That machine appears ready to move from concept to reality, as Honda has trademarked the name in both Europe and the USA, and we expect to see the lightweight adventure bike drop, sooner rather than later.
The question of course then turns to how closely the production machine will be to the concept machine, which features a 588cc intercooled and turbocharged two-cylinder engine. Very closely, we hope.
Need further proof that the future of motorcycling will include electrics? Take this recently published patent application from Kawasaki, that the Japanese OEM filed for back in 2011.
The claims are fairly rudimentary, though they do include a transmission, with Kawasaki’s lawyers mostly outlining the basics of a motorcycle powered by an electric motor, of course the news is less about the contents of the patent application, and more about the fact that it was applied for, in the first place.
Let the rumors fly as to what Kawasaki has up its sleeve, because Team Green has registered “Ninja R2” with the US Patent and Trademark office, as well as similar offices internationally.
The trademark application is fairly broad in what the name can be used for, but knowing Kawasaki’s product line, a new motorcycle can be expected from the “Ninja” name.
What that motorcycle could be, is up for debate. Some draw a line between the “Ninja R2” name and the recently revived “Ninja H2” model, and thus see another supercharged machine to come from Kawasaki. Others hear the whispers of a small-displacement sport bike, perhaps one with a stratospheric rev-limit (our pick).
Trademark applications with the USPTO show that Polaris has registered “Victory Charger” as a mark to be used with “electric motorcycles and structural parts therefor.”
The application is a strong hint that we could see an electric cruiser from the Victory brand, which is owned by Polaris, in the coming future.
The news is especially timely, as Polaris just acquired Brammo’s electric motorcycle business, and plans on building electric motorcycles at the company’s facilities in Spirit Lake, IA.
As if there wasn’t already enough fuel for the fire, on a product roadmap for investors, Brammo listed an “eCruiser” as a possible future model — a model that could easily be repurposed for the progressive Victory cruiser brand.
Signs of life are starting to trickle out of Hamamatsu, as Suzuki finally seems to be working on new models for our riding pleasure. First, it was the news that the turbocharged Suzuki Recursion concept is likely to go into production, and now it’s that the Japanese OEM is reviving iconic names from its past: Katana and Gamma.
Suzuki has re-registered the Katana name & logo with both the European and American trademark offices, while the Gamma logo has been re-registered in the EU. What this means precisely in terms of future models is up for debate.
Are new Yamaha YZF-R1 models coming down the pipe? That’s the question being asked after trademark filings in the US and abroad tipped off Yamaha Motor’s intention to use “R1S”, “R1M”, and “YZF-R1M” for motorcycle, scooter, and three-wheeled purposes.
The filings are being taken as hints towards a possible multiple trim levels of the Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike, with the “S” and “M” designations being different spec machines than the current base model.
The “S” nomenclature is a popular one in the two and four-wheeled world, though “M” would certainly be a novel designation, outside of say…BMW — the thought is that the “M” model could be a MotoGP inspired bike, however that is just conjecture at this point.
In the digital age, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have become a good resource for sleuthing out upcoming machines from motorcycle manufacturers.
The publicly accessible online databases have outed Ducati’s plans to build a “frameless” motorcycle (later known to be a patent for the Panigale), tipped-off the coming of the water-cooled engines to Harley-Davidson, and even hinted at Honda doing something with the Africa Twin name.
Trademark registrations have tipped off bikes like the Ducati Diavel, Ducati Scrambler, and Yamaha YZF-R3; and for today, it seems another motorcycle has been outed by the government agency: the Yamaha FJ-09. Registered with the USPTO, the FJ-09 is likely to be a three-cylinder sport-tourer, if the tuning fork brand keeps to its naming conventions.
It seems Erik Buell Racing has been thinking about alternative-fuel vehicles, as the company from East Troy had filed and received a patent for a hybrid drive motorcycle design.
There is nothing particularly astonishing about EBR’s patent, after all with hybrids being all the rage in the four-wheeled world, it was obviously only a matter of time before that same trend transitioned to motorcycles as well.
However, what is interesting about Erik Buell Racing’s patent is that it doesn’t set forth the Prius-inspired setup that you would expect, where an electric motor takes over or assists an internal combustion engine.
Instead, EBR’s setup is more like the Chevy Volt, with a small petrol-fueled generator being on-board to charge the bike’s batteries once they have been depleted by the electric motor, and thus killing the range anxiety that is prevalent in current EV bike designs.
Rumors have long been around that Honda was looking to bring back the Africa Twin model to its line-up; and with a quick scrolling through Honda America’s “Adventure” category, one can see that the less-than-inspiring odd-couple that are the Honda NC700X and Honda CB500X, while fine machines they might be (though we’ve heard the word “soulless” used more than once to describe them), proper adventure-bikes they surely are not.
With the tuning-fork brand putting out the stout Yamaha Super Ténéré, and Suzuki teasing the 2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000, Honda and Kawasaki have been late to the Great American Adventure Bike party — though at least Team Green fanatics can pretend like the Versys is a viable option for this category.
With Europeans having a variety of adventure motorcycles to chose from in the Honda brand, bikes like the Honda Transalp, Honda Crossrunner, Honda Varadero, and Honda Crosstourer, us Americans have been left out in the cold.
Well, that might be set to change, as our stroll yesterday though the USPTO’s online database (check-out our find on upcoming Ducati Scrambler) has revealed that Honda Motor Co. has registered “Africa Twin” for use in the American market. Could a proper adventure-tourer from Honda be headed our way?