Suzuki has filed a new patent in Japan – and it shows a bike’s entire engine and transmission flipped into a different position.

But why? Well, according to the patent application, the USD layout would allow for a shorter wheelbase – which should help to improve handling – while making room for a longer swingarm which should help to improve stability.

Interestingly, Husaberg made use of a similar layout on its 570 models (from 2009 to 2012) – although its intention was to move the engine’s crankshaft closer to the bike’s centre of gravity, rather than shortening the wheelbase. Equally, the all-new Nembo 32 features an inverted engine, with head-down cylinders and the crankshaft up top. This layout was supposedly designed to concentrate the mass of the bike within a tight area too.

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At this stage, we’ve heard no official news from Suzuki about the development of a bike with an inverted engine setup – and to be honest, we’re not expecting to see a production bike using this layout anytime soon. Either way, we’ll be keeping an eye on any further patent applications to see how the idea develops.

Ross Mowbray

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