Wednesday, December 7, 2022
HomeMotorcycleKawasaki Hybrid Particulars Revealed in New Patent

Kawasaki Hybrid Particulars Revealed in New Patent

Kawasaki continues to make progress on its hybrid motorcycle project, shown here in prototype form last year.

Kawasaki continues to make progress on its hybrid motorbike challenge, proven right here in prototype kind final yr. (AutoBy/)

Final yr Kawasaki introduced plans to have “greater than 10″ electrical or hybrid bikes available on the market by 2025, and a set of latest patents offers additional perception into how the corporate hopes to realize such a lofty purpose. The agency has already proven a prototype hybrid motorbike that includes a twin-cylinder engine bolstered by a 48-volt electrical motor, permitting it to run in a wide range of modes. It will function as a standard gas-powered machine whereas cruising with the combustion engine in essentially the most fuel-efficient a part of its rev vary. In cities, the bike may swap to all-electric energy to reduce air pollution, and once you needed the perfect efficiency, each the combustion engine and the electrical motor would run collectively to maximise energy and torque.

It’s mainly the identical system dozens of hybrid vehicles already use, seamlessly switching between energy sources to enhance economic system and cut back emissions whereas their drivers barely discover. Kawasaki seems to be—fairly sensibly—following within the footsteps of four-wheeled hybrids to allow speedy adoption of the expertise throughout its vary.

Associated: Kawasaki Goes Electrical With Formidable New Mannequin Plans

The latest patents show how the hybrid system could be utilized across multiple existing models.

The newest patents present how the hybrid system might be utilized throughout a number of current fashions. (Japanese Patent Workplace/)

However the probabilities of growing 10 totally new hybrid or electrical bikes from scratch earlier than a deadline that’s lower than three years from now are slim—significantly given uncertainties over the potential gross sales success of such machines. Nevertheless, automotive corporations have proven that it’s comparatively simple to introduce hybrid variations of current, typical fashions—vastly decreasing the variety of distinctive parts they want whereas concurrently making them really feel extra acquainted for his or her clients. Kawasaki additionally seems to be taking the identical route.

Associated: Kawasaki Reveals Prototype Hybrid Bike

Last year’s prototype used a 400cc parallel-twin engine supplemented by an electric motor, packaged into a basic steel frame.

Final yr’s prototype used a 400cc parallel-twin engine supplemented by an electrical motor, packaged right into a fundamental metal body. (AutoBy/)

Newly printed patents now reveal how Kawasaki’s hybrid system might be adopted throughout a number of fashions comparatively simply. All indications are that Kawasaki’s first manufacturing hybrid will observe the sample seen within the prototype proven final yr. It used a parallel-twin engine borrowed from the Z400/Ninja 400 (additionally accessible as a visually similar 250cc model), mounted in a easy metal body. The 48-volt lithium-ion battery, which is barely across the dimension of a small typical automotive battery but is far lighter and extra highly effective, is fitted below the seat, however different tweaks are additionally wanted to accommodate this setup.

Associated: Kawasaki Reveals Hydrogen Bike Plans

The latest patent involves cooling solutions for the underseat battery, which include exhaust ducts to draw heat out.

The newest patent entails cooling options for the underseat battery, which embody exhaust ducts to attract warmth out. (Japanese Patent Workplace/)

The primary patent illustrates how the battery is saved cool. In contrast to a few of the extra excessive electrical bikes available on the market, the Kawasaki design has an air-cooled battery, sacrificing a few of the efficiency positive factors present in liquid-cooled designs in favor of decrease value, lighter weight, and easier development. Below the seat, the battery may usually be starved of airflow, however the brand new patent reveals how a faired hybrid (like final yr’s prototype) may have ducts to channel air from the forefront of the decrease fairing, across the combustion engine and into the underseat battery container. Exhaust ducts behind the battery tray enable the air to flee, together with the warmth from the battery pack.

Associated: Kawasaki’s Hybrid Mission Is Taking Form

Another problem: Kawasaki’s hybrid system places the electric motor atop the transmission, where the upper rear suspension mount usually resides.

One other drawback: Kawasaki’s hybrid system locations the electrical motor atop the transmission, the place the higher rear suspension mount normally resides. (Japanese Patent Workplace/)

The second new patent reveals Kawasaki’s resolution to a sensible challenge created by the place of its electrical motor. The agency’s hybrid design locations the electrical motor above the bike’s typical, six-speed transmission. That transmission permits the combustion engine to function identical to a standard bike’s, with an extra clutch to interact or disengage the electrical motor. An digital shift system, together with a quickshifter, means bar-mounted switches can be utilized to vary ratio quite than the foot pedal, additionally introducing the potential of an computerized mode to assist make the swap between gasoline and electrical energy seamless. The electrical motor’s place means the system might be used on nearly any bike with a standard transverse combustion engine. The prototype makes use of a twin, however a four-cylinder or a single may undertake the identical system with ease. Nevertheless, the place of the motor means it clashes with the traditional place of the higher rear suspension mount on a motorbike with a monoshock setup.

Associated: The place Are The Hybrid Bikes?

The other new patent provides the solution: to reinforce the motor and use it as the shock mount.

The opposite new patent offers the answer: to strengthen the motor and use it because the shock mount. (Japanese Patent Workplace/)

The answer is solely to permit the motor to behave because the shock high mount, courtesy of a solid alloy plate that connects it to the body. That casting, which is closely braced, incorporates each the highest bracket for the shock and, at its decrease extremity, the attention that the rising-rate linkage bolts to.

The additional patents combined with the prototype design show how Kawasaki can easily and inexpensively introduce hybrid tech across multiple models.

The extra patents mixed with the prototype design present how Kawasaki can simply and inexpensively introduce hybrid tech throughout a number of fashions. (AutoBy/)

The rising pile of patent paperwork, together with Kawasaki’s official prototype hybrid bike, reveals that the corporate is in a powerful place to introduce the expertise throughout an array of bikes with minimal expense. It’s simply as simple to see the setup used on a high-end superbike—with the electrical motor appearing as a efficiency enhance quite than specializing in emissions—as on a city-bound commuter. Concurrently, the Kawasaki hybrid system eliminates the vary anxiousness that’s nonetheless proving an enormous barrier to the adoption of pure-electric bikes, and by sharing elements throughout a number of fashions and utilizing lower-cost tech just like the air-cooled battery, the ensuing machines ought to be capable of dodge the excessive MSRPs many electrical fashions are saddled with.



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