Kawasaki’s latest patents confirm that work on its first hybrid project is nearing production.
Kawasaki has announced its plans to have more than 10 electric or hybrid motorcycles on offer by 2025. Seeing how things are going, the Japanese company is definitely well on its way to launching its first motorcycle soon.
The renowned manufacturer has already demonstrated a prototype hybrid with a two-cylinder engine connected to a 48-volt electric unit, capable of offering a variety of operating modes.
The motorcycle would run on a conventional internal combustion engine while off-road, but would switch to an electric motor while driving through the city.
However, the internal combustion engine and the electric motor will work together if the driver wants the best performance.
According to the latest patents, the hybrid engine could be used on several existing Kawasaki models. It makes more sense than developing 10 brand new “scratch” motorcycles.
Introducing a hybrid version of existing models is a common practice among car companies; so it makes sense for Kawasaki to follow the same path.
Recently published patents suggest that the first hybrid model could be based on the Kawasaki Ninja 400 / Z400 line, as it uses the same parallel twin engine borrowed from this motorcycle.
A visually identical 250cc version is also available, mounted in a steel frame, while the 48-volt lithium-ion battery is only the size of a small conventional car battery and fits under the seat.
Batteries are cooled by air in order to provide a lower cost and simpler construction than the water-cooled design, which takes up more space and is much more complex.
Patents, meanwhile, have revealed that the electric motor is mounted above a six-speed gearbox. The transmission will allow the motorcycle to run like a conventional motorcycle with an internal combustion engine.
The bike will also have gearshift switches, probably similar to Honda’s DCT transmission.
Another patent shows that the Kawasaki boosted the electric motor, allowing it to be used as a rear shock absorber holder, thanks to a cast alloy plate that connects the frame.
The intricate details of the company’s latest patent show that Kawasaki is moving in the right direction in developing a hybrid motorcycle ready for production by 2025. Seeing things progress, 2025 could be an exciting time for the entire motorcycle industry.