Several motorcycle news sites are reporting Honda is working on a supercharged motorcycle engine, after patent drawings surfaced online.
The rumour seems to have originated at MoreBikes, which published the patent drawings. We can’t say for sure whether the drawings are genuine, but if they’re faked, someone has gone to a lot of trouble for a prank (although we’ve seen this happen before). You can see a couple more drawings at that site.
If the report is true, it wouldn’t be surprising; it would be more of a surprise to find Honda was not working on some sort of forced induction technology. While the technology has mostly been ignored since brief appearances on production bikes in the 1980s, Kawasaki’s H2 and H2R (unveiled in 2014) brought superchargers back to the forefront. Suzuki is also experimenting with turbocharging in the Recursion platform (which is taking forever to come to production). Honda’s a big company with eyes on the future, and you can bet Big Red has had its own engineers also working on similar tech for the past few years.
Like the H2/H2R and Recursion, the Honda drawings seem to indicate a machine that’s not a pure sport bike, probably because the technology would increase a bike’s weight and wouldn’t fit into any current major roadracing series, since the FIM has a puzzling tendency to shoot down a lot of useful experimentation in its technical regulations.
As a result, expect to see the tech show up on a bike with more upright seating position, and without a full fairing, if we actually see a supercharged prototype — nothing says Honda will bring its supercharger to market, even after sinking R&D costs into it. But, keep your eyes open next month, because if Honda does decide to show the supercharged engine off, we’d expect to see it at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show.