PATENTS: Kawasaki’s two-stroke engine for a HYBRID motorcycle

What is motorcycling going to look like in the future? Are ever stricter emissions laws going to put a stop to petrol-powered fun – meaning we’re all going to end up going electric? Kawasaki’s come up with a plan to make the best of both worlds; a new two-stroke engine designed for a hybrid motorcycle.

It might sound like a crazy idea – after all, if you’ve got a two-stroke engine, why do you need an electric motor? But looking closely, it’s no traditional setup. We won’t deep dive into technical specifics, but basically the four-cylinder, 90 degrees engine would be pretty much unusable on its own.

It’ll generate plenty of power for its size – but there would be a very narrow band of torque. That’s why Kawasaki’s pairing it with an electric transmission. The two-stroke motor will power a generator, which in turn charges a battery – and then the battery powers the electric motor that drives the rear wheel.

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It’s a novel idea, and chances are we’re not going to see this technology on a bike anytime soon – but it’s great to see Kawasaki thinking outside the box.

Ross Mowbray
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