Patents reveal Kymco RevoNEX is nearing production

The Kymco RevoNEX boasts a conventional, six-speed gearbox and clutch, and is aimed at traditional motorcyclists


IT was easy for some to disregard the Kymco concept bikes unveiled at the Tokyo motorcycle show as not much more than a brand highlighting some far off design idea. The fact that RevoNEX was being touted by Kymco, a Taiwanese manufacturer better known for making scooters, made lambasting the bike even easier. But as these patents now show, the Kymco RevoNEX is much more than 'just' a concept, it could change electric motorcycling forever.

It was only after sitting down with Kymco CEO, Alan Ko on the firm’s stand at the show, I realised he’s deadly serious in his plan to take electric motorcycles from niche oddity to mainstream choice, for electric motorcyclists and petrol heads alike.

To help make the new machine from Kymco an easier concept to swallow, his team has worked hard to make the RevoNEX as conventional as possible – which kind of makes it the most revolutionary electric motorcycle ever.

One of the main complaints when making the switch from petrol to electrons for the first time is the twist and go transmission. For the most part, an electric motor has much more torque than an internal combustion engine, negating the need for a complex and heavy box of ratios to maximise your ride. The problem is it can detract from the overall riding experience, sanitising the ride and for many, taking much of the thrill out of riding.

To make the switch to the new Kymco easier, the RevoNEX features a conventional gearbox, with six speeds and a clutch. It also features brakes in the conventional locations – some electric bikes use a ‘scooter brake’ on the left handlebar. The Kymco even features a noise amplification system, boosting the motor and gearbox noise to give the rider an all-important clue to the engine’s RPM.

Kymco RevoNEX gearbox

With six ratios and a clutch to play with, you’d expect the bike to behave just like an internal combustion machine, although the quirk of the electric power plant means it will be totally different. Because the RevoNEX will not tick over like a petrol-powered bike, selecting a gear while holding in the clutch isn’t a requirement. Instead, the rider can just plonk the bike into any of the six gears and then twist the throttle. It’ll make riding the bike similar to riding the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce SCS model, the only modern production road bike fitted with a Rekluse clutch. Should you want a purer riding experience, the clutch can be used in just the same way as on a conventional bike, feeding in the power as and when you need the extra poke.

Keeping the chassis conventional

Another key point to keeping the bike familiar is the use of tried and tested high-spec parts. Instead of using unknown brands for key bits of kit on the bike, Kymco has turned to top brands for the important parts of the bike. The Brembo brakes of the concept bike look to have been retained, giving a familiar feeling to the electric machine. The Öhlins suspension, seen on the concept, may also be fitted to the bike, although the patents don’t fully confirm this. It is possible the machine could come in two forms, a standard and premium bike, with the top-spec kit lavishing the premium machine only. Confirmation of that though is as yet unknown.

Kymco RevoNEX - styling and substance

One thing electric motorcycle designers have grappled with for a decade is the styling of an electric motorcycle. in years gone by, an electric bike wasn't instantly recognisable as an electric bike would simply be shunned as too plain, boring, or not ground-breaking enough. The trouble with that was it made the electric motorcycle scene a very niche place to play.

Thankfully for consumers, electric motorcycle designers have now cottoned on to the idea of making machines that are recognisable as electric without alienating traditional motorcyclists. Bikes like the Energica Eva, Zero SR/F, and now the RevoNEX have changed all that though, with the contender from Kymco looking like one of the best looking electric motorcycles to date.

A theme with electric bikes is to proudly have some or all of the machine’s batteries on display, just to hammer home the message that the bike is electrically powered. Instead, the new naked from Kymco uses neat looking fairing elements to shroud and hide the battery and electronics, with only the end of the electric motor nudging its way out of the side of the bike. The Kymco is just a god looking electric motorcycle, it’s a good looking motorcycle full stop.

When will the Kymco RevoNEX be launched?

With plans to launch the machine in 2021, we are expecting more official images of the completed production machine in the coming months, with a press launch between now and spring 2021. The pricing as yet is under wraps, although given Kymco’s huge wealth, massive manufacturing expertise and huge workforce, it’s likely the RevoNEX won't just be conventional to ride, good looking, and entertaining; it’ll probably be one of the best value electric motorcycles on the market too.