Hybrid powertrains make a lot of sense in the motorcycle community. They serve as the best of both worlds (ICE and EV), offering an easy way to save fuel without the worry of range anxiety (a common issue on full electric motorcycles). Yet, there are no hybrid bikes on sale at the moment, and only Kawasaki has shown interest in the concept of late.
Now, it seems Honda is the next in line to join the hybrid party. It has filed a handful of patents for a new motorcycle, powered by an engine plus electric motor setup. There are some unheard bits and bobs too, which are quite sensible.
Honda Patents New Hybrid Motorcycle
Honda’s patent filings reveal a unique battery-engine combination. The motorcycle hides a multi-cylinder internal combustion engine, paired with not one but two separate brushless electric motors. This allows the rider to choose between three options to drive the rear wheel. The first one relies solely on the IC engine, the second has the engine in tandem with both batteries, and the third is where it runs purely on electricity.
In addition, the patent also suggests an unheard use of two batteries. When one battery supplies juice, the other doubles up as a generator to convert mechanical power into electricity, thus charging the battery pack. This will not only boost range, but it could also enable the use of a smaller battery to keep the weight down. After all, big battery packs are half the reason E-motorcycles weigh much more than their ICE counterparts.
Other noteworthy details include a continuously variable transmission and a Honda NC750X-derived chassis. It also comprises a PCU (Power Control Unit) to switch between the above-mentioned power combinations. The sad part, however, is that there are no obvious hints about the upcoming bike’s design, or what it’ll be based on. The chassis might be a hint, but we don’t think Honda’s first hybrid motorcycle would be a middleweight tourer. Starting slow is the widest approach, after all.
Could We See A Hybrid Honda Motorcycle Soon?
Sorry to burst your bubble, but it doesn’t look like it. These are only patent filings and Honda has had little to no comments on hybrid motorcycles in the recent past. So a hybrid Honda motorcycle could still be quite far away in the future, unlike the destined-for-2024 Kawasaki HEV. You should also know the new bike won’t be the Honda’s first hybrid two-wheeler. That honor belongs to the 2018 Honda PCX scooter, which had a small Li-ion battery to boost initial acceleration. It only went on sale in select markets, and failed to perform well. Let’s hope the motorcycle doesn’t meet the same fate in the future.