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Honda Working on Electric Sports Bike

Honda appears to be working on a battery-electric sports bike, with retro styling which evokes Honda race bikes of the ‘60s. The company has made no secret of the fact that it’s planning to launch a series of electrics over the next few years, but without including a sports bike, though it did show the RC-E concept sportster back in 2011 at the Tokyo Motor Show.

However, a recent patent application by Honda reveals that it still has the RC-E concept very much in mind. In the patent, the bike is shown equipped with a rear shock offset to the left, alongside the motor, which itself is offset to the right to make room. This is quite different to the original RC-E, which had a centrally mounted shock, and suggests that development of the bike is still ongoing. Another feature is the mounting of batteries in three different locations – under the false ‘fuel tank’, inside the main frame spars and in the belly pan – perhaps addressing a major difficulty for all electric motorcycles, how to accommodate a bulky battery. According to the patent illustrations, this development of the RC-E retains the show bike’s retro bodywork, inspired by Honda’s 500cc four racer from the ‘60s.

Jim Freeman, Chair of the BMF, said: “ Honda are famous for building bikes ‘because we can’ , there are other electric sports bikes, but Honda are well equipped to make the most balanced attempt yet. Hiding those lardy batteries so that they don’t compromise handling is a major challenge.”

Written by Peter Henshaw

Top image courtesy of Honda