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Discover the Review of the 2023 KYMCO MAXXER 450I: A Sporty Quad Worth Rediscovering!

Taiwanese manufacturer KYMCO’s vehicles are back in Canada for good after a brief hiatus. They are here to stay, and judging by the enthusiasm of the new Canadian leadership team, we’ll be seeing them more and more in our landscape!

While this manufacturer might be unfamiliar to some, one fact remains: it’s not really a newcomer. Founded in 1964, KYMCO originally started with technology transferred from Honda in Japan. Leveraging Honda’s technical expertise, KYMCO became one of Honda’s high-quality manufacturing facilities abroad.

Now, in addition to producing its own vehicles, KYMCO also supplies renowned global manufacturers like KAWASAKI and ARCTIC CAT, to name a few.

Our Test Vehicle: The 2023 KYMCO MAXXER 450I

To be honest, this quad isn’t an entirely new model for 2023. However, it has undergone some improvements over the years, especially in terms of aesthetics.

Among these changes, the front headlights catch our immediate attention. Their modern round and recessed shapes stand out compared to the large headlights that were on this vehicle until last year.

The MAXXER 450I is designed primarily for the joy of driving without unnecessary frills. We notice the absence of a luggage rack, and that’s intentional. The primary goal of this quad is to provide hours of riding pleasure without distractions.

A Sporty-Looking Quad… but With Limitations!

Honesty, the KYMCO MAXXER 450I has a lot going for it, but it does have its limitations. Starting with its 443 cc single-cylinder engine producing 31.5 HP, it’s clear it’s not a powerhouse. It shares the same engine as last year’s MXU 450I.

Nevertheless, some enthusiasts will find value in this vehicle as it approaches a top speed of nearly 100 km/h. That’s noteworthy for a quad that might seem modest due to its small engine, yet surprises with its agility and responsive throttle.

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Towing Capacity of 820 lb… Wait, what?

Yes, you read that right! The MAXXER 450I is equipped with a 2″ receiver at the rear for mounting a standard trailer hitch. While it might not be its primary purpose, it can handle some tasks around the field or cottage before hitting the trails for pure enjoyment.

 

Its CVT Clutch

Here, I might disappoint those expecting a manual clutch like the sports quads of our youth. That era has passed, and a CVT transmission is the norm for its ease of use. This is where beginners and novices will benefit. Maneuvering this quad and enjoying the trails or bumpy terrains of a track is so easy.

The transmission engages at low revs. Combined with the engine’s low-end torque, it’s unnecessary to engage the low gear (LOW) unless you’re towing something heavy. Overall, the CVT settings are excellent.

2 × 4 or 4 × 4

Personally, I prefer riding in 2-wheel drive unless the situation demands otherwise. It allows for controlled slides and precise vehicle positioning. Nonetheless, the MAXXER 450I offers the convenience of an on-the-fly 4 × 4 selection. No need to stop switching modes. It’s a significant advantage when you misjudge a muddy hole, isn’t it?

Distinctive Rear Suspension

Apart from its independent 4-wheel suspension, my attention was drawn to the rear suspension, which is distinctively designed compared to traditional welded round tubes. The upper part is solid and aesthetically pleasing, while the lower part features a debris shield.

Adjustable preload shock absorbers with 5 positions manage to cushion the imperfections and landing impacts of the MAXXER 450I’s jumps. While not the most high-performance, they provide a nice flexibility over repeated bumps.

At the front, I initially found the shocks to have a bit too much rebound damping, but I later discovered the almost ideal adjustment.

Well-Selected Tires

The 2023 KYMCO MAXXER 450I comes standard with Maxxis tires that offer excellent trail grip. I found that these Maxxis tires perform so well on all types of surfaces that I rarely need to switch to 4-wheel drive.

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I tackled a mix of hard trails, sandy hills, and stream crossings, and these tires consistently provided adequate traction.

A Digital Display That Leaves Me Wanting!

The only aspect that disappoints me about this quad is its digital display, which is truly too small. Is it my aging vision? Perhaps, but I hope this aspect will be improved (not my vision, of course, just the display size) in the future for better readability.

However, it still provides all the essential information we need. It’s straightforward to understand and easy to read… when we slow down.

Storage Space

While not spacious enough for a ton of gear, you can carry a few items in the small compartment beneath the seat.

Braking Performance

Two hydraulic disc brakes at the front and one hydraulic disc brake at the rear slow down the MAXXER predictably. The front brakes are controlled by a single lever on the right handlebar.

The rear brake is activated with a lever on the left handlebar and a pedal on the right side. Combine the powerful brakes with the efficient engine braking system, and controlling the speed of the 2023 KYMCO MAXXER 450I is a breeze.

My Driving Impressions

This vehicle might not be the highest-performing overall, but it instills confidence in a rider. I find myself enjoying this quad because it’s neither imposing nor intimidating; I believe that’s what sets it apart and defines it.

In challenging conditions, the stability of the 2023 KYMCO MAXXER 450I is evident thanks to its rear stabilizer bar. Combined with its 48.4-inch width and 48.2-inch wheelbase, it offers a very safe and balanced quad.

On steep climbs, descents, and side slopes, the MAXXER feels predictable. During aggressive turns, it almost gives the impression of having a rigid rear axle, exhibiting minimal rear roll. The only moments when I felt a slight imbalance were when I pushed this quad to its limits in aggressive turns.

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Adaptable Ergonomics of the MAXXER for All Driver Sizes

However, the effort required for steering and the return of bumps were particularly noticeable in challenging conditions. Installing a front steering stabilizer would greatly help mitigate this handlebar feedback.

The seat is wide and cushioned, offering a good compromise for relaxed or aggressive riding. At no point did I feel the need to take a break during the ride?

Ergonomically, the MAXXER is well-suited for all sizes. Both smaller and larger drivers will feel comfortable. The raised footrests and spacious foot area provide a secure seating position and facilitate control on rough terrains, allowing my feet to pivot forward or backward as needed.

Takes Me Back 30 Years…

Modesty aside, I love this quad because it reminds me of my early days in the sport. Its dimensions and weight, more modest than most current quads, remind me how easy it was to maneuver these vehicles. When we got stuck in sand, mud, or snow, we simply had to lift the rear of the quad to get going again.

In conclusion, the 2023 KYMCO MAXXER 450I offers me a lot of enjoyment as a rider. Its agility is one of the standout features of my short-term test. At a purchase cost of just over $9000, it’s a bargain in today’s market.

I personally invite you to visit to find your nearest KYMCO dealership.

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