Honda V4 Superbike Engine Revealed in Patent Documents

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Intriguing news continues to flow from officially-published patent and trademark documents, with the unearthing of a patent revealing appears to be the engine of the long-awaited MotoGP-derived Honda V-4 superbike.

A new V-4 based on Honda’s championship-winning RC-V prototype racebike has long been the stuff of dreams, made real with the 2012 announcement from Honda Chief Executive Officer Takanobu Ito confirming the new production superbike was in the works. The patents, filed March 28, 2012 and published Oct. 4 later that year, provide further evidence the V-4 product is close to coming to fruition.

The bulk of the patent focused on a new cooling system.

The patent itself seems innocuous enough, focusing mainly on a new cooling system for “V-Type engines” that uses a shorter coolant hose than previous designs. While the patent could be adopted for a V-Twin engine, the text clearly states the included diagrams are of a four-cylinder engine in a 90-degree V configuration just like the RC213V or the RCV1000R production racer.

The patent document includes a line diagram of a sportsbike purely for illustrative purposes, so don’t expect the final product to look like this. Honda used a sketch the 2011 CBR1000RR for the diagram, as you can see from vertical gap in the fairing and three-spoked wheels. That Honda used the 2011 model should be no surprise, as it was the current model when the patent was filed; it is significant that it was a CBR1000RR however, as this suggests the V-4 would also be a literbike and could be the long-standing model’s replacement.

We cleaned up the dashed lines and arrows from the diagram, revealing Honda used the 2011 CBR1000RR as a template for the sketches. Note how the crankcase is higher than that on the CBR1000RR's I-4 engine. This is to accommodate the V-4 engine's deep oil pan.

There’s no timeline on when we can expect Honda to produce its MotoGP-derived V-4 sportbike, seeing as how the patent is already three years old, but we hope it’s soon.

[Source: USPTO]

Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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