Being rather persistant payed off 2 weekends ago! Applying a rather constant 186Nm or force directly to the importers left arm carefully placed in an armlock for a few months resulted in a weekend long test ride of a brand spankin' new black 2011 Kymco Downtown 300i with about 5900km (3700 miles) of abuse on its odometer. The idea was to get to know the bike as much as possible on friday afternoon, get as much miles on as many different roads as possible on saturday, and try to use the bike for daily errands and what was thrown my way on sunday, including some 2 up riding with passangers ranging from ~115lbs to 235lbs, added to my 5'11" and 200lbs of pork. [Boring background stuff..] I've test ridden a lot of different scooters in the last 5-6 years. Working at a local scooter shop in 2003 & 2004 resulted in a scooter addiction added to the motorcycle bug that started a long time ago, and that same job (and the next one in a local newspaper) got me some nice test rides for my own benefit, as much as for the mentioned newspaper's car&bike section. When I decided to get into the 'sport' with my first bike, I actually wanted a Burgman 650, but that was way over reasonable budget for a 25 year old on a tight income, so I figured a Kymco Xciting 500 would have to do. I've been carefully watching the Kymco line evolve ever since, but unfortunately my first bike ended up being the Kawasaki ER6F that I still own. ['nuff history, let's get to the review!] I got the call from the dealership that the bike has arrived, some 29 seconds later I was on it, puttin' down a mental not that full throttle launches result in a sideways slide that's NOT a common 300cc scooter trait, but a very welcome party trick! Yes, this thing rolls! The acceleration is right up there with some of the heavier 400 and even 500cc scoots, at least up to around 70mph, which is plenty fast. I've clocked the bike at around 10,5 seconds to 62mph which is one of the worst DT300 results I've seen to date, and can be due to the mentioned period of abuse. The rear brake pads were 90% shot, I assume the roller weights and maybe even the belt was up for replacement, since a newer DT300 with only a few dozen miles that I tried later had much more get up and go and launched at some 500rpms more then the one I had for 'review'. The adjusting period that was to take place on friday afternoon actually took place in the ride from the dealership to my home, which is a 2 mile ride. That was more then enough. The Downtown is one of those bikes that you feel right at home with INSTANTLY. Considering the bike's weight (same as my 650cc kawasaki) I expected a scooter that will be heavy to manouver, and not exactly light on it's feet. Boy was I in for a surprise! This thing changes direction just a fraction slower then my Agility 125 that's virtually half it's size! Thumbs up for Kymco for that one! I suspect small(ish) wheels (14" and 13") have a lot to do with it. A lot of people commented on how those wheels are too small and that Xciting is probably a better choice.. maybe, in some conditions, but overall the Xciting is a fat pig and it shows. Downtown is something else. The 'around town' agility is remarkable. Did I mention the rear tire was half worn? Saturday! Gear up, throw away the $30 half helmet and flip-flops, bring on the Schuberth C2 and proper riding gear! Fill'ed her up, and hit the highway to reach the 'good stuff' as fast as possible, and see how the Downtown performed at speeds over 70mph. Indicated top speed went from 84 to 94mph depending on wind speed and direction. 90mph was possible in most conditions, but considering the 8200rpms showing on the dash, I wouldn't recommend doing that for long periods of time. If I remember correctly, 62mph was at 6000rpms, and 75mph was at 7000rpms. You CAN NOT hear the engine at ANY speed over 30mph, only at WOT. Speaking of noise, the bike sounds a lot more agressive then (for example) the Beverly/BV300ie that I tested recently. Throaty, evil growl way above the 300cc mark. Some might find it even a bit too loud, but it all depends on your right wrist. Smooth as silk, quiet as a yawning panda take-offs ARE possible. Twisty roads for the next 3 hours got me to the 3rd great thing on the DT (the first two being agility and great engine). The brakes! This thing has more initial bite and brake power then my Kawasaki up to 70mph! That should be praise enough! Bare in mind that the DT has only one disc up front! Trust me, you DO NOT need another one. I was able to follow a guy getting used to his (new to him) Honda CBR1100XX Blackbird on 50-75mph twisty roads and I probably would have been even faster on the same roads if the bike would spin up over 5600rpms when I gave it WOT as speeds under 60mph, but it didn't happen. The other, new DT300 would hit 6200rpm at WOT from zero and accelerated a lot faster. After 60mph when the engine speed picks up, the DT WILL fly and pull a lot better then you'd expect from 60 to 75. I was not able to scrape any body parts on the road, not trusting the OEM Kenda tires (which are great, btw!), but both side of the scooter were already scraped before, so it's more then possible. Fast switching from left to right and back was a non-issue and I do believe I was riding those roads faster then I would have on my Kawasaki. The suspension is stiff, maybe a bit on the harsh side, but it keeps the scooter on track even at 80mph full lean corners when you can feel some of the typical scooter wallowing.. frame doing it's thing. Minor stuff, especially when you consider the asking price and that we're actually talking about a mid sized scooter, and not some $10k performance bike. After some 400 miles on the bike, I've got some complaints, of course. I always do. The windscreen DOES NOT WORK for my height, and I've seen others of similar height comment on the same issue. I'm 5'11", and this is one of the worst buffeting I've experienced on a faired scooter/motorcycle. My girlfriend said it was even worse at the back seat, and anything over 65mph had her knocking on my helmet to slow down, since the noise and buffeting was unbearable. The screen needs to be at least 5" shorter, or higher, what ever floats your boat. Leg protection was fine. Comfort for the passanger at least was above average. My girlfriend commented how it was the most comfortable back seat yet of all the bikes we rode on. That includes the Peugeot Satelis 500 which I found to be more comfortable then the DT, but that was a true GT scooter, and the DT, in reallity.. is not, but tries to be. The front seat should be softer. It looks comfy, and feels comfy on short rides, but after an hour or two, it's the same story as with my kawasaki. The backrest works great though. Legroom is fine, but the upper leg position is ackward and not really usable. Maybe for a while. That's about it. The bike works great in general and is the fastest 300cc scooter out there without a doubt, and would be my choice in this market segment, even for sporty rides, not just the relaxed cruising that this bikes does effortlessly. Combined fuel consumption was exactly 4l/100km (59MPG). Measured on one tank (about 200 miles before I filled up and did the math) with 70 miles of flat-out highway, a lot of wOT acceleration runs and top speed runs, and some high spirited riding 50-75 curvy roads. 20% of that tank was taking it easy and taking in the scenery. This is a great result IMHO, and I seriously doubt the MPG figures can go much lower then this, only higher with some adjustment in the right hand. Build quality seems among the best too. I won't get into the technical stuff or stuff you can find on other sites or from reading the specs, so I hope I covered everything. It's no Burgman, but I could more then live with it as my only bike. If anyone got any specific questions, shoot! BTW - SHeeP HapPens! Meanwhile, enjoy the pics and greets from Croatia! dB Hi-res (somewhat) pictures in the gallery here: http://imageshack.us/g/545/p5215921.jpg/ And a quick sheep attack captured on film! http://youtu.be/nTaO24v0omo 0-62mph run: http://youtu.be/wBRnt680rLQ Hope you enjoyed!