Suzuki Hybrid Motorcycle Patent Shows Up

A patent attributed to Suzuki shows the generic design of a - wait for it - hybrid sport motorcycle. It is yet uncertain whether Suzuki is indeed planning to take this step and enter a new era, but since this technology has already proved its benefits, we might very well see such a machine rolling on the streets quite soon.
Suzuki hybrid motorcycle patent 1 photo
Photo: Suzuki
As the sketch shows, an electric motor appears to be positioned right behind the cylinders of a classic in-line four engine, while the battery pack is located under the seat.

Given the rather small dimensions of the batteries depicted in the drawing we can assume that the electric mobility component only plays a minor role in the big picture. That is, it could serve as a clean and cheap way to navigate the city at a lower speed, and a much easier solution for stop-and-go traffic.

Pedelecs and electric bicycles benefit from the assistance of an electric motor as they only rely on human power, but modern hybrid cars use this system, too. In fact, we even have supercars that rely on the extra grunt electric motors provide to supplement the peak power of the gas-powered engines.

All-electric, assistance and gas modes

Visordown estimates that the same might be true for this Suzuki machine. The rider will be able to choose the type of propulsion with a bar-mounted switch, allowing cycling through all-electric operation, dual-power and all-gas.

As far as the dual-power mode is concerned, we still have no idea how Suzuki envisages it. That is, whether the electric motor will work alone up to a certain speed and then switch to the gas-powered power plant, or it will continue to work, adding to the peak power and acceleration.

The same source mentions semi-automatic shifting as well, meaning that riders will be able to use a traditional foot lever that electronically shifts gears. Now, other photos do show a clutch lever, too, and this is makes us think about the quickshifter system of MotoGP bikes.

Premier class riders use the clutch only when taking off and coming to a complete halt, while upshifting and downshifting are performed without touching the clutch.

While hybrid cars are no longer a new thing, this dual-power technology is still unexplored in the motorcycle industry. It looks like hybrid motorcycles could have a bright future, allowing riders who still favor the grunt and howl of a classic engine machine to benefit from the cheap and clean power electric motors can provide for slower-paced urban rides.

While range anxiety and long recharge times are no longer that much of a problem in the all-electric automotive industry, hybrid motorcycles such as this Hamamatsu project might please those who are not yet ready to switch over to all-electron-powered bikes.
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