An interesting find from the folks at Motorcycle.com, it looks like Suzuki is getting crazy with its scooter designs, as a patent for a two-wheel drive scooter has popped-up at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and that is not the only item of interest when looking at the front-end of the motorcycle.
The 2WD system features an electric hub motor on the front wheel, which assists the gas-powered rear wheel, making this a hybrid-powered motorcycle. The patent also shows a a non-conventional front-end suspension setup, on what looks like Burgman scooter design.
Of course, the shape of the motorcycle shown in the figures is non-consequential and not binding to the patent’s use, but it can provide insight into where Suzuki is taking this technology.
Suzuki goes through several iterations on how it would apply this design to a scooter, covering its bases with different engine and motor mounting options.
This is likely done so Suzuki can apply its two-wheel drive patent to several motorcycle/scooter designs already in its lineup, or planned in its product roadmap.
Suzuki isn’t the only brand thinking about hybrid two-wheel drive motorcycles, of course. BMW Motorrad used the exact idea for its April Fools joke just a few weeks ago.
With manufacturers looking at 2WD options for motorcycles and scooters, we have seen them prefer hybrid designs like the one shown here. This is primarily because it is significantly easier to use an electric motor to power the front wheel, than it is to use gas power.
Electric hub motors are a far more elegant solution than heavier gas engines or complex linkages from internal combustion engines.
Normally we would say that we will have to wait and see what coms from a patent like this one, but a hybrid 2WD motorcycle from one of the major brands seems a future certainty at this point.