Kawasaki is testing a hybrid motorcycle with a six-speed manual transmission
Kawasaki hinted its future range of motorcycles will include a hybrid model. It’s busily developing among the industry’s first gasoline-electric two-wheelers, and it released a relevant video to describe how the technology works.
Pay no attention to the sci-fi three-wheeler leaning right into a turn at the beginning of the film; the hybrid bike won’t look anything enjoy it, for better or worse. We haven’t seen its full design yet, however the firm explained it’s being designed to switch among gasoline, electric and hybrid power. It depends on an armada of sensors to identify the type of road it’s traveling on and adjust its powertrain accordingly. For example, the software charges battery pack while the bike is traveling on the highway, shuts off the gasoline engine when it rides via a city core, and leverages both power sources on a twisty road. Hybrid cars have been carrying this out for a long time.
However, creating a hybrid car is relatively simple, because there’s usually plenty of space in which to package the various components, but creating a hybrid motorcycle is far more complicated. We’re still waiting to find out how Kawasaki plans to carve out space for any motor, battery power pack, and an engine (likely one from the parts bin) in a relatively small footprint, and just how it will counterbalance the weight added by the hybrid system’s components.
Although the video is brief on details, website Visor Down recently uncovered a number of patent filings that shed some light on how the technology works. Significantly, one shows a joystick positioned next to the throttle that lets the rider select one of four riding modes which will problem to those who have ever driven a hybrid car. The first mode runs the engine and also the motor simultaneously for optimum power. The 2nd keeps the engine on while turning the motor into a generator that channels capacity to the battery pack. The 3rd helps make the engine a range extender, while the fourth turns the engine off completely and powers the bike solely on electricity.
It looks like riders can summon a brief jolt of electricity by pressing a lift button located below the joystick. And, interestingly, the electrical motor’s output travels through the same six-speed stick shift because the engine’s. Kawasaki has shown fraxel treatments in action on an electric prototype that’s on its way to production.
Kawasaki did not announce firm plans to bring the hybrid model to production, but we doubt it’s going through the trouble of developing it merely to shelve it when it’s done. We’re betting the bike can look in showrooms within the future years, though it’s too early to tell how much it'll cost you or whether it will be available in America.