob and engine and dash all turned off) the knob just spins free and you cannot operate any of the settings like steering lock on/off, seat open, fuel door open, engine start, etc. All in all I thought all that was well thought out other than the range of that fob.

Only the Space Gray AK was prepped with the battery installed so that was the one I turned on. Bill even started it and let me hear the exhaust sound for a little while even inside the showroom. I really like how it sounds with the stock setup.

Now I want one more than before. Can't wait until I can test ride one next week. That would seal my decision. But alas, I still need to sell my Burgman 650. Anyone want to buy it? I have it posted in the for sale section. 😁

Here's a few photos of my visit today. In these photos I am not solidly back into the bum bumper and could push back about another inch+ even if it doesn't look like it.
Wheel Tire Photograph Vehicle Motor vehicle
Wheel Tire Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive lighting
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Vehicle Motor vehicle
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive lighting
 

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Excellent report, Bob!

Did he say anything about getting a ‘22 in blue? Or really anything at all about the’22s?

It looks like I’d be okay with leg room, given my 29-30” inseam. I never really have a problem with feet down on the Execs (although I certainly felt more solid, especially two-up, on the very low Victory, even if it did weigh almost 300 lbs. more).

Did you find the bars to be lower, or farther away, especially when you scooched back? It sort of looks like your arms are aiming down and no bent much. I like my forearms parallel to the ground, and with some bend in them. I’ve added risers/barbacks to most of my rides over the years, including my latest Exec (which meant ditching the cover and rerouting assorted lines). Scooters are particularly resistant to such mods, what with all their tupperware. My favorite for this was the Vic, as I swapped out the stock bars for the ultra-adjustable Heli-Bars.
 
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It looks very compact. It seems designed for smaller Asian men. But to each their own.
 

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2022 Matte Deep Blue Kymco AK 550
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
@wspollack , The reach and feel of the bars were just the same as on my Burgman 650... to me. I do find my arms are aiming a little down like this on my Burgman. No adding risers on the AK however since the bars are connected to the top triple tree entirely differently than on any other bike I've seen. Each half ends in a threaded stud that goes straight down into the top triple tree and is fastened with a nut on the under side of that. There is a cross bar welded on just at those studs to stabilize them. Would have to be something I have yet to find to provide the same function as a riser. An adapter perhaps that extends that threaded stud end? Your reach to the bars really depends on your torso and arm length rather than your inseam. Inseam determines reach to the floor from the seat, but torso and arm length determines reach to bars as well as how high you see over, or through, the shield. Both of these AK 550 bikes had the shield installed at the lower setting. I was thinking as I sat on it that the shield was perfect for summer season riding. I would likely move the shield to the upper setting for winter riding... which I still do. And by that I mean when temps are consistently below freezing.

Oh, and he didn't mention anything about getting the 2022 models. Though he did say he really likes that bronze colored one that some other countries got.

@Uncle Fester , While the overall length is 4 inches less than the Burgman 650 the wheelbase is only 0.2 inches less. So not really all that much shorter. Just less "tail" hanging out back. I guess I'm the same as those smaller Asian men, though I've always thought of myself as being average worldwide which is more likely what Kymco was aiming for... other than perhaps being just a little larger around the middle. I know I am taller than the average Asian man just barely. I felt while sitting on it that there was plenty of room. Just the same as I feel when riding my Burgman 650. Very comfortable.
 

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Sounds like a good name for a rocknroll band: Scuff The Hump.
 

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@rjs987: I’m 5’9”, what I think is average height and torso. Decades ago, when I would occasionally wear dress shirts, I think my sleeve length was 33 or 34”.

Sounds like if you fit then I’d fit.

Oh, BTW, my ‘97 Beemer had 3 or 4 bolts connecting the handlebars to the triple tree on each side. Outfits sold risers that were in the form of flat plates that went in between there (with longer bolts).
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@DarisPakar , I did pay some attention to the effort to step through... over the hump. Obviously it is a higher hump than the Burgman has. Only once did I... um... hump scuff. But just a little since I was paying attention and I didn't want to mar the brand spanking new scooter for the dealer. That just wouldn't feel right. But it wasn't very hard to step over the hump. Maybe when I'm older and just simply cannot lift my leg much at all, but then I'd be unable to step over much of anything to be honest.

@wspollack , where have you been? Elsewhere in this forum there are a few threads about this and someone coined the phrase "hump scuffers" as well as initiated a very special group by that name. It's a very elite group to be a part of. Daris even posted about a product to help eliminate hump scuffs. He's very famous for that.
 

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@DarisPakar , I did pay some attention to the effort to step through... over the hump. Obviously it is a higher hump than the Burgman has. Only once did I... um... hump scuff. But just a little since I was paying attention and I didn't want to mar the brand spanking new scooter for the dealer. That just wouldn't feel right. But it wasn't very hard to step over the hump. Maybe when I'm older and just simply cannot lift my leg much at all, but then I'd be unable to step over much of anything to be honest.

@wspollack , where have you been? Elsewhere in this forum there are a few threads about this and someone coined the phrase "hump scuffers" as well as initiated a very special group by that name. It's a very elite group to be a part of. Daris even posted about a product to help eliminate hump scuffs. He's very famous for that.
It reminded me of Mott The Hoople.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm actually rather short wasted IMO. Per my Tux measurements from my son's wedding in 2011 my sleeve measurement is 34". Ergonomics is such tricky business! 😳
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The handlebar and top triple tree connection from the service manual.
Motor vehicle Font Automotive exterior Engineering Auto part
 
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it looked to me line the foot part may be a bit wider than the burgman, your shoe looks to be completely inside and protected form weather, I have a small foot (size 7 triple e width, kinda like a duck but with more toes) and my shoe hangs out in the rainstream, is the footwell wider?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
it looked to me line the foot part may be a bit wider than the burgman, your shoe looks to be completely inside and protected form weather, I have a small foot (size 7 triple e width, kinda like a duck but with more toes) and my shoe hangs out in the rainstream, is the footwell wider?
My feet are medium width... at least by shoe sizing. The foot boards are about the same width as the Burgman 650 from what I could tell. Maybe up to 1/4 inch wider. Definitely not as long on either the level section as well as the angled section. On my Burgman the angled section is about 1.25 times as long as on the AK. The level section is about 1.5 times as long on the Burgman vs. the AK.

I wasn't sure what I would think about the way the transition from level to angled has a step/notch in it on the AK vs. how the Burgman is simply a bend from level to angled. That step/notch serves to provide a little more room for my toes on the level section. Most of the time on my Burgman I ride with the ball of my foot on the angle and my heal on the level. It did seem more comfortable and natural to me to put my foot entirely on the angled section on the AK... as well as fully on the level section. But since that level section on the AK is shorter there wasn't as much length to move my feet forward or back. I could still do that, just not as much as on my Burgman. It was rare that I did use all the level section anyway so no deal breaker there. Still can move my feet up or back or in between. That step/notch turned out to be invisible to my feet as far as where I placed my feet. It really is something you have to try out to see if it works for you... just like features of any bike for any rider. I felt my feet would be well protected IMO. Different feet on different riders so YMMV!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I noticed one neat thing while looking at some very closeup photos of the back plastic panels and confirmed when I sat on it at the dealer. On all the black plastic panels that have an etched texture pattern in the surface if you look very very closely you'll see that the texture is nothing other than a whole lot of very small "AK" initials in all directions etched in the plastic.That is on the side plastic behind the dash and under the handlebar cover as well as the middle plastic behind the windshield and other places as well.

I thought that was cool. :cool:
 
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Did you scuff the hump or have to use more effort to step thru ?
I like the AK a lot and is really the "Long Ranger" in it's class in the US, but IMO is not a step thru at all, wich is kinda a turn off for me.
Both my scooters (Burg400+SW600) are at the limit of what a comfortable "Hump" step thru should be IMO. One of the reasons I gave up regular bikes is not having to swing/raise leg too high to mount.
Maybe there's other techniques to master the "Hump" 🐪, :unsure:
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm not there yet when I need the flat floor that is on my wife's Metropolitan or on a Vespa or on a Kymco Like 150i. I can still kick a heel over the seat of my Burgman when I travel... which is how I have to climb on since I have a stack of dry bags on the pillion and another small dry bag in the hump tunnel that comes up even with the seat. But most of the time I do like not having to swing my leg over the seat or lift it too far up to climb aboard. That was one of the things I was looking to try out when I sat on the AK 550 and I'm OK with it. I agree that it is not a true step "through" since there is a hump. But even a SWing or Burgman 400 are not either even if they are a lower hump to step over. At least there is not a gas tank in the way. The AK was not too high to step over for me and was easy for me to step over the hump even if it was just a little higher than on my Burgman 650.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Finally found a similar photo of me on my first 2005 Burgman 650 to compare with the same of me on the AK 550. I notice that my leg is really not much straighter on my Burgman with my feet forward than with my feet in the same location on the AK. And from the space at my toes (almost none) and space below my heel when looking at both these photos make it look like both the Burgman 650 and AK 550 are the same actually for the slanted part of the foot board. Now this comparison is with the stock Burgman seat. The Corbin seat on my current Burgman does set back just a little more (similar to removing the bum bumper on the stock seat) so I can put my feet in the same place as shown here but straighten my legs perfectly straight while making the reach to the grips a bit far away. Also, just to reiterate what initially reported, I still had a little space behind my bum while I was sitting on the AK and could push back a little more into the bum bumper.

You can also see here the reach and arm positioning on a stock Burgman is almost but not quite level whereas my arms are more slanted down on the AK. But I found that I was still comfortable with that. The fairing and dash of the AK makes the bars look much lower than they really are. I'll be able to tell a little better when I test ride the AK next week as I'll be paying more attention to that as well as seat comfort while rumbling down the road.

But the thing that I was noticing here is more about the leg positioning.

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As far as the compactness maybe is is just adjusting to what we are familiar with. Whenever I replaced my car there was always an adjustment time getting use to the somewhat different controls. Even for me getting used to the different color dash lights!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Was just discussing with my wife about color. She usually holds sway on that issue. While we were out and about I pointed out another vehicle that was about the same color as the Space Gray and mentioned that the Silver color available was a MATT Silver which makes it have a somewhat rough texture, not glossy and smooth, and also means harder to clean since special cleaners should be used. The normal stuff we use to clean cars and bikes will ruin the finish of a MATT paint. She agreed and said she doesn't like MATT finishes.

So I guess that means Space Gray it is! Now that's settled I need to get past her the idea that the only used AK 550 I've found is the Matt Silver Crystal. And there is only one that I've found that is available to me so far. It looks like NEW is what I'll end up with unless a Space Gray used AK shows up by the time I sell my Burgman. Even then, the lowest price I've seen new or used is at Hall's for the 2021 models. More likely closer to $7950 by the time fees and documentation and destination and other fees are added in... Not counting shipping to my home. I would have no issues riding a used bike home from where ever but don't want to ride a brand new bike home unless I can buy it less than the first oil change interval away. Then there's the new 2022 option from Ultimate Cycle in Powhatan, VA that would end up at $8955 OTD plus $500 for shipping since that isn't usually included in any calculation of fees. Or perhaps I can go new at the dealer in Arlington, next to Chicago, which is only 450+ miles away... if I can get them to deal on the price.
 
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