Motorcycle riders have a peculiar custom of giving monikers to their bikes to endow such inanimate objects a sense of personality or character. To get nods of approval from your riding buddies, you should come up with the most original name you can think of. One Taiwanese firm, however, seems to excel in this motorcycle name game – Kwang Yang Motor Co., more commonly known as Kymco, has a knack for “christening” their products with names that seem to come out of nowhere. Some examples from its stable are scooters such as the People, Like and Bet&Win. Their maxi-scooter series called Grand Dink is no exception.
Launched during the 11th Manila International Motor Show, the Grand Dink 300i (G-Dink) is Kymco Philippines’ answer to a new breed of scooter riders who usually run errands around town on weekdays and still like to go on leisurely touring rides in the countryside on weekends. With a length of 2,090 millimeters, width of 770 mm and height of 1,360 mm, the G-Dink has ample presence on the open roads. Yet, it is still small enough to squeeze through gaps in urban traffic.
The G-Dink is powered by a 270-cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine that produces 16 Kw at 7,500 rpm and 22.3 Nm of torque at 7,000 rpm. The engine gives more than enough grunt to propel the 152-kilogram scooter with a 90-kilogram rider to three-digit speeds in under 10 seconds. This enabled me to safely keep up with traffic and to quickly get out of tight spots (like getting caught between two buses competing for passengers).
Even with the G-Dink’s propensity for high performance, it remains frugal enough to serve as a daily commuter. A hundred kilometers on the clock barely consumed a quarter of the 9-liter fuel tank. Speaking of which, the tank is strategically placed under the floorboard to keep center mass low. This contributes to the G-Dink’s surprisingly good handling despite its heft. It also allows for a generous under seat compartment, which is particularly useful during long-distance rides. The said compartment even has a sensor-activated LED light to help you see better as you rummage through your stuff. This brings me to some of the G-Dink’s creature-comfort features.
The saddle can comfortably seat two occupants and it also has a sturdy backrest for the pillion. The grips are raised so the rider can reach the controls even while his back rests on the lumbar support. As far as legroom is concerned, the G-Dink takes the cake. It was possible to move my feet around the flat floorboard and sometimes I even place them forward, cruiser-style. Unlike a cruiser, though, you are not straddling hot chunks of metal between your legs. The plastic panels function as protection from heat permeating from the engine, keeping sensitive parts of my anatomy cool and comfy.
Yet, like a cruiser, the G-Dink’s relatively low 760 mm seat height can accommodate a wider range of riders. Its state-of-the-art fuel-injection system keeps consumption to a minimum, so it is likely that you will deplete your smart phone’s battery first before you can empty a tank of gas. Just plug it in the 12-volt socket and simply leave it inside the cubbyhole as you charge it on the fly.
The G-Dink runs on meaty 120/70 – 140/70 12-inch tubeless rubbers mated to aluminum alloy wheels. A telescopic front fork and 5-way adjustable dual rear shocks help smooth out road imperfections. Once you’re done riding, you can put the bike to a halt via 240mm/200 mm disc brakes on the front and rear. At a suggested retail price of P220,000, you also get a digital instrument panel with a speedometer, odometer, trip meter and a clock. It can also be set to read out numbers in kilometers or miles per hour. Additional safety features include a bar-mounted kill switch, side stand kill switch, a passing light switch and LED running lights.
It may sound like an oxymoron but come to think of it, “Grand Dink” may actually be a befitting name for this maxi-scoot. It is not too dinky, but not so grandiose as well. It is designed to be a luxurious tourer and a practical commuter at the same time, offering the rider the best of both worlds.