Motorcycles

Kymco's SuperNEX supersport electric motorcycle makes Milan debut

Kymco's SuperNEX supersport el...
Kymco says that the 6-speed transmission will allow riders to "make use of the most optimal power band of the motor to extract the full potential of the vehicle"
Kymco says that the 6-speed transmission will allow riders to "make use of the most optimal power band of the motor to extract the full potential of the vehicle"
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Kymco wants to bring back the art of motorcycle riding with the SuperNEX electric supersport
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Kymco wants to bring back the art of motorcycle riding with the SuperNEX electric supersport
The SuperNEX electric supersport has been revealed at EICMA 2018 in Milan, Italy
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The SuperNEX electric supersport has been revealed at EICMA 2018 in Milan, Italy
Kymco says that the 6-speed transmission will allow riders to "make use of the most optimal power band of the motor to extract the full potential of the vehicle"
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Kymco says that the 6-speed transmission will allow riders to "make use of the most optimal power band of the motor to extract the full potential of the vehicle"
The SuperNEX can sprint from standstill to 100 km/h in 2.9 seconds
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The SuperNEX can sprint from standstill to 100 km/h in 2.9 seconds
The SuperNEX can ride from 0 - 250 km/h in 10.9 seconds
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The SuperNEX can ride from 0 - 250 km/h in 10.9 seconds
Kymco says that the SuperNEX marks the beginning of the next era of supersport
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Kymco says that the SuperNEX marks the beginning of the next era of supersport
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Kymco is probably best known for its scooters, most gas-powered but more recently running on an electric powertrain. Now the Taiwan company is breaking into the emerging electric motorcycle market with the impressive SuperNEX electric supersport.

Kymco says that the lack of gear shifting in electric motorcycles and the absence of the "sustaining thrill of acceleration to the top-end after the initial rush" can make them seem at best utility-oriented, and even toy-like. So a 6-speed transmission with clutchless upshift/downshift has been included in the supersport launched at EICMA 2018, along with a slipper clutch to help smooth out downshifts.

"Unfortunately, the gears disappear in many electric motorcycles, and the sense of achievement so enjoyed by sportbike riders is lost as well," said Kymco's Chairman Allen Ko. "We want to bring back the art of motorcycle riding."

"Most electric motorcycles today fall short of what the sportbike riders demand from a supersport bike," Ko continued. "The inherent characteristic of the electric motor has a power curve that reaches maximum horsepower at midrange and then declines thereafter. As a result, on a single gear electric motorcycle, once it reaches a certain speed the surge of acceleration starts to fade noticeably. Moreover, this lack of power is most often felt at high-speed riding, which supersport riders enjoy the most."

The SuperNEX's transmission has been designed to allow riders to "make use of the most optimal power band of the motor to extract the full potential of the vehicle." That that translates to a sprint from standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 2.9 seconds, going from zero to 200 km/h in 7.5 seconds, and 0 - 250 km/h in 10.9 seconds. Impressive stuff.

Kymco says that the SuperNEX marks the beginning of the next era of supersport
Kymco says that the SuperNEX marks the beginning of the next era of supersport

Kymco has also introduced a performance management system dubbed Full Engagement Performance (FEP) that helps keep the front wheel on the tarmac during hard acceleration and the rear wheel down when braking hard. The FEP system will provide maximum traction when riding on uneven or wet surfaces too, and can be adjusted by the rider for personal preference.

Those who cringe at the whine of an electric motor can look forward to a bit more character from SuperNEX rides thanks to something Kymco is calling the Active Acoustic Motor, which generates multi-frequency acoustics and can be fine-tuned by the rider to personal taste. And riders can also select one of four SuperNEX "personalities" to change the character of the electric supersport – allowing for quiet cruising in quiet neighborhoods or rip-roaring performance out on the open road.

Production schedules and pricing have not been not revealed as yet, and we'll have to wait for more detailed specs (including battery information and range).

Source: Kymco

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1 comment
Mzungu_Mkubwa
I find it interesting that there are different schools of thought on the use of a transmission with electric motors. Not sure if the "surge of acceleration starts to fade" argument given here is enough to counter the added cost, complexity and maintenance that a transmission contributes to the system. Not having driven an electric vehicle myself, I can only conjecture that the increasing pitch of the rpm whine of the drivetrain might perhaps be unsettling, while the shifting might provide some relief to this admittedly subjective ambiance. For the styling: kudos on the traditional crotchie... now follow with some other popular formats and you'll find a market!