Kawasaki is no stranger to electric two wheeler technology. It first filed a patent for an e-motorcycle back 2012, which clearly indicates that the boffins have been working on it for years. Seven years later, Kawasaki has come up with yet another electric bike patent but this time things look a lot different.
The leaked patent drawings only give us a vague idea on what to expect. While this is not a confirmation of a production-ready Kawasaki electric motorcycle, given that other motorcycle brands are working feverishly on developing their own versions, we expect this patent to lead to a product that will see the light of day eventually.
This patent primarily focuses on the electric powertrain so we shouldn’t read too much into the conventional motorcycle silhouette used for representation. The powertrain comprises an electric motor, clutch assembly (which is connected to a mechanical pump), and an output shaft which drives the wheel via a conventional chain drive.
The presence of clutch indicates that Kawasaki could opt to use a gearbox to amplify torque rather than connect motor’s output shaft directly to the wheel. Such an arrangement would allow the engineers to use a smaller motor with lower torque rating than what is required in direct drive application. That’s one way of increasing the overall range without opting for a larger battery.
Interestingly, the patent features a ram-air induction system similar to the ones employed by Kawasaki’s conventional sportsbikes. The air-intake is positioned right below where the headlamp would be and it seems to direct the cold air towards the battery. A front-mounted oil cooler will take care keeping the electric motor’s temperature in check.
Anyway, the patent drawings without the background information or explanation is tricky to decipher. So, we refrain from speculating further before new information emerges. The patent filing emerges just a few weeks after Ducati’s CEO Claudio Domenicali went on record to confirm that the company is not far from introducing a production ready electric sportsbike.
With emission norms getting ever stringent across the world, fully electric vehicles would eventually become the norm. So, it is not at all surprising that two wheeler makers have also started thinking about electric solutions seriously. Kawasaki could bring a concept of their new electric bike at the EICMA show later this year.