A new patent filing from Honda seems to suggest a return to the 1970s twist-and-go Hondamatic transmission like on Prince’s Rebel (pictured).
The Hondamatic transmission was popular in America, but not here.
However, Honda now seems keen to extend its auto and semi-auto transmissions throughout its range.
This new patent application is a little different from the old two-speed Hondamatic.
For a start, it has six gears available.
It features a gearshift but no clutch lever. Instead, it uses a computer-controlled, electro-hydraulic actuator, mounted just above the engine, instead of on the bars.
A sensor monitors gear lever pressure by monitoring speed, revs, gears and throttle.
As the transmission shifts gears, it cuts the ignition on upshifts, blips the throttle on downshifts and modulateas the clutch when starting and stopping.
When the bike is stopped the clutch disengages.
The patent drawing shows a CB100, but Honda has used the CB1100 in previous patent drawings including GoldWing-style double-wishbone forks.
So that does not mean it would be included on the CB1100, which we no longer get in Australia anyway.
As we know, Honda has been busy with a lot of patents for various bikes, engines, transmissions and innovations in recent years.
Obviously not all will go into production. It seems more likely Honda is intent on protecting its intellectual property.
Other recent Honda patents include:
- Goldwing Hossack-style forks on smaller models;
- A 850cc parallel twin which could be destined for a smaller Africa Twin.
- 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.