Nov 26, 2007

Kinetic Flyte: Riding Impression

Kinetic Sym FlyteSo what is the Kinetic Flyte like, then?
I know I haven't written a Sym impression so far. I'm remiss, but I had other things that kept me busy. So here goes.

Fit/finish-Build quality
I have to say that I'm seriously impressed. And if you don't believe me, park a new Nova 135, a new Blaze and a new Sym next to each other. If you aren't blind, you'll see that the Sym is far, far ahead of the other two in every quality related aspect. In fact, park the Sym next to the Honda Activa (an acknowledged quality great) or a Suzuki Access (surprisingly similar to the Activa on the quality front; riding impression pending) and you will notice that the Sym is equal or nearly equal to either. Which, for Kinetic, is a massive, massive improvement.

Now, I know there are people who wonder if this quality parity will last over a period of time, in the ownership cycle. Honest answer? I don't know. Best guesstimate? Nothing in the scooter's demeanor suggests that the Kinetic Sym product will rapidly deteriorate.

Engine/performance
It's a nice, likeable engine. It's pretty quiet engine at idle, but it does get throaty when you want nailed-to-the-stop acceleration. The transmission's pretty slick as well and frankly, this is probably Kinetic's slickest powertrain yet. I do think that the power output from the 125cc engine could have been more, er..., serious. That said, progress is adequately brisk. And that's just on its own. In traffic, the small size, agility and that slick powertrain feel really very good. I'm as surprised as I am happy to be surprised. A lot of people who've turned a blind eye to Kinetic need to open them peepers and take the Sym out for a spin. Seriously. You may not convert to the Kinetic camp, I admit, but you'll notice that the Flyte is pretty promising.

Ride quality/Handling
As I already mentioned, the Flyte is pretty agile. It turns quicker and harder than either the Honda or the Suzuki and that makes it a hoot to slice through traffic on. A good rider on a Flyte would be a pretty hard target to catch in traffic methinks. Ride quality is good too. The slightly plasticky thumping over the bumps (Access and Activa) is more subdued and the tele-forks up front really do the business. And you can brake as hard as you like too (No Activa can do that).

What I don't like
It isn't the complete scooter package by any means, of course. I get nervous watching the rather sudden popping of the otherwise convenient fuel tank lid. I don't particularly like the bottom swivel mirrors and that full-face helmet under the seat isn't true at all. Try it. You'll scratch the lid on the way in and way out and won't be able to shut the seat anyway. That magnetic thing is pretty silly/interesting too. A metallic flap cover the keyhole when you use the rear end of the key to theft-proof the scooter. Which is interesting, but you just know our thieves will get around it in a flash too, right?

Overall
I was quite surprised at how well the Kinetic-Sym Flyte works. I think it is a pretty interesting scooter and if Kinetic can hold on to (or improve on) this kind of quality and product specification, I think they can do wonders for their bottom lines and their product range. Can't wait to see this kind of quality on an ex-Italjet Dragster for instance. Or an equally effortless and much faster Sym Fighter, for that matter.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

what are pricings of Flyte and Suzuki?
access is a bit of a turn off to me. unless its priced at 4-5 thousand less than the flyte, i am going for the flyte.

sick of activa anyhow.

Anonymous said...

I didnt know you could even write so much about scooters.

But I have a good feeling about these two - flyte and access.

SajiAinikkal said...

No Doubt. Kinetic Flyte is the best available scooter in indian market today. I bought one couple of weeks back and it is too good.
True, initial pick up is less compared to Activa/Access. But remember this is again a 125 CC scooter. So once you are start moving you can feel the difference. Also in cities like Bangalore initial pick up is not a selling point and kinetic knows it.
You can easily keep a front covered full helmet in Flyte (no other bike like Activa/Pleasure has this much space, I think Access will allow you to keep a helmet inside, but not full size). Braking is good in Flyte compared to Access (the extra 10 mm disk size matters here).

The catching point is price. Rs. 41700 on road at Bangalore, Rs.3000 less than Access and close to 5000 less than activa (with accessories like number plate, saree guard and side stand). Flyte is the sure winner.

Guys/Gals, I drove all these vehicles and studies the specs of Flyte, Scooty Pep, Activa, Deo, Pleasure, Kinetic 4S before finalizing on Flyte.

But, if you do not want a modern look, want more power initially and want a scooter look (if you are 40+) don't think twice, go for Activa or Access :-)

Anonymous said...

No doubt FLYTE is good scooter, but please think twice about it's after sales !!! In B'lore there are just three service stations. 5 years back it had about 20.

Honda dealers in B'lore are opening multiple location service centres, HH has large network.

So full marks to FLYTE, but thanks, I would buy a Honda/Hero Honda scooter !!!

jason said...

anonymous - that would be a pity for you because the Flyte is a substantially advanced scooter compared to the honda and hero scooters.. they dont even have proper telescopic front suspension, forget today's addons.

i think flytes going to be a hit (take a ride and you'll see why) and accordingly more service centers would open up

Anonymous said...

hi, i am in two minds whether to purchase herohonda pleasure or kinetic flyte can somebody guide me
i hv already ruled out activa for low average n high weight n bulkiness
suzuki access for high weight again
scooty pep for its poor pick up
flyte has some adv over pleasure
1. is 125 cc
2. has got front fuelling system
3. has ample storage area( essential for girls)
4. central locking system
pls guide me whether the above adv are worth buying flyte
only thing worrying me is flyte is a product of kinetic , and i dont hv very good opinion of kinetic
second i am little worried whether i will good after service from kinetic in nasik( i am from nasik)
so need some guidance

Nomad said...

I got sick and tired waiting for a multi cylinder bike over 250cc so i went ahead and got myself a flyte last week. Nice scoot overall.

Done about 200kms and there are a few things I noticed that could have been done better.

1:Pass light switch is missing. Its a pain in the butt to turn on the light switch and back again. I dont see it lasting very long the way I use it.
2.Seat could have been a bit longer.Its a very tight fit with a heavy person behind me
3.Pickup not that good for a 125. Or maybe I feel that way because the scoot's so silent and vibe free.
4.Disk brake not available even as an optional extra.
5.Doesnt have a halogen bulb.(Kinetic, how can you be so cheap?!)
6.No engine kill switch.
7.Ground clearance is very low. The scoot scrapes its belly on bike-breakers 2 up.
8.Horn sounds like it came straight off an electric cycle.Not that it matters much because I hardly use it anyway.
9.Gray color not available.(I have a soft spot for gray!)
10.Mirrors not to my liking. Its weird moving the entire thing instead of just the mirror itself.
11.No rear brake lock like on the other scoots.Quite annoying at traffic signals and potentially dangerous when parked on a slope.
12.The petrol lock should have been separate from the bike lock. My dad always open the petrol tank when he means to lock the scoot. Its also too fiddly. I don't see it lasting too long. On the day I bought it, my dad almost broke the key in the keyhole because the lock wouldn't work :) But now we're used to it. It shouldn't be a case of getting used to something like that.The problem shouldn't even exist in the first place!
13.There should have been a mudguard for the front wheel. It throws an enormous amount of muck everywhere! I don't know how but some mud ended up on the lower front part of the seat and needless to say on my pants! But to be fair, I rode the scoot through some pretty deep water really fast.
14.Flimsy rear footrests. They just flap around when closed and dont look too sturdy.

Now on to the good stuff.

I had a Kinetic Honda prior to this and with the quality of service that I received, I made up my mind never to go for another kinetic. ever. That changed the moment I test rode the flyte. Its that good.

2.Its smooth! That could be because all other bikes/scooters I've had/have are 2 stroke and not really the smoothest either.

3.Readily available. One of the reason I went for the flyte is because the other scoots I shortlisted , access has a 45 day waiting period and the dio has a 30 day waiting period.I'm very impatient and dont want to wait 30 to 45 days for a friggin scoot!

4.I love the underseat lighting. And the huge space under the seat. Yes, a full face helmet does go in but no way in hell will the seat close. Unless I chop off 2 inches from the top of the helmet...

5.Even though it lacks disc up front, the brakes are quite good.

6. Ride quality is very good. Keep in mind that my benchmark is the old Kinetic Honda ZX. But still, compared to some bikes I've ridden, the damping is pretty good.

7.Acceleration is ok. Could have been better on account of the fact that its a 125cc. Midrange and top speed are quite good. I saw a speedo indicated 90. Yes, I'm aware that the company claimed top speed is 80. Did they mean on the speedo or true speed?

8.Quality is quite good overall.

9.Mileage:I'm sure it must be good but I havent checked. To be honest, its not really a priority for me. I'd gladly sacrifice mileage for more performance.

Overall, I'm a happy camper. This is going to be my daily ride till something serious comes along from the manufacturers.

(This is my first purchase after 12 years of waiting for something better/faster/quicker to come. And here I am, still waiting......)