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New for 2008
KYMCO Side by Side UXV 500

KYMCO's UXV 500
KYMCO's UXV 500

The 4-stroke single cylinder with 499cc and a CVT transmission delivers 34.7 maximum horsepower at 6500 rpm.
The 4-stroke single cylinder with 499cc and a CVT transmission delivers 34.7 maximum horsepower at 6500 rpm.

In Europe the name KYMCO is well known in the ATV and Motor Scooter business. The company, founded in 1963, now takes its first steps in the U.S.-ATV market. Nevertheless they are going with the flow. Therefore, the new KYMCO side by side UXV 500 4x4 will be, as things look now, leaving the assembly lines in Asia in March, 2008.

By an invitation I had the chance to test ride the preproduction model of the UXV 500 4x4 in Taiwan at KYMCO headquarters. Some weeks later I could test drive one of the first street legal models for Europe in Germany–on and off road. There a film was made about the new side by side.

Engine

KYMCO uses the same liquid-cooled engine with some minor mounting differences in comparison to their ATV flagship MXU 500. The 4-stroke single cylinder with 499cc and a CVT transmission delivers 34.7 maximum horsepower at 6500 rpm. Maximum torque is at 5500 rpm. The centrally-mounted engine position provides great balance and stable driving characteristics. It conforms to U.S. regulation EPA and the European emission legislation. Like other models on the market, it does not take long to gain access to the components of the engine for maintenance.

The transmission system provides high and low speed, neutral and reverse. The parking brake is separate.

The high capacity steel fuel tank with 32 Liters/8.5 gallons offers the ability for long-term use between re-fills.

A-arms are beefy yet light weight.
A-arms are beefy yet light weight.

A look at the UXV's stabilizer bar.
A look at the UXV's stabilizer bar.

UXV 500 rear drive-train
UXV 500 rear drive-train

Chassis

Because of the cooperation with Arctic Cat on some ATV models like the MXU 400/Arctic Cat 366cc, it seems that the chassis of the KYMCO UXV 500 is similar to the one found at the Prowler. It’s a robust reinforced chassis casing and cab for driver protection and safety. In the front you will find an integrated steel and plastic molded bumper to help prevent chassis impact damage. The steel rear box with plastic cover takes a load capacity of 190 kg. It is equipped with an easy-to-use tilt mechanism. The towing capacity is 280 kg for the U.S. market.

Equipment

The UXV 500 is equipped with a selectable 2 WD/4 WD system that can be activated while driving. There is also a diff-lock for the front axle. It can be switched on and off only when the vehicle comes to a stop. The 4-wheel independent suspension system is designed to enhance driving comfort. For stopping, three hydraulic disk brakes (2Fr/1RR: 202/200) can be operated simultaneously by a single brake pedal. The UXV runs on tire sizes 25x8-12 in the front and 25x10-12 in the rear.

Ergonomics

Everything feels appropriately placed and well within reach. However, there are two things I would like to see changed. First, the gas pedal would be much better if it had the pattern of the brake pedal. Under wet conditions it is too slippery under your boots during rough riding. And secondly, the middle console external engine cooling vent which is located just aft of the driver’s right elbow generates excessive heat. Maybe it is nice to have this in wintertime, but in summertime it will cook your arm. Too much engine heat is coming up here if you ride slowly or come to a halt with the UXV.

Instrumentation on the UXV 500.
Instrumentation on the UXV 500.

Actual Ride Time

The first thing you notice if you take a seat in the UXV is the spacey leg room you have.  The seat itself is pretty comfy. You start the engine by turning the key. The gear shifting is easy and soft. But turning back and forth in the woods with a hot engine it sometimes didn’t shift on the first attempt properly into forward gear.

In high it takes some time to get the 525 kg heavy UXV to its top speed of 72 km/h /45 mph.  In the bottom and midrange the KYMCO reacts more spontaneously to right-foot commands. Like the Yamaha Rhino 450 the KYMCO UXV 500 is not a rocket, but is still fun to ride.

Because the 50 inches of width and a stabilizer on the rear axle the UXV is very stable in curves. The low center of gravity and the centrally mounted engine provide extra great balance and stable driving characteristics. At high speeds I found that the steering, especially if you hit little bumps i.e., is too direct. If you have to circle around trees at a lower speed, it is easy and light to handle.

The stopping power of the three disks is a good “average” out of high speeds, especially with the wood load in the film. Still the three disks are doing their job during average usage. The disks get help from the engine braking force. During Off-roading and going down hills the engine braking was a helpful support.

The suspension settings for both the front and rear shocks are on the soft side, but offer a really smooth ride out on the trail. Admittedly, the stock shocks work pretty well when pushed, but their limit was definitely reached when going faster over nasty bumps. Due to the long wheelbase, the UXV 500 still is very stable under these driving conditions.

The Kenda tires give the KYMCO lots of grip under wet conditions. Even in 2 WD I was able to go through some muddy conditions. The ground clearance of 292 mm helps, of course. In 4 WD and low gear the UXV is climbing lightly. During the film session the Diff-Lock was needed when we climbed and driven transfers. It is nice to have in some nasty off-road conditions, too. To use the Dif-Lock the side by side has to come to a stop. If you don`t need it anymore, utilize the same procedure vice-versa.

Click here for a video of the KMYCO UXV 500 in action. 
Check out the video of the KMYCO UXV 500 in action. 

Final Thoughts

The KYMCO UXV 500 is definitely not the sportiest UTV on the market. Still the 500 mill provides enough power to have fun on the trail. Ergonomics are well done. The switches, especially for the diff-lock should have more design. Leg room is good for giants. The chassis is wide enough to do sharp curves. The suspension is on the soft and comfortable side.

The production of the UXV 500 will start, as it looks now, in March, 2008. We heard that KYMCO engineers changed some details on the pre-production models after our test ride to make improvements.

UXV 500 Specifications








Ample storage in the bed for two to three hay bails. 
Ample storage in the bed for two to three hay bails. 









Items

  • Length (mm): 2890
  • Width (mm): 1500
  • Height (mm): 1850
  • Wheelbase (mm): 1912
  • FR/RR Tread (mm): 1250/1241
  • Ground Clearance (mm): 292
  • Saddle Height (mm): 805
  • Foot Peg Height (mm): 365
  • Cargo Bed Height (mm): 740
  • Max Cargo Bed Load (kg): 190
  • Max Weight Capacity (kg): 350
  • Dry Weight FR/RR/Amount (kg): 228/297/525

Engine

  • Type: 4 Stroke OHC
  • Valve Train: DOHC
  • Bore Stroke (mm): 92x75
  • Actual Displacement (cc): 498.5
  • No. Of Cylinder: Single
  • Compression Ratio: 10.5
  • Max HP/rpm: 34.7/6500
  • Max. Torque (kg.m/rpm): 4.0/5500
  • Starting System: Electronic
  • Cooling System: Liquid Cooling

Drive Train

  • Transmission: CVT
  • Front Driving Mechanism: Differential
  • Rear Driving: Gear Box

Other

  • Fuel Tank Capacity (l): 32
  • Carburetor: C.V.K.
  • Ignition Type: CDI
  • Frame: Steel tube frame
  • Tires (FR/RR): Tubeless Kenda 25x8-12/25x10-12
  • Wheel Material: Steel
  • Brake System (FR/RR): Dual hydraulic Disk/ Single hydr Disk
  • Diameter FR/RR (mm): 202/200

Suspension

  • Front: Dual A-Arms
  • Rear: Dual A-Arms

Steering System

  • Type: Steering Wheel
  • Min. Turning Radius (mm): 4060

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