Kymco announced their SuperNEX concept electric motorcycle at EICMA, ushering in a superbike themed offering that the brand boasts will include a gearbox to try and retain the familiar characteristic for motorcyclists interested in going electric.
Allen Ko – KYMCO Chairman
“While people have no doubt that the next era of personal transportation is electric. Many are still pondering over the profound implications of electric in the world of supersport motorcycles. The quiet nature of the electric motor troubles motorcycle enthusiasts and 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 sportbike lovers fear that supersport might lose its charm in the impending new electric era.”
These design philosophies built around Kymco’s rider insights in this segment come to life in five tangible approaches: that shifting is an important part of motorbike riding, the best acceleration feels like a completion of a thought; excitement comes from exploring limits with confidence; sound is part of the character of the machine; and a great vehicle elevates the rider’s every occasion.
Electric Motor – Sport Transmission
The SuperNEX was designed around the philosophy that shifting is an integral part of motorbike riding, which is a fair assumption since almost any machine without gears is a scooter. Hence, Kymco’s electric supersport machine will feature a six-speed transmission that allows riders to more fully engage with their motorcycle. The SuperNEX also comes with a clutch-less upshift and downshift feature however, in true modern supersport form, while a slipper clutch further helps smooth out the ride on aggressive downshifting.
Interesting power delivery
Kymco also claim that 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 the most.
To combat that they present the SuperNEX as featuring the six-speed transmission to allows riders to make use of the more traditional optimal ‘power band’ of the motor to extract a more engaging experience.
The gearbox helps improve not only the efficiency and responsiveness, but also the acceleration and top speed. As a result, the 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, with electronics often being used to reign in the incredible performance on offer. To allow sportsbike lovers to confidently engage with the SuperNEX, Kymco created Kymco FEP – Kymco Full Engagement Performance – a performance management system that allows the rider to explore the limits with the benefit of rider aides.
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 also provides maximum traction. Moreover, the degree of FEP engagement can be adjusted to riders’ preference.
Electric motor are quiet by nature, and this becomes an issue on a supersport bike because without sound, the character, sensation, and passion of the machine are lost. The SuperNEX, on the other hand, offers the Active Acoustic Motor, which is designed to convey the heartbeat 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 and messages that sportbike riders seek. The sound can be further tuned to rider’s liking for its character and volume.
“Adaptive Machine Personalities”
Today’s supersport motorcycles let riders set certain electronic functions, and in a departure from the conventional electric motorcycles, SuperNEX offers four modes of vehicle ‘personality’, which they describe as:
These ride modes or ‘personalities’ will offer sportbike riders a variety of different motorcycle characteristics, making for a more dynamic experience, whether that means picking the mode that suits them as a rider, or just their day to day mood.
“With SuperNEX, Kymco marks the beginning of the next era of supersport, we believe electric opens up a new era of boundless opportunities to win the hearts of the most discerning riders all over the world.”
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