After the unfortunate downfall of Norton Motorcycles in 2020, the prospects for the company’s promising range of 650cc twin-cylinder models seemed bleak.

  • The Atlas Ranger scrambler, Atlas Nomad retro-roadster, and the Superlight sportbike were poised to make waves, but the company’s collapse put a halt to those plans.
  • Zongshen to revived Norton’s 650cc twin-cylinder engine with a new roadster. 

Nevertheless, the resilient spirit of the Norton twin-cylinder engine refused to fade away. In a remarkable turn of events, the rights to this modern marvel were licensed to China’s Zongshen, a well-respected player in the motorcycle arena. Armed with determination, Zongshen embarked on a journey of redevelopment, breathing new life into the engine that had once stirred the ambitions of motorcycling enthusiasts worldwide.

The result? The awe-inspiring Cyclone RX650 adventure bike, which recently debuted in the Chinese market, capturing the essence of Norton’s original vision. With a power output of 71hp @ 8,500 RPM and a peak torque of 52Nm @ 7,000 RPM, this reincarnated twin-cylinder engine stands apart in the crowded realm of similarly sized twins.

But the story doesn’t end there. Zongshen’s ingenuity has given birth to an enlarged 850cc version of the engine, promising even more power—98 horsepower and 80Nm of torque. The possibilities of what this revived engine can achieve seem boundless.

As for the design, the Cyclone RE650, an homage to Norton’s legacy, exudes a retro-inspired charm. The trellis-style steel frame pays homage to the RX650 adventure bike, while a genuine aluminum alloy swingarm and KYB upside-down fork contribute to the bike’s poised and modern appeal. The symphony of elements—wire-spoked wheels, an LED headlight, and meticulous proportions—creates a fusion of timeless aesthetics and contemporary sophistication.

One cannot overlook the eccentric asymmetry of the design, a clever nod to the flat-track heritage. The left side sports a distinctive side panel reminiscent of a number board, while the right unveils the rear shock in a bold fashion. An air intake on the left adds an element of intrigue that’s absent on the right, adding to the mystique of the Cyclone RE650.

Zongshen’s reputation in the industry speaks volumes, standing alongside esteemed brands like CFMoto and Qianjiang. The company’s association with Piaggio has yielded fruitful collaborations, including the recent RA900 V-twin roadster—a product of Zongshen’s creativity and the engine from the Aprilia Shiver 900. And the excitement doesn’t stop there; whispers of a reborn Aprilia Shiver, under the Gilera banner, echo in the air.

(Source: Cycle World)

Honda has filed a patent for a revolutionary motorcycle mirror design specifically targeting unfaired bikes.

  • The design places the mirrors underneath the handlebars rather than above them, offering riders three key advantages.
  • the lower position mirrors helps to improves visibility.

According to reports by Cycle World,  the new layout improves visibility by positioning the mirrors so that the view is unobstructed by arms and elbows. This concept has already been successfully implemented on Honda’s Japan-only Hawk 11 café racer, albeit in a different configuration.

*the illustration showcase the comparison between the line of view from a conventional mirror and the lower-mounted mirror.

Second, because the mirrors don’t have to be placed far out to the sides to see around the rider’s body, they can be positioned more inboard. This reduces the aerodynamic forces acting upon them, thereby affecting the bike’s steering less.

Lastly, being closer to the steering axis lessens the inertia from the mirrors’ weight, resulting in better steering response and feel.

Despite technological advancements in rearview cameras, the patent highlights the enduring relevance of traditional mirrors, which are not hampered by issues like adapting to varying light levels.

Honda’s next-gen CB1000R, a high-performance model, is rumored to be the first bike to feature this innovative mirror layout.

(source: Cycle World)

While some Malaysians are still waiting to get their hands on the 2nd-generation Honda X-ADV, the Japanese manufacturer seems to already be working on a new generation based on the latest patent filed recently.

  • upcoming Honda X-ADV to feature an all-new front fascia including a different headlamp layout. 
  • the next-gen X-ADV is expected to feature the same parallel-twin 749cc engine. 

This patent, published in Japan, promises exciting advancements in both aesthetics and functionality, reaffirming Honda’s commitment to pushing boundaries in the world of two-wheelers.

Building on the success of its predecessor and drawing inspiration from the renowned NC750 platform, including Honda’s signature dual-clutch transmission, the second-generation X-ADV made its debut in 2020 with subtle yet impactful design enhancements. The evolution didn’t stop there; Honda extended the X-ADV’s influence, spawning a family of adventure-scooters, including the ADV350, ADV150, and ADV160 models. 

The recently revealed patent provides a tantalising glimpse into the future of the X-ADV, showcasing significant modifications to the bike’s front and rear sections. A key highlight is the reimagined headlight design, which underscores Honda’s dedication to functional innovation.

Departing from convention, the patent highlights a radical shift in headlight placement, with the lights elegantly nestled into the underside of the front end, curving over the front wheel. This arrangement features two headlight units, each equipped with three distinct LED bulbs.

Not to be outdone, the X-ADV’s rear section showcases a complete overhaul, marked by a redesigned tail and exhaust system. Departing from the traditional side-mounted mufflers that defined previous generations, the upcoming model boasts an under-seat exhaust configuration.

This shift not only enhances the bike’s visual appeal but also optimises weight distribution and centralises mass for improved handling and manoeuvrability. The patent documentation details this transformation, emphasising the reimagined exhaust layout and its integration into the bike’s frame, resulting in a streamlined and harmonious design.

Honda’s commitment to excellence is further evident in the intricate details of the patent, which specify the meticulous engineering required to accommodate the new exhaust system. The rear bodywork has been skilfully reimagined to provide clearance for the under-seat exhaust, a testament to Honda’s dedication to both aesthetics and performance.

As we eagerly await further details and an official unveiling, it is evident that Honda’s commitment to innovation and pushing the boundaries of design will ensure that the upcoming X-ADV is poised to redefine the adventure-scooter landscape once again.

(source: Cycle World)

2024 marks a significant milestone for sportbikes as it commemorates 40 years since Suzuki introduced the revolutionary GSX-R template that still serves as the foundation for modern sportbike design.

  •  New patent application from Suzuki suggests that changes are on the horizon for the GSX-R1000, focusing on enhancing its aerodynamics.
  • The current GSX-R1000, largely unchanged since its introduction as an all-new model in 2017, is due for an update.

This revamp aims not only to improve its competitiveness in the showroom but also to meet the latest Euro 5 emissions limits, which caused the model to be withdrawn from the European market at the end of last year due to noncompliance.

Suzuki’s recent patent application reveals the company’s continued commitment to technological advancement for its superbike lineup, despite a waning interest in racing. The patent showcases an innovative fairing concept, promising to enhance cooling efficiency and minimize drag. Although the application lacks detailed bike renderings, the engine and frame shapes align with those of the GSX-R1000.

The proposed improvement focuses on optimizing airflow into the radiator, located just behind the front wheel. By refining the passage between the upper side of the front fender and the lower surface of the nose fairing, Suzuki aims to eliminate the common issue faced by conventional faired bikes. These motorcycles typically feature a void beneath the nose, necessitated by the fork’s movement. Unfortunately, this void allows some airflow that should be directed to the radiator to instead be drawn through the gap.

While the GSX-R1000 impressed upon its launch in 2017, it now lags behind its main competitors, particularly in terms of aerodynamics. Many of its rivals have adopted MotoGP-inspired winglets, for instance.

Additionally, the current engine configuration fails to comply with Euro 5 standards, adding further impetus for an update. In 2019, Suzuki submitted patent applications for an upgraded computer-controlled variable valve timing system, intended to replace the purely mechanical, centrifugal VVT present in the current model. Such an enhancement would undoubtedly aid in achieving emissions certification.

BMW is actively developing two-wheel steering technology for motorcycles, as evidenced by its recent patent applications. 

These applications outline numerous potential solutions to the challenges associated with supplying both drive and steering to a motorcycle’s rear wheel. The designs cover a range of bike types, including electric and internal-combustion-engine models, and incorporate various drive systems such as belts, chains, and shafts. 

The overarching goal of these designs is to enhance the motorcycle’s steering effect, resulting in improved handling responsiveness and a reduced turning radius.

BMW’s focus on rear-wheel steering is particularly aimed at addressing the handling limitations posed by conventional motorcycles with chopper-style designs, featuring stretched-out forks, a long wheelbase, and pulled-back handlebars. 

These design elements typically hinder maneuverability and make the bikes less agile. By introducing rear-wheel steering, BMW aims to achieve tighter turns and more immediate response without compromising the wheelbase. This innovation could greatly benefit cruiser motorcycles, a segment that BMW recently reentered with its R 18 models.

The patent applications also highlight additional advantages of rear-wheel steering, including the potential for improved aerodynamics. Since the rear wheel can now turn, the front wheel’s steering range can be reduced, opening up possibilities for innovative bodywork designs. The system’s ability to provide steerability when the front wheel is off the ground could be advantageous for racing scenarios.

Although rear-wheel steering has been explored in the automotive industry and even attempted in motorcycles in the past, BMW’s comprehensive patent applications demonstrate the company’s serious commitment to this technology. 

While it may take time before a two-wheel-steered motorcycle hits the market, BMW’s investment in research and development in this area suggests a strategic effort to gain a competitive edge in the future.

BMW Motorrad is rumored to be developing a new lightweight frame that will integrate with a three-cylinder engine for an upcoming motorcycle. 

According to Cycle World, the patent application shows a half-frame that directly bolts onto the engine using massive bolts that also connect the cylinder head to the block, resulting in a design that is lighter and more compact than conventional motorcycle chassis.

According to the patent images, the design features a conventional transverse engine, but instead of wrapping an aluminum or steel structure around it, a simple cast-alloy front chassis is attached directly to the engine. This provides a direct connection to the steering head, allowing the swingarm to pivot on the gearbox, with the engine serving as the stressed member. 

The design aims to minimize the bike’s width, a common issue for bikes with transverse-mounted inline engines. It also reduces the parts count and weight, making the design more efficient. BMW’s patent hints at using this new chassis design for a three-cylinder engine, which will further reduce the bike’s width, making it more aerodynamic and less complex than bikes with V-twin or V-4 engines.

BMW has had successful four-cylinder engines like the S 1000 RR, but a three-cylinder engine would be narrower, providing an opportunity for the company to create a narrower bike. BMW has explored the use of three-cylinder engines before, notably in its MotoGP project in the early 2000s. The project yielded a prototype that was later dropped due to technical issues, but it provided the company with the knowledge base needed to develop the S 1000 RR.

Since then, rumors have circulated about a three-cylinder BMW sportbike, with little evidence to support them. However, this patent application, with its specific mention of a three-cylinder engine, provides the first real indication that such a motorcycle is under development.

(source: Cycle World)

Royal Enfield enthusiasts have something to look forward to as the company gears up to launch its latest addition, a retro-styled scrambler. 

  • Royal Enfield has trademarked the “Bear” nameplate suggesting a rugged-style motorcycle befitting a scrambler. 
  • The Bear will borrow much of its components from the Interceptor 650. 

The 650cc parallel-twin engine model will be derived from the Interceptor and is expected to bear the name “Bear” after parent company Eicher Motors filed trademark applications in Australia and New Zealand.

The upcoming scrambler is the most likely candidate for the Bear title, which aligns neatly with a name that suggests it’s a sub-model of the Interceptor. It’s expected to offer the sort of rugged, outdoorsy overtones that would suit a scrambler.

Based on several spy shots uncovered in India, the scrambler will feature an upside-down fork and longer-travel twin shocks to increase ground clearance. The frame and tank are straight from the Interceptor, and the 650cc, 47 hp parallel-twin engine will power the upcoming model. 

The Royal Enfield 650 scrambler is expected to launch before the end of this year and will join the 2024 model range. However, the Bear is not the only new 650 machine in the pipeline, as Royal Enfield is also believed to be developing a bobber derived from the Super Meteor 650, with a short rear fender and single seat to match the SG650 concept shown in 2021. 

That bike is believed to be getting the name “Shotgun,” which Eicher Motors owns the trademark rights to in much of the world, including the US. 

Kawasaki has recently patented a new type of electronic brake that could help to reduce the risk of low-side crashes on bikes. 

  • Kawasaki has patented a new type of electronic brake that applies a load to the bike’s chain wheel during deceleration to reduce the risk of low-side crashes.
  • The system aims to stabilize the bike during critical moments, particularly when the front brake is released.

According to reports by Visordown, the technology is designed to work on the chain wheel of the bike and uses a type of magnetic clutch that can be electronically actuated to apply a load to the chain during deceleration.

When a bike is braking into a corner, it slows down and compresses the suspension, pushing the front tire into the Tarmac, and increasing the amount of grip there is at the front end of the machine. 

However, when the front brake is released, the springs in the forks try to return to a normal position, reducing the pressure on the front tire and reducing the amount of grip it has. This can lead to a low-side crash if the front end loses grip.

The Kawasaki system aims to solve this problem by applying a load to the bike’s chain while decelerating, even after the front brake has been released. This means that the bike will still be applying some force on the suspension, reducing the rebound action of the forks that can cause a low-side.

While the system may seem like a natural fit for a sports bike ridden on a track, Kawasaki is reportedly considering using the technology on its road-going sports touring machines too. With radar-assisted cruise control becoming increasingly popular on top-spec models, manufacturers are always looking for new ways to control a bike’s speed without relying solely on the braking system, which can be unsettling for both the rider and the bike.

While this new technology is still in its early stages, it could represent a significant step forward in motorcycle safety. As always, riders should continue to prioritize safe riding practices and seek out training and education to improve their skills on the road.

(source: Visordown)

Honda has filed a patent for a new self-balancing system that will be used in the next-generation Gold Wing and other models. The system is not as advanced as the Riding Assist concepts but still uses the same technology to make it easier to push the bike around.

  • the system will allow big bikes especially the Gold Wing to be push around easily. 
  • The DCT version of the Gold Wing already has a “walking speed mode,” and adding a steering assist to this mode will make it easier to prevent low-speed toppling.

The main component is a steering actuator that will keep the bike tilted toward the rider and prevent it from getting out of control.

The system is designed to reduce the weight that the rider has to hold up while pushing the bike. The steering actuator is connected to a computer that takes signals from an onboard tilt sensor. If the bike leans too much toward the pusher, it will steer closer to them, making itself more upright to reduce the weight they’re holding up. If the bike gets completely vertical, the steering will turn the other way to prevent it from falling away from the pusher.

*while pushing the bike, the actuator located at the handlebar will steers the bike closer to the rider to stand it up if it detects the bike is leaning too much.

The DCT version of the Gold Wing already has a “walking speed mode” that allows it to move forward or backward at low speeds under its own power. Adding a steering assist to this mode will make it easier to prevent low-speed toppling. The existing sensors and computers used for traction control and ABS systems can already monitor the bike’s lean angle, so adding the steering servo to the system would be easy to adopt.

Honda has filed many patents for a next-generation Gold Wing, which is at the center of a large R&D project. It’s not clear when we’ll see the results, but Honda will want to establish itself as a tech pioneer sooner rather than later since rival brands are already offering rider-assist technology that Honda doesn’t have yet.

CFMoto is preparing to launch two battery-powered miniature motocrossers, according to recently filed design registrations. 

While electric bikes have yet to fully catch on with mainstream riders, off-road competition represents a logical area for electric power, particularly at the lower end of the market. 

CFMoto’s new models are designed to offer virtually silent, emissions-free motocross racing, opening up the possibility of tracks being built in areas where noise complaints would preclude the use of gas-powered machines, and even allowing indoor use.

The two models appear to share the same motor and battery arrangement but with different-size frames and wheels. 

The smaller model features 10-inch wheels front and rear, similar to KTM’s SX-E 3. The larger model, with its 14-inch front and 12-inch rear wheels, targets older riders and has similar proportions to the Yamaha YZ65.

While both models were designed by CFMoto, they were filed through the European Union Intellectual Property Office, suggesting a market targeting outside of China. 

With the designs now registered, the electric models should be ready for launch soon.

Chinese motorcycle manufacturer, CFMoto is working on a new inline-triple engine of around 675cc, according to recent patent documents as reported by Cycle World

This move is particularly interesting as it suggests that the company is committed to developing a range of engines with different capacities and layouts, despite its partnership with KTM and the growing consensus in the industry that internal combustion engines are reaching the end of their lifespan. It also hints that there is still a future for internal combustion.

The triple engine is expected to be part of the same family as the 449cc parallel twin that’s currently available in the 450SR sportbike. 

The engine, which features a 270-degree crankshaft, promises to be a huge step forward compared to the company’s previous ICE engines. 

The new three-cylinder engine shares many design features with the 449cc twin, including the cylinder head and cam-cover design. If the 72mm bore and 55.1mm stroke of the 450 are carried over to the triple, the result will be a total of almost exactly 673cc.

The design of the new engine suggests that it is focused more on low-to-midrange torque and less on outright revs and peak power. 

However, CFMoto could easily change the bore and stroke to give the triple more displacement and performance if required. The engine features a balancer shaft mounted at the front, as is typical for triples, and the water pump appears to be driven from the same shaft. 

CFMoto has already shown extensive experience with battery-powered motorcycles and has vast battery-production facilities on its doorstep. 

Despite this, the company is still investing in the development of traditional gasoline engines.

Honda is reportedly working on a new motorcycle crash detection system that goes beyond just alerting riders when a crash has occurred.

  • Honda is developing a new motorcycle crash detection system that can determine if the rider is unconscious and decide whether or not to call for emergency services.
  • The system uses the motorcycle’s IMU and sensors to detect a crash.
  • The system can differentiate between minor incidents and serious accidents and has the potential to save lives by quickly alerting emergency services.

The new technology is said to be able to determine if the rider is unconscious or not and decide whether or not to call for emergency services.

The system uses the motorcycle’s IMU and an array of sensors to detect when a crash has occurred. It then links to the rider’s smartphone and helmet-mounted Bluetooth headset to determine if the rider is still conscious or not. Based on this diagnosis, the system will decide whether or not to make an emergency call.

Interestingly, the system is also said to be able to differentiate between a minor incident, such as dropping the bike on its side at a driveway, and a serious accident that requires immediate attention. If the incident is deemed minor, the system will not make an emergency call.

While this new technology sounds promising, questions remain about its accuracy and reliability. For example, if the rider is not wearing a Bluetooth headset, will the system still be able to accurately determine their state of consciousness? Additionally, it will be interesting to see how the system performs in real-world scenarios.

Despite these questions, Honda’s new motorcycle crash detection system is a promising development in motorcycle safety technology. It has the potential to save lives by quickly alerting emergency services when a serious accident has occurred. Honda has not yet announced when the technology will be available to the public.


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