It may be that the tide is turning. Two more “major” motorcycle manufacturers have provided hints that they too are looking to produce electric motorcycles. Recently Honda unveiled a concept electric dirt bike and now, both Kawasaki and Triumph have appeared to jump on the bandwagon.
Kawasaki recently filed a patent application for an electric motorcycle. The fact that the patent application and associated drawing exists does not mean that Kawasaki has committed to building an electric motorcycle. What it does mean is that they are serious enough to ensure that other manufacturers can not copy their design.
The two drawings expose some interesting features of the machine. One drawing shows what appears to be a battery pack positioned below a dummy fuel tank. It also shows a large air scoop positioned at the front of the bike (Drawing items 50 and 50a). Its location suggests that the scooped air may be used to cool the battery and/or the motor.
The drawings also point to a potential gearbox. A gearbox would certainly make the bike feel more like a motorcycle. It’s too early to know for sure whether Kawasaki will bring an electric motorcycle to market. But it’s clear that Kawasaki has more than a passing interest in electrically powered motorcycles. Whatever they has up their sleeve, it will be interesting to have the “major” manufacturers playing in the electric motorcycle market.
In a similar vein, the internet is currently rife with rumor that Triumph is looking at electric motorcycles as well. Rumors say that Triumph has filed a trademark application for the name “Trident”. While the Trident name isn’t new, the application reportedly specifies that it could be used for an electric motorcycle among other very wide-ranging uses.
We’ll keep you up to date as details emerge.