Is boosted Honda Africa Twin really about to hit the trails?

Honda has filed a patent showing a potential future adventure motorcycle that features a supercharged engine

Supercharged Honda Africa Twin

HONDA looks to a future model as it patents a supercharged adventure motorcycle that could become a future Africa Twin model.

The design is very clearly an adventure bike, although should the power unit be a success it could become useful in a range of bikes. The system shows the actual supercharger unit mounted on top of the gearbox, just behind the barrels of the engine. The intake air is fed to the supercharger inlet via a long snorkel that runs up the left side of the down-tube and meets with a plenum chamber/collection box by the steering head.

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Once the charge air is cycled through the supercharger, the pressurised is fed to the engine through the curved inlet that loops above the height of the cylinder head. It's here where the air is mixed with the fuel and fed to the engine. The supercharge that Honda has chosen looks to be the twin-screw type, where two interwoven screws in synchronicity, sucking in air on the fill side of the supercharger and forcing it out through the discharge side.

Honda’s reasoning behind looking to supercharging is not totally clear at the moment. It’s probably not to try and help a new adventure bike become the most powerful on the market. Honda has never really been interested in the outright power wars after all. What’s more likely is that Honda’s engineers have been crystal ball gazing and have predicted a time in the not too distant future where the current Africa Twin engine could become obsolete due to emissions regulations. Adding the supercharger, maybe tweaking the displacement slightly, and fettling with its internals could give the bike a few more years of mud-plugging.

In this configuration at least.