For a few days, Kymco has been hinting we’d see an electric motorcycle unveiled at EICMA. Now it’s here, and it’s wild.
The Kymco SuperNEX is, as far as we can tell, only in concept form at this time. Still, it makes Kymco the first Asian manufacturer to display a proper electric superbike; the only other similar machine we’ve seen from a major manufacturer was the Victory Empulse TT. That machine was really just inherited from Brammo, packed some out-of-date tech, and is now a distant memory anyway, since Victory shut its doors. And yes, we know the production form of Harley-Davidson’s Livewire also debuted today, but that’s more of a standard bike than a superbike.
While Kymco isn’t exactly a household name in North America, it does have a fair number of dealers here, and it’s much stronger in other parts of the world where people take scooters and small-displacement motorcycles seriously. Even though it isn’t likely Kymco is about to bring this electric superbike to its showrooms around the world, it could theoretically do so, and that would really set the electric motorcycle market on its ear, as the Japanese and European manufacturers still continue to drag their feet on bringing full-blown electric streetbikes to the forefront.
We don’t have a lot of details on the Kymco SuperNEX, but we do know some performance figures. Kymco claims it will go 0-100 km/h in 2.9 seconds, 0-200 km/h in 7.5 seconds, and 0-250 km/h in 10.9 seconds. That 250 km/h figure is top speed for the machine.
As well, Kymco has included Full Engagement Performance, which sounds like a sort of fully-integrated stability control system: wheelie control, launch control, rear brake lift control, traction control, etc.
Maybe most interesting is that Kymco has chosen to go with a clutchless six-speed gearbox on this bike. It’s a daring move, as gearheads love the feel of a manual transmission, but in some ways, a gearbox defeats some of the advantages of using an electric motor.
Other details show Kymco appears to be putting considerable effort to make this a good motorcycle, not just a show pony. There’s Ohlins suspension and Brembo brakes, and most telling, a twin-spar aluminum frame—that’s something the designers probably didn’t just order out of a catalogue.
Still, with no real specs on the motor or battery, it’s hard to tell just how serious Kymco is with this project.
We’ve reached out to Kymco Canada for more details on this machine, but we’re guessing that for now, it’s not about to reach production soon, and certainly far, far from reaching our country’s showrooms. But, this bike is such a surprise in itself, who knows what else is in store?