KYMCO and LiveWire electric motorcycles in collaboration?

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If you’ve been keeping an eye on electric motorcycle developments for a while, then you may remember two concepts that Taiwanese motorcycle manufacturer KYMCO took to EICMA in 2022. The all-combustion SuperNEX and the “naked” RevoNEX (much as an electric motorcycle is always completely naked) presented an exciting futuristic design.

But they were only concepts, so who knew when or if they would reach production? And furthermore, to what extent would the design language seen and admired by the public at the time be retained in any production model? After all, we had already seen both concepts undergo significant design changes, both having been initially introduced by KYMCO in previous years.

Then came the announcement that Kymco was teaming up with LiveWire to manufacture some of its S3 motorcycles, mainly for the Asian markets. As a reminder, LiveWire refers to the One as an S1 bike; the Del Mar and Mulholland as S2 bikes, and some smaller future models that have not yet been launched as S3s.

Plans announced for 2023 indicate that an S4, once it reaches that point, will return to circulation and will be an electric version of the cruisers most often associated with parent company Harley-Davidson, but that’s getting a bit ahead of ourselves.

The bikes will use the KYMCO Ionex platform, as confirmed at EICMA 2023 to RideApart by KYMCO president Allen Ko. But recent patent applications filed by KYMCO seem to give an idea of what could be creations based on RevoNEX and SuperNEX that bear a strong resemblance to the existing LiveWire. 

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To be clear, these patent drawings are from two recent KYMCO patent applications. It’s not the exterior details that are very similar to the LiveWire S2 bikes, of course; it’s what’s under the fairing. The wheels, the fairing panels and the location of the charging port are all different, according to the concepts previously presented and also these patents.

It’s also not clear whether this means we can expect similar power and performance figures from the KYMCO versions of these bikes, nor whether they will ever appear in the same markets.

The exact details of the LiveWire/KYMCO manufacturing and development partnership are not entirely clear to outsiders. So while KYMCO currently sells its combustion-powered motorcycles and scooters in many markets around the world, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the same will be true of the electric bikes it eventually produces.

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