With Kawasaki about to reveal a third supercharged motorcycle, another Japanese manufacturer is working on its own forced induction bike. A couple of patent applications recently published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office reveal Honda is working on a motorcycle with a supercharged V-Twin engine with direct injection.

The two patents describe two different aspects of the same project, one describing the positioning of the supercharger and the other describes how the engine can be mounted to a motorcycle chassis. Both patents place emphasis on how to make the engine and motorcycle easier to assemble and produce; this, combined with the amount of detail used in illustrating various components, suggests this supercharged V-Twin project is pretty far in its development, especially if they already factoring how to make it more viable for mass production.

According to the patents, the supercharger (labeled 63 in the diagrams) is positioned inside the V between the two cylinder heads. The drawings show the twin cylinders arranged at a 90-degree angle, each with a single overhead camshaft. That vertically-aligned oblong shape (116) positioned next to the front cylinder is the housing for the gears that transmit power from the crankshaft to the compressor.

And if a supercharged V-Twin isn’t enough, the patents also describe a direct fuel injection system to spraying fuel directly into the cylinder, with secondary fuel injectors in the intake pipe.

As for the rest of the motorcycle, the illustrations show a bike with a sculpted fuel tank, trellis frame, and a rising subframe supporting a stepped two-person seat. The rider footpegs are slightly rearset while the handlebars are raised, suggesting some sporty ergonomics without being too extreme. The patents don’t show any fairing, but that doesn’t mean much as the patents are focused on the bike’s internals. The engine appears fairly slim even with the cover for the supercharger drive gears, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to package it all inside some bodywork.

Based on what the patents reveal (with the caveat that there can still be some changes before we see either a prototype or production bike) our guess is we’re looking plans for a new Honda VTR Superhawk with a supercharged direct injection V-Twin engine.

The Honda VTR1000F, known in the US as the SuperHawk and elsewhere as the Firestorm, also sported a 90-degree V-Twin, which displaced 996cc.

There’s no timeline on if/when we’ll see something come out of these patents. EICMA is coming up really fast, but next year might be more likely. As always, Motorcycle.com will have more information as it becomes available.

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  • john burns

    crazy! i expect a V2 Supercharged street legal CRF500RR.

    • DickRuble

      yeah, to come to market right after the Suzuki turbo unveiled what, four years ago?.. Should be soon after never. You’re right about one thing, knowing Honda’s nanny culture, they are unlikely to unleash a 1000cc supercharged H2 copycat on the streets. 500cc is likely the ballpark.

      • spiff

        I just posted above a similar concern. You beat me to it, and your correct.

      • Born to Ride

        I’d hope to see a 750-800cc bike. The mass moment of inertia of a supercharger spinning at tens of thousands of rippums is not neglible. That combined with a literbike crankshaft and flywheel effect could result in a sluggish steering bike. The advantage of forced induction (usually) is to produce more power with less displacement. I don’t see that as a bad thing.

        • spiff

          I think Ruble is just tired of the new mantra at Honda: “Ride Vanilla”. Most real world benefits will come from smaller displacement applications. My concern is if Honda will ever say “hold my beer” (CBR900RR comes to mind) ever again? They have become boring.

  • mikstr


  • gjw1992

    So long as no inspiration comes from that turbo cx650 of the 80s – really was lipstick on a pig.

  • Born to Ride

    This is truly exciting! I would loooove to own a brand new superhawk. I already hear the intake whine combined with the beautiful staccato bass of a 90 degree vee. I need dis.

    • Jeff S. Wiebe

      Japanese V-twin sportbike. ~1000cc. Love it: my old SV-1000 was great!

      • Born to Ride

        This new development has scratched the itch that had me trolling CL for a clean SV1000 recently…

        • spiff

          What state are you in? I know a guy that has one he would probably sell.

          • Born to Ride

            California, the southern part.

          • spiff

            I’m in Vegas. A co-worker of mine has an SV1000. My understanding is it is in good shape except that it needs fork seals. He hasn’t ridden it in a while. Drive up, buy it, we can go for a ride, and I’ll buy the first beer.

          • Born to Ride

            It’d have to be a damn good deal for that kinda haul. Is he just trying to offload it? Do you know if it has a black frame or a silver frame?

          • spiff

            The bike is blue with a silver frame if my memory serves me. Next ime I see him, probably Wednesday, I’ll ask him.

            As far as the trip, make a mini vacation. Drive up, do a dinner/show, and get the heck out. Thousands of SoCals do it every weekend.

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  • MikeD

    About frigging time someone in the motorcycle world placed the blower in the V like the car manufacturers have been doing for ever now.
    Good for you, Honda . . . now don’t chicken out and never make it anything more than a patent drawing.

    • spiff

      I believe they’ll make it, I worry it will be an NC250.

  • Jayy Cee

    I’m surprised they aren’t using the existing CB500 of CB650 parallel twin engines and adding forced induction. Do literbike’s really need forced induction and more power??
    With that being said, I would love a SC on my track SV650.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      “Do literbikes really need forced induction and more power?” Exactly my point. Do they need to go any faster than they already do? The Hayabusa is going to be a supercharged liter bike. I suppose eventually mid-range bikes could be supercharged if they can get the size, weight and cost down. The complexity however will be more, including maintenance costs.

      • Born to Ride

        Superchargers are actually relatively low maintenance and reliable when designed right. Especially self contained units that just need to have their oil changed periodically. In the automotive world, forced induction serves two primary purposes. Either you boost a small engine in a small car to improve its power to weight ratio given the packaging constraints, or you boost a large high performance engine to get massive power figures. I’d be willing to bet this effort from Honda will be the former rather than the latter. Something like a 500-800cc looking at the size of the chassis if it’s drawn to scale.

        • Sayyed Bashir

          The article is conjecturing it is a VTR liter bike.

          • Born to Ride

            The article makes no conjecture regarding the displacement of this engine, and just because they feel the VTR nomenclature might be the natural lineage to inherit doesn’t mean anyone is saying it’s gonna be a literbike with a blower.

    • Born to Ride

      Why do you assume that it’s a literbike?

    • Roval

      I think they’re choosing a 90 degree V-twin for packaging reasons; the area between the cylinders is a large enough to place a supercharger without affecting the overall packaging, while the engine is narrower then a parallel twin.

      The only unknown is GDI for motorcycle use, but I think it’s more of a industry adaptation rather then a technical issue (when you consider how late motorcycles took to EFI and VVT– the automobile world had them at least a decade prior).

  • sgray44444

    I look forward to anything that allows Honda to break out of the boring and practical mindset they’ve been in for a while now. I’m not convinced that forced induction is needed on a motorcycle though. I would rather see a Superchicken with a naturally aspirated 1200cc 90 degree twin making 130-150hp.

    • spiff

      At the wheel.

    • David K

      They have been a little boring and conservative, not to mention some really poor designs in recent years. The redesigned Gold Wing was long overdue as they became a big eyesore. A buyer likes the ride and performance but looks count as well. I don’t understand the new CBR1000RR redo though. It was a good effort but after all those years of trailing all the other liter bikes, it is still not at the top. They needed an engine with the highest horse power not one that still lags behind such high end bikes such as the new Suzuki GSX-R1000 and Kawasaki Ninja.

      • sgray44444

        I think they really believe that their bikes will sell based only on their name and reputation of reliability. I think they see themselves (based on their pricing lately) as being on par with BMW, but they fail to realize that their products are not exciting, and this is not the auto division. Their motorcycles will not sell in great numbers on the basis of reliability and practicality; they will sell based on performance and aesthetic appeal, and they seemed to have lost that vision years ago. They used to make some exciting and competitive motorcycles!

      • Born to Ride

        In fairness, they put their money into weight reduction and chassis tuning on the CBR1000. It makes a lot more competitive power in other markets where the Ecu isn’t programmed to chop off the top end. 165hp(ecu reflashed) and 425lbs with a stout midrange that the Honda engine is known for sounds better to me than the aprilias 185hp and superior electronics. These superbikes will almost never see peak horsepower production under regular use, so midrange power and rider friendly chassis wins in my book.

        • David K

          It is a big improvement with the electronics and slipper clutch, but it is not a leader. Honda has been a follower for several years now and is playing catch up. There was a time when all I would buy is a Honda, but now I am no longer brand loyal.

          • Born to Ride

            Most publications will disagree with you with the Honda either outright winning the comparisons or scoring runner up, like here at MOronic Horsepower Headquarters.

            (JK guys, loved the article)

  • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

    interesting-looks like they went with a supercharger instead of turbo(so no lag?)it will be interesting to know what the final compression ratio is; is there an option for disengaging the supercharger or is it on all the time? in choosing the 90degree twin it looks like Honda may be gunning for Ducati at the moment Ducati adopts their new V4

    • Born to Ride

      Why would you want to disengage the supercharger?

      • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

        why did James bond disengage the supercharger on his Bentley? besides maybe you might find yourself in a place where no high octane gas is available,or simply not want to run balls out

        • Born to Ride

          Generally speaking, when an engine is designed for use with forced induction, a much lower compression ratio is used to avoid predetonation and unwanted stress on the reciprocating components. If you were to remove the boost, you’d have a severely undercompressed combustion chamber and your ignition timing would be off by a mile. Having driven vehicles with faulty turbos and SCs in need of repair, I can tell you that running a boosted engine without boost is an unwanted affair. As for James Bond? He has a license to kill, horses included.

          • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

            the difference in the Bentley was probably from about 7.5(normal aspiration) to 10.5,or something like that;butthat was the old days when cars and bikes generally had much less volumetric efficiency;i didn’t know James killed horses! seems a waste

          • Born to Ride

            Haha it was supposed to say “horsepower” evidently I disengaged my brain prematurely.

          • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

            i know it’s getting late here too-but i find myself fascinated with a machine that would be supercharged all the time! i shouldn’t be there are cars(and bikes) that are turbocharged all the time;wonder about the compresson ratio

  • The Bike Breaker

    CRF 450 top ends times 2 would give 900cc , with super charging that could easily equal 150 hp at the rear wheel. Would it be a better ride than a KTM SuperDuke ? I don’t know , but , I hope Honda tries it.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      The Super Duke R is more than just engine capacity. It is a Super Krazy bike which no one else can duplicate.

      • Born to Ride

        Except when our MOrons compared it to the EBR and they found that its relative tameness made it a better overall bike despite giving up Krazy sporting prowess.

  • Matt O

    I’d rather it were a v4 but this trend of supercharging gets me excited regardless of configuration

    • Gruf Rude

      As an ex-mechanic, V-4s are a pain to work on and for a motorcycle, are unnecessarily bulky and complicated. A lightweight, compact 90degree V-twin with a supercharger could be a spectacular powerplant for a motorcycle, particularly with modern suspension and brakes. Light, flickable and fast – could be something to love . . .

      • Matt O

        Yeah I understand my love of v4 is not rational. Whatever this materializes into will have my complete attention

  • frankfan42

    Very interesting. Honda has the capacity to do some amazing engineering, and in light of Kawi’s impending S/C bike at Eicma this may stand a chance. I’d love to see what Honda could do with a lightweight 750 s/c bike.

  • Tod Rafferty

    May it please the Buddha.

  • Speedwayrn@yahoo.com

    Direct injection with a secondary injector. So far DI has been problematic with build up on the back of the exhaust valve. This will not effect most owners as this only becomes a problem with high mileage.

    • Born to Ride

      Intake valve, but indeed. Additionally, direct injection requires high pressure fuel pumps that are prone to failure.

  • wolzybk

    Thumbs up! That would rock! Such a bike could well be a contender for my next machine, once I’m done with the Ducati Monster I’ve been riding for the last 24 years.

  • Michael

    I hope so… I loved the 2 VTR1000’s I owned. Great bikes!

  • Mr_DAA

    Best Bike I ever owned: 2004 ZX10R
    Funnest bike I ever owned: 1999 Super Hawk
    Honda isn’t very inspiring to me these days.
    Kinda like a tuna sandwich.