Kymco CV3 offers motorcycle performance on a car licence

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Kymco have their sights set on a slice of the inter-city commuter market with their new three-wheeled CV3 scooter, a machine which can be ridden on a car licence.

Powered by the same 51bhp 550.4cc parallel twin as the Taiwanese firm’s AK550 scooter and AK550 Premium maxi scooters, it’s capable of a claimed 105mph and can be locked upright at a standstill for easier parking and stability at the lights.

Featuring two 13in alloy front rims bolted to a four-forked leaning suspension system, the CV3 offers the wheel spacing required for drivers to hop aboard without a bike licence – providing they passed their test before 2013.

Kymco CV3 front wheels

The locking system is controlled via the right switchgear and can be deactivated manually, or automatically once riding.

Once you are rolling, the CV3 is capable of a claimed 40 degrees of lean and also qualifies for London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) regs.

Going up against rivals such as the £11,500 Piaggio MP3 Exclusive 530, the Kymco provides an alternative to public transport for commuting and is set to arrive in dealers at the start of 2023.

The 265kg (dry) twist-and-go machine features premium touches such as cruise control, keyless ignition, LED lighting and a six-inch TFT dash – with an audible bleep sounding once the indicators are activated.

You even get a progressive foot brake pedal that applies the anchors on all three ABS-equipped wheels.

Ahead of its arrival in dealers, MCN grabbed the keys to a pre-production CV3 to sample it on the drizzly roads of Northamptonshire, alongside the £9899 AK550 it is based on.

Kymco CV3 on the road

The wet weather gave an immediate appreciation for just how much protection you get from the elements. I spent the day in riding jeans, with no fear of wet legs thanks to its tall, broad nose and all-encompassing screen.

Leaning against the backrest and sinking into the plush perch, there is ample comfort for even the longest of commutes and you could tour on it with ease.

It’s not what you’d call exciting though, providing a burbling soundtrack and sufficient linear power to stay ahead of the traffic without blowing your socks off.

Kymco CV3 front left

This is very much an appliance for covering big miles and dodging the traffic, but should still feel like a rocket to car drivers making the switch to three wheels.

One thing motorcycle riders will notice is how slow the steering feels. It’s planted and reassuring, but the CV3 is lazy on direction changes and makes the two-wheeled, 226kg (dry) AK550 feel agile in comparison.

Also, in order to accommodate the front suspension, underseat storage is reduced to little more than a single crash helmet, with no cubby holes up front. Given this is one of the key advantages of a scooter, it’s a real negative.

Kymco unveil three wheel concept

First published on 10 November 2017 by Liam Marsden

Kymco CV3 concept

Taiwanese manufacturer Kymco unveiled two concept scooters at this week’s Milan Show, one of which has three wheels.

Kymco are classing both bikes as ‘adventure tourers’, although there doesn’t look to be that much potential for adventure with the small wheel size and road tyres. The CV3 is the three wheel version, and looks like a mashup between a Piaggio MP3 and the new Yamaha Niken.

Kymco revealed a teaser video for the models last month, and we believe both models will be powered by the same 550cc parallel twin engine used in the firm’s AK550. Kymco haven’t confirmed this, and now they expect the new models to have a power output greater than the AK550.

Kymco CV3 rider and passenger

A range of accessories appear to be available for the models, including back rests, passenger seats, panniers and even a roof – much like the BMW C1.

“The C Series Concept is yet another innovation from Kymco that follows after the launch of AK 550 and the Noodoe IOT system,” said Mr. Allen Ko, Chairman of KYMCO Group. “The C Series is introduced with the Kymco Multi-Fit concept to expand the versatility to cover any trip of riding alone or with a passenger.

“The rear case, side cases, top case, rear seat and hard top are all attachable upon demand; there is even a child footrest. All of these accessories are designed to satisfy the needs of riders for different purposes.”