Kymco announce their SuperNEX supersport electric concept bike which sets out to allay the many fears traditional motorcyclists have towards boring, soulless electric motorcycles.
At EICMA 2018 Kymco (best known in Australia for their scooters) announced the launch of Kymco SuperNEX, a fusion of “supersport” and “electric” that delivers a modern supersport style machine
“While people have no doubt that the next era of personal transportation is electric,” said Allen Ko, Kymco chairman. “Many are still pondering over the profound implications of electric in the world of supersport motorcycles.”
The quiet nature of the electric motor troubles many motorcycle enthusiasts for the absence of the familiar roaring sound. Without the gratification of gear shifting, the simple twist-and-go interaction feels more utility-oriented, and sometimes even toy-like.
Also, most electric motorcycles today lack the sustaining thrill of acceleration to the top-end after the initial rush. As a result, many motorcyclists fear that machines may lose their charm and character in the impending new electric era.
By expanding on the insights of what motorcyclists truly want, Kymco has aimed to design a compelling direction for the era of electric supersport motorcycles. These design philosophies comes to life in five tangible approaches:
- Shifting gears as an integral part motorbike riding
- The best acceleration
- Excitement comes from exploring limits with confidence
- The sound of the machine
- A great vehicle elevates the rider’s every occasion
First and foremost, SuperNEX was designed around the philosophy that shifting gears is an integral part of motorbike riding. Hence, the electric supersport bike has an advanced six-speed transmission that allows riders to engage with every minute of their endeavors. It also comes with clutch-less upshift and downshift features, as is found on many modern sportsbikes with up/down quickshifters. The slipper clutch further helps smooth out the ride on normal downshifting.
An unfortunate shortcoming of today’s electric motorcycles is that 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.
SuperNEX is a totally different story. The six-speed transmission allows riders to make use of the most optimal power band of the motor to extract the full potential of the vehicle. The gears help improve not only the efficiency and responsiveness, but also the acceleration and top speed. As a result, SuperNEX can go from 0 to 100km/hr in 2.9 seconds, from 0 to 200km/hr in 7.5 seconds and from 0 to 250km/hr in 10.9 seconds.
The capabilities of today’s supersport motorcycles exceed the skills of most riders. Therefore, to allow all sport bike lovers to confidently engage in the quest of the next level of skills, Kymco created Kymco FEP – Kymco Full Engagement Performance – an advanced performance management system that allows the rider to engage the full potential of the vehicle.
With FEP, riders can always perform a perfect launch. During hard acceleration, FEP ensures there is no wheelie or wheel slippage. During hard braking, FEP prevents rear wheel lifting. When riding through uneven or wet surfaces, FEP provides maximum traction. Moreover, the degree of FEP engagement can be adjusted to riders’ preference, offering the same utility as a traction control and advanced ABS system that many riders are familiar with.
The electric motor is born to be quiet by nature. This becomes an issue on a supersport bike because without sound, the character, sensation, and passion of the machine are often lost. It becomes just a means of personal transportation, not an object of fiery desire. SuperNEX, on the other hand, offers the world’s first Active Acoustic Motor, which is designed to convey the heartbeats of the machine. The motor has a multi-frequency acoustics generator that reconstructs the dynamic sounds of the motor with great authenticity. It delivers the iconic supersport thrills that sportbike riders seek. The sound can be further tuned to rider’s liking for its character and volume.
The sound also declares the unique character of the machine. Whether it is vrooming, roaring, rumbling, or screaming, every supersport bike has its own distinct sound that is different in tone, intensity, texture and delivery.
Today’s supersport motorcycles also let riders set certain electronic functions, and the SuperNEX offers four modes of vehicle personality, which can be set by the rider. Sportbike riders aspire to enjoy every riding occasion to its fullest, with rider modes helping offer versatility and usability in any condition.
“With SuperNEX, KYMCO marks the beginning of the next era of supersport,” said Allen Ko. “We believe electric opens up a new era of boundless opportunities to win the hearts of the most discerning riders all over the world.”