A patent application by the Suzuki Motor Corporation is causing some waves, and for good reason, as the Japanese manufacturer is teasing an engine that looks very familiar…if you have ever seen the inside of the Ducati Supermono engine.
While Suzuki’s patent centers around the lubricating structure for a motorcycle engine, the diagrams being used for the patent application concern a single-cylinder engine type that includes a dummy cylinder for a balancer.
A patent application spotted by Ben Purvis at Cycle World hints at Honda expanding its variable valve timing technology on its two-wheeled offerings, with designs of a sophisticated VVT system could come to a new CBR model.
Filed in June 2018, the patent application (not yet an actual US patent, mind you) is a restatement of a Japanese patent that dates back to 2017, and in it Honda describes a mechanism where “an internal combustion engine is provided with a variable valve operating apparatus.”
The Indian Motorcycle company has been teasing us about the upcoming FTR1200 street bike that it’s bringing to market next year, and now we have a pretty good look at the machine, thanks to a patent application with the USPTO.
Showing the engine and chassis of the Indian FTR1200 in line drawings, we can see that the new street bike will have a trellis frame, and an engine that looks very much like the v-twin motor found on the Indian Scout cruiser.
We are knee-deep in new bike season right now, and it seems no motorcycle is safe from the internet’s two-wheeled rumor mill. This week, we see a number of rumors concerning the Honda CBR1000RR, and what the 2019 model year will bring for Big Red’s superbike offering.
Credible rumors suggest that the Honda CBR1000RR will see another update for next year, with promises of 212hp as Honda follows the rest of the pack with two variations of its venerable superbike.
Less credible rumors involve the CBR1000RR getting a name change for the US market, as the word “Fireblade” has been registered with the US Patents and Trademarks Office by the Japanese brand.
If you were reading other moto-news sites this week – first of all, shame on you – then you would have noticed much noise being made about Ford Motor Company applying for a patent on detection technology for when a motorcycle is lane-splitting between cars.
What you didn’t notice, along with those other publications, is that this is nothing new from Ford, as the American automobile manufacturer was already granted a patent for this technology over a year ago.
Much ado about nothing? Not quite, but the story isn’t remotely close to what was being reported elsewhere. In fact, this news of Ford’s lane-splitting patent strategy is much bigger, and much more important, than what has been in the media thus far.
For quite some time now, manufacturers have been focusing on this concept called the “last mile” – the idea that the final mile of a daily commute will have to be undertaken with something other than an automobile.
Driving this concern is the vehicle crackdown in urban centers, with cities like London, Paris, and others already creating congestion zones for their city centers, which all but outlaw the ability for one to commute via car into a downtown area.
Mass transit is surely filling this void, as are taxis, but we have also seen a shift towards two-wheeled solutions. That is where today’s story kicks in, as Ford is looking at its own city center solution, patenting a car concept that has a built-in motorcycle.
We know to expect a Suzuki Hayabusa reboot in the coming months, and in a way, that is all that we know. The iconic superbike is in its 20th year of production right now, and an all-new machine is set to take its place, for the 2019 model year.
Will it be turbocharged? Will it have a larger displacement? How about a dual-clutch transmission? That remains to be seen.
Safe bets are that the 2019 Suzuki Hayabusa will have updated electronics, likely powered by an inertial measurement unit (IMU). Euro4 emissions homologation is a must, and Suzuki will presumably be building the new Hayabusa with the Euro5 standard in mind as well.
Beyond these givens though, it seems that every week there is a new rumor regarding the next Hayabusa generation, and this week is no different.
Suzuki has registered the “Katana” name here in the USA, and if that sounds like familiar news to our regular readers…well, it should.
This is the second time that Suzuki has registered the venerable Katana name with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and there is good reason for that.
But, before we get into what Suzuki is and is not doing with the Katana name, we should first understand what this motorcycle means to long-time motorcyclists, especially in different markets.
This is because the Katana name evokes different ideas to different motorcyclists, because Suzuki has used it in different ways throughout the years, and in different countries.
In this installment of “This Week’s Suzuki Hayabusa Rumor,” we again take a look at the motor of this venerable sport bike. The rumor going around the interwebs right now is that the 2019 Suzuki Hayabusa will feature a “semi-automatic” gearbox.
Side-stepping the part where saying a gearbox is semi-automatic is a lot like saying someone is “semi-pregnant” (you either are, or aren’t), the rumor stems from a patent filed by Suzuki that shows a gear-shifting mechanism with the foot-shifter that doesn’t require a clutch.
If this sounds a lot like an up/down quickshifter system, then you score extra bonus points today for being a rational human being, but you would be very wrong about what this whole rumor should actually be about.
This is where reading the patent is actually really useful, because it turns out that this patent has a lot less to do with some sort of new transmission type, as the internet rumors would suggest, and a lot more to do with repackaging the transmission of a motorcycle (or any engine with an integrated gearbox) into a tighter unit, while retaining a standard manual shift mechanism.
Has Harley-Davidson just tipped its hand regarding its upcoming electric motorcycle? It would seem so, according to the latest trademark application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Registering the name “Revelation” with the USPTO, Harley-Davidson has set aside the trademark for two uses: 1) batteries for vehicles, and 2) drivetrains for electric motorcycles and vehicles.
Other publications are running this story as the “Revelation” name being the moniker for Harley-Davidson’s production version of the Livewire electric motorcycle concept, but the actual trademark makes a very clear alternative to that narrative.
I thought when I wrote this piece – “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly About Motorcycle Patents” – that we would see a more sophisticated handling of motorcycle industry patents from the motorcycling media going forward.
Clearly my expectations were too high, since I just saw RideApart’s story, “Honda Underseat Exhaust Patent Hints at V4 Supersport”, which claims to show a patent for a new Honda V4 supersport. It doesn’t, and quite frankly, RideApart should know better…let me explain.