Kymco Scooters Update


If you haven't been paying attention lately to what is happening with Kymco USA, here are a few surprises.

First, Kymco USA has been purchased by LiveWire, along with Harley Davidson!
Mergers always leave me a little weary for things ahead. 

Kymco has become a well established Taiwanese brand of affordable scooter, with its engines being used in Honda's and other brands of motorsport vehicles.

In fact if you were to have gone Scooter shopping during the pandemic, you may have found what I found, the majority of available scooters available were Kymco's at most dealerships.

Kymco's are a quality made vehicle, and not one of those cheap China brands that breakdown or that every refuses to work on.  They're comparable with Honda and Yamaha, and often a lot more value and performance for the price.

Before buying my Piaggio Beverly 400cc scooter, I looked at a Kymco.  My main issue with Kymco was that it felt like it was built for a smaller person. I'm 5-10 and over 200Lbs.  My knees hit on the handle bars, it didn't feel very comfortable to me.  Other than that, it was a nice scooter.

It's difficult to know how this LiveWire merger will impact the Kymco build or distribution.   LiveWire, of course saying they'll make the brand even better.

Live Wire's S2 Del Mar Electric Motorcycle costs MSRP $15,499
in its base configuration.

Maybe a better question is, does this mean we'll be seeing future Electric Scooters and Motorcycles coming out of Kymco and Harley Davidson since LiveWire is focused on Electrics?

Second, Kymco has released a three wheel scooter called the CV3 in 2023, similar in appearance to Piaggio's MP3.


I've been unable to locate in dealers here in Southern California that has them, so either they'll come out closer to the end of 2023, or more likely start showing up at the beginning of the riding season in 2024.  This could also be due to the merger of Kymco with LiveWire?  Unknown.

Appearance wise from the photos and videos I've been able to find, I still prefer the look of the Piaggio MP3.   The MP3 was the first 3 wheel motorcycle or scooter with the wheels in the front for better stability. However, when talking with Piaggio dealers when I was looking for my 400cc scooter, and later with the mechanics of my local dealer, they apparently dislike working on them, said the MP3 is more expensive to maintain and repair, and suggested to me the more traditional two wheel scooter.

I wonder for the same reason, if Kymco dealerships will avoid carrying the new Kymco CV3 for similar reasons.

Normally, someone who decides to buy a Kymco in the US, is looking to save some money compared to buying a Honda, Yamaha, Vespa, Piaggio scooter. So does that budget savings exist with the new line of Kymco CV3's?

A new 2023 Piaggio which in my opinion has better colors, better styling, and an established history, and a slightly beefier engine at 530cc has a MSRP price tag of $11,999.00


The new 2023 Kymco CV3 has a different look, with a 500cc engine and a MSRP price tag of $11,999.00


Never having sat on the Kymco CV3, but having sat on Kymco's other Maxi Scooters, looking at the photo I am under the impression that the ride on the Kymco CV3 isn't going to be as comfortable on the more mature Piaggio MP3.

Poor seating on the Kymco 300I and 500 were a big reason I looked at other brands.  Notice in the photo that the seat on the CV3 curves up in front and dips in back into the back cushion, separating the passenger area.  What this does, is place the rider in more of a cruiser sitting position with a big hump in the prostate area which can't be very comfortable on a long ride. Also. the back cushion and separate passenger seat means someone riding the CV3 is restricted from being able to move further back.  If you are tall, that will be restrictive and cramping, which was again, one of the issues I found with other Kymco models, being an average American with a large 13 inch foot. 

The MP3 also has a raised area for the passenger which limits moving back farther on the seat, but it does not have that upward area at the front like the Kymco.
The Kymco is more or lease a long saddle, where as the MP3 is a bench seat allowing movement forward and back.

While they are both nice looking vehicles, the Piaggio MP3 is more refined, something I wouldn't mind riding as an executive to work.  The Kymco CV3 has more of an adventure bike styling.

At a starting price of $12,000 for both scooters, that's a lot of money.  Add in taxes, fees, licensing and registration, and you're looking at an out the door price minum of $14,000 to $15,000.

The main advantage of a front 3 wheel vehicle is that you do not need a motorcycle license in most states.  Most only require a class 3 regular car license.

From the mechanics and dealers I've talked with about the safety of these three wheel front scooters, all of them have said they do not believe the stability on a curve is increased very much over someone riding a two wheel scooter of motorcycle.

These vehicles often weigh over 1,000 Lbs, have car like gas mileage, often have sluggish acceleration.  So a 500cc three wheel scooter is required to achieve the same speed and performance as a Piaggio BV 400cc or Suzuki Burgman 400cc.

Regardless, it is nice to have another front 3 wheel maxi scooter on the USA market, (when it actually gets here). But at the same price as the Piaggio MP3, I would still prefer the Piaggio.  Maybe after I sit on a Kymco CV3 in person or have a chance to test ride one, I'd change my mind, but since they are priced exactly the same, I'd still have to leave towards Piaggio.  

Piaggio is an Italian brand, but they're designed in Pasadena, California of the US. They perform better and have longer maintenance intervals than Honda and Yamaha, and generally from with a two year warranty that can be extended to 4 years.  Yamaha and Honda's only come with a limited 1 year warranty.