Kawasaki made a big splash at EICMA last fall, announcing, among other green initiatives, an upcoming hybrid motorcycle. Whether Kawasaki will reach its target of a 2024 launch for a Ninja HEV remains to be seen, but when it does arrive, we have to remember it’s not the first mass produced hybrid two-wheeler. No, that honor actually belongs to the Honda PCX Hybrid scooter, introduced in 2018 for Asian markets.
Since its inception, Zero has been powering its motorcycles with its proprietary Z-Force motor. The motor has evolved over the years, but at its core, it has remained an air-cooled interior permanent magnet brushless motor. That might soon change, as recently-published patent filings reveal Zero has been working on a liquid-cooled motor.
Bombardier Recreational Products announced Can-Am is returning to the motorcycle business with a new range of electric two-wheelers. A teaser video suggests at least four different models are in the works, with BRP expecting to reveal the full lineup in mid-2024.
We’ve known for some time that Kawasaki is working on a hybrid motorcycle, but a recently published patent suggests it may be combined another Kawasaki technology, a supercharger. More specifically, the patent describes an electrically-powered supercharger, with a motor capable of driving both the motorcycle and the supercharger’s impeller.
Piaggio has filed a patent for an active aerodynamic device using winglets that rotate up or down to affect rotational torque. The patent, published today with the World Intelletual Property Office but initially filed in Italy in late 2018, uses a last-generation MP3 three-wheeled scooter in its illustrations, but the principles behind that patent can apply just as well on a two-wheeled motorcycle.
Polaris is preparing to update its Slingshot three-wheeler with a new engine design and an automatic transmission. The new engine will be designed by Polaris itself, unlike the General Motors 2.4L Ecotec engine that’s been powering the Slingshot since its introduction in 2015.
When Kawasaki announced updates for the 2019 Ninja H2, the headline-grabbing change was the 30-horsepower increase, raising the claimed maximum output to 227.8 hp. One change that drew much less attention was the new Highly Durable Paint treatment that Kawasaki claims is self-repairing.
MO’s resident moto-sleuth, Dennis Chung, has done it again with this online discovery of these Honda CBX design drawings, which were filed Feb. 1 and officially registered June 8 with Japan’s intellectual property office. As with all drawings of this type, they are both remarkably detailed and frustratingly vague. For example, the side covers over the electronics appear to have Dzuz fasteners holding them on, while there are no hints at all as to what is going into the space between the top of the engine and the frame. Will Honda allow that much light to pass through its motorcycle in the final design? Let’s take a deep dive into what we can surmise from these drawings.
Suzuki has filed multiple patent applications for a semi-automatic transmission system that may find its way on the next generation Hayabusa. Suzuki has filed three patents dealing with different aspects of the technology, filing each in Japan, the U.S. and in Germany.