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This image has appeared showing a patent drawing from Honda for a hybrid electric/petrol engine that’s destined for a motorcycle.

Although the patent is not exactly new it is the first time we’ve seen this design set out in this way and specified for a motorcycle on the engine description. The bulk of the design and idea stems back to 2014, this is a genuine look at how a large electric motor will sit as part of the powertrain for an upcoming model.

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The bike the system is set on for the patent however is a retro-styled motorcycle (the design is below, the electric motor is identified as number 30(A) in the drawing), but the implications of this tech reaching more into the sportbike sector are vast. We’ve already seen the idea touted for selected use in a future incarnation of the Gold Wing although that seems unlikely to appear for a while.

Using electric motors to supplement power to a conventionally-powered motor, or take over drive duties at slower speeds entirely will enable future models to get through ever increasingly strict emissions laws. Motorcycles are currently set at reaching Euro4 legislation whereas cars are heading towards much tighter Euro 6, which in turn will see all emissions from new vehicles brought down even further.

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Tony Carter

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