One of the most controversial topics regarding contemporary media is that of fake news. Whether it’s intentionally false but designed as click bait or just plain ol’ false or mistaken news, it’s become rampant in our modern culture. We’re even seeing more of it in the world of motorcycles. We at Motorcycle.com care deeply about getting our facts correct so our readers can always count on us, but not all publications are as careful.

Whatever! – We Provide, You Decide!

For example, a British motorcycle site recently claimed to have found proof that Honda is working on a supercharged version of its NeoWing reverse trike concept, and several other e-zines have picked up on this story. But if such a contraption is something you’ve been dreaming of, we’ll have to burst your bubble, as the report is completely false. Let’s take a look at how this duplicitous story developed.

Sorry, But This Probably Isn’t a Supercharged 600cc Kawasaki R2

Morebikes.co.uk published its report March 7, claiming to have received illustrations suggesting Honda is putting the NeoWing into production with a supercharged flat-Six based on the Gold Wing’s powerplant. The problem is, none of this supposed evidence supports Morebikes’ claims.

Honda filed two patent applications that illustrate new concepts shown on a NeoWing reverse trike. One was for an air intake design and the other for a fender design that would cover the brake caliper on either of the two front wheels.

Honda filed two patent applications that illustrate new concepts shown on a NeoWing reverse trike. One was for an air intake design and the other for a fender design that would cover the brake caliper on either of the two front wheels.

The evidence itself is real. Honda did recently file a couple of patent applications with the USPTO for a vehicle that resembles the NeoWing, but neither of them mention using forced induction. The supercharged engine illustrations Morebikes published are also from patent filings, only they weren’t filed by Honda. Rather, the diagrams are from a patent for a piston cooling structure for a supercharged engine… filed by Kawasaki. Oops.

030817-kawasaki-h2-supercharged-engine-patent-illustration-0030817-kawasaki-h2-supercharged-engine-cooling-structure-patent-illustration

Morebikes claimed these illustrations show a supercharged Honda flat-Six engine. Actually, they’re for Kawasaki’s supercharged inline-Four. Kawasaki uses the words “left” and “front” to show directions whereas Honda’s patent uses “LH” and “FR.” A single patent would not switch labeling systems like this.
031417-honda-neowing-patent-us20170057594-fig-9

Morebikes didn’t show this drawing from Honda’s patent specifically showing air flowing from the airbox (52) through a throttle body (57a) before splitting through a manifold (58) to the opposed cylinder banks. Nowhere is there any mention of a supercharger.

Sure, it could be an honest mistake. Except that the piston cooling structure drawings are clearly for engine with an inline cylinder configuration, so not only did the Morebikes writer mistake the patent owner, he also didn’t take a good look at the pictures he’s writing about.

The NeoWing patents also contradict the writer, both illustrating and specifically describing a “horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine” and not the Gold Wing’s Six as Morebikes claims. Bottom line: the report is patently false (pun intended). Other sites have disappointingly picked up on Morebikes’ report and repeated its claims without giving them a critical look.

So, where does that leave us with the NeoWing? Honda may very well be working on a production version of the concept, though it’s just as likely Honda is merely patenting the ideas behind its concept (yes, companies do patent concepts). The original NeoWing concept called for a hybrid powertrain which seems unlikely to carry over into a production model. MO can confirm that Honda has filed other patents for a leaning three-wheeler based on the Gold Wing platform, but even then, that’s no guarantee that the idea will be used. In fact, Honda has several other patents for different front end designs for a Gold Wing including a BMW-like duolever front suspension for a single front wheel.

Honda NeoWing concept

While Honda has filed patents for the NeoWing (including design patents such as the picture at top), none of this is proof that the NeoWing is going into production. Companies patent concept models all the time, and they often don’t lead to a finished product. That being said, Honda did produce the outrageously styled NM4 scooter, so anything’s possible.

We can also report Honda has a patent for a cooling system for the horizontally-opposed engine with separate radiators: one in the front facing forward and another facing the rear under the seat. The NeoWing has a similar structure under the rear subframe that could be housing such a rear-facing radiator. This aspect of the NeoWing may wind up in a production model. But the claims in Morebikes’ report? Not so much.

Honda NeoWing concept at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show

The wedge-shaped structure under the seat looks like it may hide a radiator.

 

  • Proheli

    Thats not what fake news is. Fake news is the 97% democratic press, intentionally creating chaos with their continual sensationalism of anything republican. There is no intention of delivering the truth, so that practical sense and common sense can deliver a successful life experience to the citizens of the USA. Only sensationalism, so sensational, that it overwhelms peoples emotions and good sense and has them cease their desire for the truth. But I understood what you were saying, anyway. 🙂

    • Goose

      You’re right. People who base the news on actual, verifiable facts are fake news. People who create news from their imaginations are the people we should listen to.

    • Bruce Steever

      Ah, but Fox News and RT, they’re the best, amirght?

      • john burns

        I think it’s Breitbart that’s the fount of all knowledge now. They only hire non-democrats, so you know you’re getting both sides of the thing and no sensationalism or fillers.

        • Bruce Steever

          Please don’t change, good sir. You’re doing the lord’s work, you are.

          • john burns

            Et tu Bruce.

  • Starmag

    Mark Twain — ‘If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.’

    It’s always been BS. We just have computers now to cross check it, so it seems pervasive. What will the MIC and banksters do now?

  • SteveSweetz

    Yamaha has also been playing around with 3-wheelers, so maybe we will see a production one at some point.

    http://blog.motorcycle.com/2015/10/28/manufacturers/yamaha/three-cylinders-three-wheels-yamaha-mwt-9-concept/

  • Old MOron

    Excellent sleuthing, DC! – as always.
    I always enjoy reading your MOronic content.

  • JMDGT

    Honda is developing the Gromwing. Within a few years it will weigh 800 lbs.

  • Mark Vizcarra

    I would like to hear more about fuel injected 2 strokes

  • Bmwclay

    The true scoop is that Honda, by special agreement, is making a supercharged trike (non-reversed) with a Kawasaki H2* engine. Should really be something.

    *(1977 2-stroke)