Kymco CV3 three-wheel scooter test: the anti-traffic jam weapon, and more

Kymco CV3 three-wheel scooter test: the anti-traffic jam weapon, and more

Presented for the first time at the Milan Motor Show in 2017, the Kymco CV3 took five years to finally be marketed. An eternity in a segment where the competition, mainly embodied by the Piaggio MP3, has been established since 2006. On paper, however, the CV3 presents distinctive arguments, starting with its engine architecture which is based on a 550 cc twin developing almost 51 ch. A notable difference with the Italian competitor, since the more powerful Kymco engine could offer increased versatility.

Another argument and not the least, the CV3 has a tilting front axle made up of two tubes for each of the wheels (Kymco Advance Leaning Suspension) supposed to offer a reduced size as well as a drop in weight, while promising comfort and agility.

Kymco CV3 550 twin cylinder 3 wheel scooter

In addition, the CV3 offers new instrumentation with a 6-inch color TFT screen connected to the Noodoe platform to access geolocation, navigation, telephony or even travel information. Two driving modes are also available and keyless start is standard, among other features.

Kymco CV3 550 twin cylinder 3 wheel scooter

The Kymco CV3 is displayed at €12,990 (€12,490 until July 31) with five years of warranty and two years of assistance. The CV3 is accessible to B permits (L5E-A approval) + 7 hour training.

Kymco CV3 550 twin cylinder 3 wheel scooter

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Ergonomics and design

If the Kymco CV3 was long overdue, the end result is not so far from our expectations. The style, which you can enjoy at your convenience, inherits the DTX-360 with taut lines, interplay of facets and prominent edges. The massive silhouette registers the CV3 in the category of maxi-scoot and its dimensions (2.14 m long and 0.8 m wide) suggest a generous space on board. The wheelbase is also quite high with 1.58 m. It’s almost as much as the Yamaha T-Max, 9 cm less than the BMW CE-04 or even 4 cm more than the MP3 500.

Kymco CV3 550 twin cylinder 3 wheel scooter

To take place, you have to step over the imposing central tunnel, but the space on the saddle is welcoming. If the latter culminates at 795 mm high, its narrowness allows you to put your feet on the ground. The adjustable backrest isn’t much use (it’s a little too far from the lower back), while the space for the feet is well thought out. Better yet, the brake pedal, mandatory on three-wheelers, is not a problem during use.

Kymco CV3 550 twin cylinder 3 wheel scooter

The commands of the cockpit fall well in hand, but it takes a certain time of adaptation to apprehend the various functions. On the left are the light controls, cruise control, horn, drive modes, heated grips and mechanical handbrake control.

Kymco CV3 550 twin cylinder 3 wheel scooter

On the right, the start button (surprisingly coupled with that of the hazard warning lights), the locking of the front axle, the navigation in the menu and the engine stop. On the central apron throne the ignition button and below, arranged in piano, are the access keys to the menu, to the saddle box, the driving trips and the key lock.

Kymco CV3 550 twin cylinder 3 wheel scooter

The controls are numerous, but we regret a finish that is a little too plastic and a little below the standards set by the T-Max in particular. Nevertheless, the body fittings remain of good quality and the assemblies are correct.

Kymco CV3 550 twin cylinder 3 wheel scooter

On the other hand, what a surprise not to find storage space for the telephone at the level of the apron… Admittedly, the complex mechanics of the front axle as well as the electronic locking thereof take up all the space, but for a maxi-scoot is a bit of a shame. Same complaint at the level of the trunk: impossible to store more than a modular helmet.

Kymco CV3 550 twin cylinder 3 wheel scooter

Let’s stay on a positive note, the Kymco CV3 presents overall very well. Its size is flattering, its line is dynamic, the space on board is welcoming. In short, it brings a breath of fresh air in a context of quasi-Italian hegemony. However, its lack of practicality could prove to be a disadvantage for some drivers.

Kymco CV3 550 twin cylinder 3 wheel scooter

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Comfort and equipment

The Kymco CV3 is distinguished by a digital and connected dashboard. This new instrumentation accompanies a move upmarket on the part of the manufacturer. The information necessary for driving — tachometer, speed, clock, trips, fuel gauge, engine temperature, instantaneous fuel consumption, tire pressure check, seat opening indicator, grip activation and heating level, mode of driving (standard or rain) — are grouped together on a 6-inch diagonal TFT color screen.

Kymco CV3 550 twin cylinder 3 wheel scooter

The screen has a light sensor that automatically changes its backlight. The instrumentation block is adjustable in inclination, but note all the same that the screen lacks a little contrast in our opinion in a very bright environment. Menu navigation isn’t the quickest either.

Kymco CV3 550 twin cylinder 3 wheel scooter

The Kymco CV3 has the Keyless One Touch system for keyless starting. The system consists of a key which is automatically recognized within a radius of 3.5 m around the scooter and authorizes the activation of the ignition within a radius of 1.5 m. The start-up by pressure is simplified and the start-up faster.

Kymco CV3 550 twin cylinder 3 wheel scooter

Note also a cruise control which is activated in two clicks via the controls on the left stalk. Activation is possible between 45 and 130 km/h and is deactivated upon the intervention of a human command or by pressing the Set button again.

Kymco CV3 550 twin cylinder 3 wheel scooter

Finally, the trunk is equipped with automatic lighting and a 12 V socket, although unfortunately there is no USB socket. In terms of complaints, given the weight of the CV3 (282 kg), we would have appreciated finding a reverse gear to facilitate maneuvers when stationary. An equipment which nevertheless exists on the MP3 500 HPE.

The Kymco CV3 is equipped with a tilting train made up of two tubes for each of the wheels, called KALS for Kymco Advance Leaning Suspension. This solution offers the advantage of combining agility, comfort and stability. On the other hand, it will be necessary to remain vigilant at the time of the lock. Indeed, if it can be activated with a simple thumb pressure when stationary or as soon as the scooter moves at a speed of less than 13 km/h, it freezes the inclination but not the compression-relaxation. Thus, on loose or sloping ground, the train can sag when lowering the scooter. To keep the scooter safe, it is therefore preferable to unfold the stand, whereas on the MP3 the system locks the entire train and freezes the scooter in one block.

Kymco CV3 550 twin cylinder 3 wheel scooter

Another remark, if the handbrake by cable makes it possible to brake the scooter in the parking position, when leaving, no signal informs you of a forgetting to unlock. A certain vigilance is therefore required.

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Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Connectivity and app

The Kymco CV3 is compatible with the Noodoe companion app, available on iOS and Android. The pairing is done simply and in Bluetooth. On the scooter’s connected dashboard, it is possible to receive notifications of phone calls, messages, various alerts and especially the navigation function. Attention, the latter does not display a map but directions to follow.

Kymco CV3 550 twin cylinder 3 wheel scooter

The application also provides access to the geolocation of the scooter, to key statistics such as travel logs, mileage traveled, autonomy or even average consumption. It also allows you to know the tire pressure, which is not so common. Finally, a little fancy, it is possible to personalize your meter funds by going to a creation bank: certainly, there is something for everyone!

Editor's Rating: 5 out of 5

Handling and performance

No need to beat around the bush: the flagship argument of the CV3 is its engine architecture inherited from the big AK 550 scooter. Like the latter, the CV3 is equipped with a twin-cylinder double overhead camshaft with belt transmission. The maximum power delivered by this block is 50.3 hp for a torque of 52 Nm. Compared to the AK 550, the torque range has also been smoothed to remain more accessible for B permits.

Kymco CV3 550 twin cylinder 3 wheel scooter

Clearly, this engine is a success. Flexible, low noise, free from disturbing vibrations in the usual rev ranges, it offers the CV3 driving comfort that is unique in the segment.

Kymco CV3 550 twin cylinder 3 wheel scooter

With its mapping that limits power to 34 hp and 47 Nm of torque, it is very easy to handle and never surprises when accelerating, even in Standard mode. Thus, the absence of traction control is not penalizing, even if it is still one point less on paper.

Kymco CV3 550 twin cylinder 3 wheel scooter

The engine-cycle part combo proves to be very versatile and offers flexibility of use that is unique in the segment. If the CV3 is the most powerful of the three-wheeled scooters, it is not more impressive to apprehend for all that. On the contrary, Kymco’s work on the front axle is interesting and reveals a beneficial compromise between flexibility, agility and stability.

Kymco CV3 550 twin cylinder 3 wheel scooter

Admittedly, it is not as agile as on a maxi-scooter equipped with two wheels, but the CV3 is as well capable of cruising quietly in town as of seeking angle on small winding roads. Better yet, on the highway, it has enough extension to allow long stages alone or in pairs. At this little game, only the protection for the passenger will be set back.

Kymco CV3 550 twin cylinder 3 wheel scooter

Be that as it may, the driving experience has proven to be convincing, even reassuring, the CV3 being capable of reconciling comfort and a certain dynamism. Note however that we must not lose sight of the total mass of the machine and the fact that the attack of the brake, equipped with ABS, lacks a bit of bite.

Kymco CV3 550 twin cylinder 3 wheel scooter

Strong points

  • Finishing.

  • Equipment.

  • Very good cycle part.

  • Pleasant engine.

Weak points

  • Space under the seat too small.

  • No pockets.

  • No backtracking.

  • Arrived a little late on the market?

Conclusion

we tested we liked
Global mark

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

How does grading work?

The Kymco CV3 was desired, but the result proves that it was worth the patience to obtain such a successful vehicle overall. Admittedly, this three-wheeled maxi-scooter is not perfect and it lacks carrying capacity (unless you opt for an optional top box), but its positioning makes it unique and brings a real bowl fresh air in a market where competition has been swept away by Piaggio. Isn’t it too late? The registration numbers will tell. For us in any case, this CV3 is convincing, whether in terms of its chassis, its front axle, its engine, its comfort or its equipment. A nice underdog.

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