The Honda Super Cub Goes Electric

10/23/2009 @ 9:07 am, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS


An icon of motorcycling, the Honda Super Cub changed the perception of motorcycles in American culture by creating a bike that normal everyday people could use for basic transportation needs.

As times have changed, and a new-found desire for a cheap, efficient, people-pusher has emerged in the motorcycle industry, and Honda seems uncomfortable letting companies like Brammo tread on its domain.

Accordingly at the Tokyo Motor Show this week, Honda released an all new electric scooter design that plays heavily off its Super Cub predecessor. More info after the jump.

It’s hard to beat the Honda Super Cub, considering the bike is the single best selling model of motorcyle…ever. With over 60 million units sold, conservative giant Honda has finally seen fit to update the Super Cub, and this time it is with an electric drive-train.

The concept electric motorcycle features an all electric drive, that sports two drive motors (one on each wheel).

With the heavy weight of motors these days, this seems like a fanciful idea that doesn’t translate well into real-world applications, but perhaps the folks at Honda have more surprises up their sleeve than we give them credit for. Still the design of the concept is true to the originals lines, with an obvious reference being made.

We’re not sure if the new bike will retain the Super Cub name, or be called something more along the lines of “EV Cub” or something similarly horrible. Still, Honda reps told’s Autotopia that the bike will be “just as functional and convenient” as the Super Cub. Time will tell on that.

Source: Wired

  • Ceolwulf

    Hmm. With the success of various two-wheel-drive prototypes, and the ease of making a 2wd system with electric motors, I wonder if we’ll be seeing more 2wd in the higher-performance electric bikes as time goes on.

  • Honda's Super Cub is now electric

  • Tagger

    In a bike like the cub, hub motors make sense, scale up the power and hub motors start looking bad. It is difficult to get power out of a motor when it is only spinning 400-600 revs. Vectrix used a planitary gear on a hub motor, to allow more power, with an obvious weight problem. The china brushless hub motors seem to be limited to about 5-8hp, most are 3-4hp. If somebody made the motor as big as the wheel, ya might be able to get some power out of it…

    I would like to see more specs on the cub, like, is it sub 30mph, to comply with moped regs? If it is , they may not even bother bringing it to the states.

  • Ceolwulf

    All true but you don’t need 50% of the power at the front wheel, maybe 20%.

    It could (maybe not entirely) replace the front brake as well.

    Making the motor as big as the wheel you say … perhaps not a bad idea. A ring-shaped linear motor around the rim?

    Certainly there are problems but if there were no problems to be overcome where would the fun be in development :)

  • The Honda Super Cub Goes Electric: Motorcycle news, Industry Rumors, MotoGP, World Superbike, and More.


  • Tagger

    Well, it isn’t a linear motor if it goes around the rim;)
    I dunno, I think a TWD needs at least 50%(if not 100%) power on the front, but since I have no experience riding something like that, can’t realy say. The AWD cars I have driven(audi,subaroo) didn’t gimp the power up front, and I am in the ‘too much is almost enough’ camp.
    I have riden a china EV scooter with a 3.5kw hub motor, the bike was turd, but I was surprised at the power, way better than a 50cc, akin to a 125cc+. If the cub wasn’t a step-through I’d damn near get one for a town bike. It being a honda, at least you know it won’t burn down your house charging…

    Hub motors are elegant, but very limited.

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