Kawasaki files patent for a hybrid petrol-electric motorcycle

Images have just emerged of a patent design for a small capacity Kawasaki hybrid petrol-electric motorcycle.

Kawasaki Logo

Kawasaki Team Green has filed a patent for a petrol-electric hybrid motorcycle.

The patents themselves don’t reveal much in the way of detail, looking like a stick and poke tattoo design... but they appear to show a motorcycle with a small capacity powerplant and an electric motor, plus battery pack. 

If the bike makes it to production, it could be the first hybrid two-wheeler to hit the mainstream market, possibly signaling the beginning of a new era in motorcycle engine technology. Finally catching up to the car market!

Kawasaki has never been one to shy away from pushing the boat out on motorcycle engine designs, as in the past they have pioneered forced induction with the GPZ750 Turbo, and in the future have shaken things up with the incredible supercharged H2 and H2R. And they have on occasion filed patents for all-electric bikes and battery swapping two-wheelers. 

Now, it’s true that Kawasaki isn't the only manufacturer to have an interest in hybrid drive systems as BMW has played around with the idea on their R1200 X Hybrid. But, unlike the Bimmer the Kawasaki design places the electric motor behind the single-cylinder powertrain (instead of within the front wheel hub), with the batteries sitting above in replacement of the fuel tank - which has been relocated under the seat. 

Such a design signals that the electric motor will provide auxiliary power to a small capacity petrol motor, which is a common technology in budget hybrid cars, high-performance supercars and even Formula one. And with this technology being proven to work, it would be safe to assume the patented design would follow suit and allow either all-electric drive or a combination of petrol and electric when situations require.    

However, one of the biggest hurdles Kawasaki will face is cramming all of this technology into a small form factor vehicle aka and motorbike. Although with their history of thinking outside of the box, literally strapping turbos onto it, I’m sure things will be just fine. 

For now, we’ll have to eagerly await what happens next…