Honda has filed a patent in Japan for a new 850cc parallel-twin engine to replace the current NC750 range and possibly also go into a smaller Africa Twin.
In Australia, there is only the NC750X, but there are several other 70cc models overseas.
The new model will not only have a new engine to meet the more stringent Euro 5 emission regulations but also a new chassis.
A bigger parallel twin means they can meet the emissions targets without having to reduce power output.
The patent drawings also show a dual-clutch transmission, so it should have a semi-automatic gearbox.
Just because the patent drawing shows a naked street bike doesn’t mean anything. Honda wouldn’t want to telegraph its true intentions by showing the engine in an adventure bike.
We think it would be an excellent engine for an Africa Twin.
While the Africa Twin has this year gone from 1000cc to 1100cc, there is room for a smaller and lighter model to compete with the mid-sized Triumph Tiger 900 and BMW F 850 adventure models.
This is one of a blitz of patent applications by Honda over the past couple of years.
Some are quite weird and impractical, but others may actually make it to market.
We suspect Honda is just trying to dominate intellectual property on motorcycle inventions, rather than planning to put them all into production.
The patents include:
- Goldwing Hossack-style forks on smaller models;
- Active aerodynamic tail end;
- A telescopic side stand;
- Bikes that respond to your emotions by adjusting throttle and brakes and suspension;
- Active aero where winglets deploy above a certain speed;
- Direct injection;
- A bike with a variable riding position that converts from a sports bike with a crouched riding position to a street bike with an upright position;
- A small-capacity bike with non-ventilated drum brakes;
- A helmet that integrates with the bike and monitors for of an impending rear-ender;
- A helmet that recognises your face when you put your helmet on and acts as a remote key fob to switch on your motorcycle;
- A rider air-conditioner;
- A “climate seat” that blows hot or cool air;
- A leaning trike; and
- A hydrogen-powered motorcycle.