The electric motorcycle industry is slowly growing. Manufacturers like Zero, Energica, and even Harley-Davidson have electric motorcycle products. But it appears that electric motorcycles are on the back burner for the “Big 4” Japanese manufacturers. Or are they?
If a recent patent filing is any indication, Honda may be leading the electric Japanese pack. The application shows a profile view of a bike that looks quite similar to their existing CB125R internal combustion engine (ICE) bike. And if they can lift most of the non-powertrain components from their little bike, the path to production should be shorter.
The electric version seems to use the space in the frame that now surrounds the existing ICE engine. In its place is an electric motor low in the frame in a location similar to where the ICE crankcase and transmission resides. The sprocket is also similarly placed, and it sends the power to the rear wheel with a chain drive.
Interestingly, one of the styling/design features of the CB125R may make its way onto the electric version of the machine. The CB125R has two “intakes” surrounding the headlight nacelle purely for styling. However, in Honda’s electric version of the machine, the intakes will be fully functional. Honda plans to use the captured cooling air to cool the bike’s battery pack.
CB125R for electric development since 2019?
According to CleanTechnica, Honda normally doesn’t put something on a bike for purely aesthetic reasons. Taking that belief one step further, they surmise that the appearance of these intakes on the ICE engine CB125R means that Honda has been planning to use them on an electric motorcycle since 2019. That’s when the first of the “modern” CB line of bikes hit the marketplace.
I’m not sure that Honda planned to use these aesthetic intakes as far back as 2019. But it could say that Honda believes that the CB125R may be a good baseline. It also says that they want to be known as one of the electric motorcycle manufacturers.
All photo credit: Honda