Honda V4 Superbike Engine Outed in Patent Photos

03/12/2014 @ 2:40 pm, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

Honda V4 Superbike Engine Outed in Patent Photos honda v4 engine patent drawing 635x423

Honda’s road-going V4 superbike project has seemingly stalled, for the umptenth time in the past decade. While the bike has been rumored for years, the project just a year and a half ago was confirmed by Honda CEO Takanobu Ito.

Since that confirmation, the project’s delivery time has been pushed back, thought the Japanese motorcycle manufacturer has committed itself to building the MotoGP-inspired road bike.

With reports speculating on a possible price tag well into the six-figure range, the rumormill is on the rev limiter regarding this superbike, so if there is one thing we actually know about the machine, it is that we don’t actually know much about it.

A 1,000cc displacement is of course expected, along with a four-cylinder v-angle cylinder configuration. If we can presume a setup similar to what is found on the Honda RC213V MotoGP race bike, then make that a 90° cylinder head arrangement.

If we had really been on the ball though, we likely could have told you all this, six months ahead of Ito’s confirmation, as patent documents discovered by Spanish magazine SoloMoto shows the V4 superbike engine in line-drawing form, from as early as March 2012.

The patent itself focuses primarily on the cooling system used on the V4 engine and motorcycle, where the water pump is driven by the forward cylinder head’s camshaft. Pretty trick stuff for our tuning enthusiasts, though perhaps not as sexy for the mechanically less inclined. However, the accompanying photos should provide some drool fodder.

The short cylinder head height and deep oil belly pan give away the engine’s MotoGP heritage, as both are credited with Honda being able to wedge its V4 engine into the company’s GP chassis with more effect than say Ducati has shown.

The forward cylinder head is also pointed upward, almost at a 45° angle, which betrays any idea of an L-twin configuration, which is found on many Ducati road bikes.

Expected to put well north of 200hp at the crank, many see this eagerly anticipated superbike as just a watered down version of the Honda RCV1000R “Open Category” race bike, which itself is a watered down version of the Honda RC213V “Factory Option” machine.

Will this engine power a “homologation special” road bike for World Superbike, now that production limits have been cut in half? Only time will tell. One thing is for sure, the Honda CBR1000RR is long overdue for an update.

Honda V4 Superbike Engine Outed in Patent Photos Honda V4 engine patent 05 635x505

Honda V4 Superbike Engine Outed in Patent Photos Honda V4 engine patent 04 635x510

Honda V4 Superbike Engine Outed in Patent Photos Honda V4 engine patent 03 635x449

Source: Google Patents via SoloMoto

Comment:

  1. Alex says:

    Exhaust System for Variable Cylinder Engine, with unique diagrams, shown here:

    https://www.google.com/patents/US20130255237?dq=inassignee:%22Honda+Motor+Co.,+Ltd.%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=muYgU5LyE42CogT4iYK4Bw&ved=0CEQQ6AEwAg

  2. Thanks Alex. I saw that one, but I do believe it is the VFR engine, which set the front cylinder farther apart from the rear, to allow for air flow to the rear cylinders.

  3. Mike says:

    @alex That exhaust patent definitely shows a engine with a narrower V angle than the 90 degrees above, similar to the VFR 76 degree angle.

  4. Alex says:

    Good eyes. I was deceived by the CBR outline as the VFR patents usually show a VFR.

  5. n/a says:

    F**k me.

  6. MikeD says:

    Reverse Flow Cooling ? ( the right way actually ) like the 1993-1997 SBC LT1 ( wich allowed it to run a higher CR than a regular flow SBC of the same period ).
    That it came with Aluminium heads didn’t hurt either. lol.

  7. MikeG81 says:

    It would be nice to see the heir to the RC45, which 20 years later is still a beautiful bike to me(I’d love to ride one fitted with some ‘race’ end cans).

    Here’s hoping there will be a regular version of this litre V4 for us mortals.

  8. Norm G. says:

    re: “Will this engine power a “homologation special” road bike for World Superbike”

    no. unfortunately I don’t see an engine here with any sort of sporting intent.

  9. smiler says:

    What are they going to do about the Fireblade. New 1000 in line 4 or a V? The SP is clearly the end of the current bike.

  10. adam says:

    @Norm G

    Explain what you see please.

  11. Norm G. says:

    re: “@Norm G Explain what you see please.”

    if you’re goal is to make power and sustain high RPM’s…? after jumping through hoops to lighten your valve train, you don’t then shoot yourself in the foot and hang the load of a water pump off the end of one of your cams.

  12. twoversion says:

    The patent was submitted 2011 not 2012 and doesn’t show the super bike V4 engine.

  13. Not outside of Japan it wasn’t.

  14. MikeD says:

    @ Smiler:

    We are talking Honda here. Their Bread and Butter, Uber known worldwide Darling, CBR, WON’T, I REPEAT . . . IT WON’T be going anywhere even if they refuse to update it for the following 10 years from now.
    Oh, almost forgot . . . the day the CBR RR harbors something else but an I-4 between it’s frame’s spars there will be a Winter Storm raging on the Sahara Desert in the middle of August.

  15. Norm G. says:

    re: “Their Bread and Butter, Uber known worldwide Darling, CBR, WON’T, I REPEAT . . . IT WON’T be going anywhere even if they refuse to update it for the following 10 years from now.”

    and there it is.

  16. I see they’re putting V4s in endurance racers now, which is a preliminary step towards production cars. I’ve been waiting for car manufacturers to take this step for a long time. The V4 is the V8 of the future, the best of all worlds.

  17. Norm G. says:

    re: “which is a preliminary step towards production cars”

    is…? or want…?

    re: “I’ve been waiting for car manufacturers to take this step for a long time.”

    excellent, you already know what to expect.

    re: “The V4 is the V8 of the future”

    close, turbo I4.

  18. MikeG81 says:

    “Oh, almost forgot . . . the day the CBR RR harbors something else but an I-4 between it’s frame’s spars there will be a Winter Storm raging on the Sahara Desert in the middle of August.”

    Since ‘CB’ usually means a bike with a single, parallel-twin or inline four, yeah, you’re probably right.

  19. RobR says:

    Oh my God, no inline 4! Yeah, how tragic, Honda could never build a litre size V-4 Superbike motor to be reliable or competitive, no way Honda could do it, especially how unsuccessful they were with their Interceptors and then the RC30′ s & 45′s. And then when they decided to come out with a V – twin power plant what a disaster that was with the RC51. Honda wouldn’t, couldnt and shouldn’t build anything but an inline 4, boring!