Are three wheels better than two?
A new teaser video by Kymco teases what looks to be a production-ready new scooter. What makes this one remarkable is that it has three wheels, yet it still leans into the turns like a two-wheeler. A vehicle like this is a first for Kymco.
Three-wheel scooters that lean in the turns are nothing new. It's strange to write it, but it's true. Though it only first set foot in the States in 2019, the Piaggio MP3 is such a scooter that's been in production since 2006. More recently, the Yamaha Tricity scooter uses a similar system, and the Niken has rocked the boat by being the first full-size production motorcycle to use this technology, though Tilting Motor Works made kits that would convert a Harley-Davidson Road King or Honda Gold Wing to a three-wheeled tilter.
Now it seems that Kymco is throwing its hat into the ring, after showing a concept bike at EICMA in 2017. The 16-second video doesn't show much, but we can see a sharp looking scooter leaning very much like a Niken. The front wheels sit outside the forks, while the brakes appear to sit inside—the same configuration as its Piaggio competitor. The reason for the similar design may be to enable the scooter to be ridden with a standard driver's license, with no motorcycle endorsement required, which is legal in some European countries. Clearly, Kymco has the Piaggio MP3 squarely in its sights.
The engine appears to be Kymco's existing 550 cc parallel-twin with a CVT powering the back wheel, the same as other scooters in the lineup. Why not? This model may be unique in the front, but in the back, it's just a regular scooter, so it makes perfect sense to use existing proven technology.
We don't have to wait long to get more answers about this scooter. All will be revealed on Thursday, November 26, in an online press conference, as well as hopefully more details on the RevoNEX electric concept. Being on American Thanksgiving Day indicates that this market may not be so important for this model if it's even available here at all. Still, it may yet prove to give us another reason to be thankful.