Kymco continues to develop its big-bore scooter lineup, with the new AK 550 maxi-scooter unveiled for Europe and North America.

What’s new for 2021 on this scoot? Kymco’s US website says the new machine is has the chassis re-designed for improved balance and handling, with

the lowest center of gravity in its class. All body components are engineered to give the vehicle a near 50/50 front to rear weight distribution for perfect balance. This strategic placement of the center of gravity provides the most solid foundation for riders to pursue its ultimate handling capability.

The parallel twin engine is also re-designed for 2021. The liquid-cooled, DOHC, eight-valve engine is supposed to be “silky smooth and highly responsive.” Kymco claims it makes 53 horsepower and 40 foot-pounds of torque, with powerful acceleration and generous 100 mph top speed. Kymco also claims the power delivery “is tuned to suit both spirited adventure riding as well as pleasant touring.” Errrr maybe, but it doesn’t look like this scoot’s chassis is set up for anything too adventurous, even if the engine would work nicely on a gravel road. It’s still got 15-inch wheels, after all.

There’s a new throttle-by-wire system, which was likely done to help get the engine through Euro5 emissions regulations. Down the road, this will probably mean new electro-trickery programmed into the engine management system. A CVT transmission is standard, as you’d expect, so there’s no need to program clutchless shifting or anything like that into the system, anyway.

There are proper Brembo brakes up front, and upside-down forks. Bosch 9.1 dual-channel ABS is standard. Kymco put a large storage compartment under the seat, but I haven’t seen a capacity rating for that compartment yet.

What’s it going to cost? In the US, Kymco puts this at a $9,399 MSRP, plus tax and fees. That’s not cheap, but then, there’s very little to choose from in the maxi-scooter market these days, at least in North America. Canadian customers would have even less choice, but it’s unclear if Kymco Canada is even planning to bring this step-through into that market.

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