Is Kawasaki Near To Producing An Electric Motorcycle?

MAR 11 2019 BY RIDEAPART.COM 10

Patent filings show some very interesting details.

While there are just about a million different e-bike manufacturers popping up all over the place, and some well into production, all we have heard are a whole bunch of promises from the big, well-established motorcycle manufacturers. Does anyone own a LiveWire yet?

Hopefully, that’s nearing a change, and though we first reported on Kawasaki’s possible foray into fully electric motorcycles back in 2016, here they are popping up again with more patents.

The majority of the language in the patents, beyond the battery form, function and design, is the cooling system for the motor and batteries. This is something we don’t see very often in electric motorcycles. Generally an electric motor and its batteries are sufficiently cooled by the wind flow of the bike moving.

Batteries

This one, however, has plans to heat up. Not only are there intake and exhaust fans, but there’s discussion of a radiator in the text. You might think this means it’s water cooled, but no, there’s an oil pump, and discussion of cooling the oil through the radiator.

This all shows that Kawasaki’s got plans for this bike to spool up like crazy and make mad amounts of power. Generally electric motorcycles run out of juice (the well designed ones, anyway) before they get hot enough to overheat or, Ghu forbid, catch fire, but it has been known to happen.

Power Routing

Another interesting point here is that the bike may have a transmission. It may or may not have a clutch, but we’ll probably have to wait and see how that pans out.

Either way, the drawings look interesting, the text (if you can slog through it) has some unusual design decisions and seems pretty progressive. Of the major Japanese motorcycle manufacturers, the first one to market with a well-designed electric motorcycle that is fast, has good range and a quick charge time (the cooling system will help with that, too) might be the overall winner.

Source: iMotorbikeFree Patents Online

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10 Comments on "Is Kawasaki Near To Producing An Electric Motorcycle?"

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There is no rush, ICE motobikes are great, they can wait until battery tech become adequate (lighter/stronger/cheaper)

No, the annoying noise of revving sport bike hooligans with illegal pipes is not great.

“…illegal pipes…” you must mean the old man Harley crowd😄

Original Suzuki gixxers from 1980s were oil cooled with massive oil coolers, but they since moved on to water cooling. Given that oil doesn’t remove as much heat, it’s not good for ICE, but might be fine for battery.

I thought patent issue using oil in MC cooling, but apparently I’m really really old…

I don’t think there were patent issues there.
I owned both a Beemer & a Suzuki Bandit with a stock oil cooler, and recall additional bike brand with this setup.

This was an excellent compromise between the added weight & complexity of a seperate liquid-cooling system+fan, and the stone-simple fins-only (which was a serious problem if stuck in an urban traffic jam in summer, and made it hard to keep an optimum engine temp).

I think there’ll be no getting away from active liquid cooling on EV bikes — at the very least it’ll be needed for decent charging speeds.

Patents would’ve expired by now, hence me being so old. Interesting Bandit also used oil. It must but Suzi thing.

I measured head temperature of my fin bike, and it didn’t go much over 212F even when ambient was 110F. Given constant (linear) thermal conductivity, head temp moves same amount with ambient, so 70F would have head at about 170F. Overheating is not a problem but such variability wreaks havoc with power. 30F would have head at 130F!

One can only hope.

No doubt it will be a crotch rocket/cafe racer, go like stink and be impossible to insure.
The original R1 was like that. 30 years of riding without a claim and I found it almost impossible to get insurance here in the UK. Had it one year and enjoyed myself especially on track days but when the premium doubled after one year with no accidents I sold it and bought myself something a lot more sedate, a Triumph Bonnieville.
Pity these makers don’t think of us riders before releasing bike like this.

So Kawasaki, prove me wrong and make a 200+ mile range tourer.

Right now, I’ll settle for a 150mi @ 85mph sport-tourer as long as it has at least 20kW real-world CCS charging without RapidGate issues. My Suzuki Bandit would only do 120mi before reserve, and was usable for sport-touring.
IMO, however, such bikes are 5-10 years away, and even then will cost the equivalent of $25K initially.

Don’t get confused by the word transmission. This will most likely be a singe fixed gear.