Honda has doubled down on electric minibikes with a patent filing for their long-promised electric Super Cub and a trademark application for an electric Motocompacto.
The former has been around since Honda trotted out a prototype at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show.
Honda said the EV-CUB electric scooter would be available from 2018, but that date has now long gone.
However, Honda has had a growing romance with the idea of electric power and especially electric minibikes.
In 2017, Honda signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hitachi to develop electric motors.
The following year, Honda said its self-balancing bike would also come in an electric version.
The same year Honda said they would develop electric scooters and bikes with swappable batteries and even hybrid drivetrains.
Last year they applied for a patent for future electric motorcycles and scooters to feature an alarm to warn pedestrians unaware of the approaching quiet vehicle.
And earlier this year they applied for a patent for an electric Fireblade sports bike.
Yet here we are in 2020 and still the Japanese company has not delivered on its electric plan.
It’s not that we don’t think it will happen; it’s just a case of when.
As for the Motocompacto electric minibike, it may look like the 1980s Motocompo commuter bike designed to fold up and fit in a car boot (trunk).
These latest filings are part of a blitz of trademark and patent applications by Honda over the past couple of years.
Some are quite weird and impractical, but others may actually make it to market.
We suspect Honda is just trying to dominate intellectual property on motorcycle inventions, rather than planning to put them all into production.
The patents include:
- Goldwing Hossack-style forks on smaller models;
- An aerodynamic tail with a Porsche-like whale-tale spoiler;
- A telescopic side stand;
- Bikes that respond to your emotions by adjusting throttle and brakes and suspension;
- Active aero where winglets deploy above a certain speed;
- Direct injection;
- A bike with a variable riding position that converts from a sports bike with a crouched riding position to a street bike with an upright position;
- A small-capacity bike with non-ventilated drum brakes;
- A helmet that integrates with the bike and monitors for of an impending rear-ender;
- A helmet that recognises your face when you put your helmet on and acts as a remote key fob to switch on your motorcycle;
- A rider air-conditioner;
- A “climate seat” that blows hot or cool air;
- A leaning trike; and
- A hydrogen-powered motorcycle.