Tag Archives: hybrid

Yamaha lean toward three-wheelers

Yamaha has filed yet another patent that shows yet again that they lean toward leaning trikes, this time with a hybrid powertrain.

The Japanese company already has a lean on leaning trikes with their TriCity scooter and Niken motorcycle. They have also filed several patents before for leaning three-wheelers.

Yamaha Niken three-wheeler neowingNiken

They are not alone in pursuing trikes that lean with patents from Honda, Kawasaki and several other companies such as AKO.

AKO leaning electric itrikeAKO leaning electric trike

Yamaha’s patent seems to be a stripped-down or lean version of the MW-Vision concept unveiled last year at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show.

Yamaha has filed yet another patent for yet another leaning trike, this time with a hybrid powertrain. leanMW-Vision concept

There is a lot to be said for the concept of leaning trikes.

They improve front cornering grip and braking and, when it has a locking function at standstill, it means you don’t have to support the weight of the bike.

However, the disadvantages are extra weight and expense.

If those two disadvantages could be offset by making them more economical to run, then it would make them even more attractive to some riders, especially novices.

That could be attained by the use of a hybrid powertrain as suggested in this patent.

However, it’s not a hybrid like a Prius where a combination of an electric motor and internal-combustion engine drive the wheels.

It’s what’s called a series hybrid or range-extender hybrid where an ICE simply charges a battery which powers an electric motor that drives the wheels.

They aren’t the first to trial a series hybrid.

The cheap Chevrolet Volt and expensive Fisker Karma had similar arrangements.

Holden Volt hybrid powerChevrolet Volt

However the Volt has been discontinued and Fisker has gone broke, so it seems to suggest it was not a popular concept.

And Kawasaki recently filed a patent in the Japanese Patent Office for a slightly different take on the range-extender hybrid with a supercharged two-stroke engine to charge the battery.

There are no details about the type of ICE Yamaha plans to use in their series hybrid, but the hybrid leaning trike does show that the industry is starting to think beyond purely electric motorcycles.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Meet the Efesto hybrid Ducati with 299hp!

French start-up Efesto has developed a hybrid drive kit system for motorcycles, delivering a scintillating 299hp in their Ducati Panigale 1299 prototype.

Efesto MD Luca Morfino contacted us to tell us they are serious about taking the hybrid kit to market after some more testing. There is no word on pricing yet.

We have written about several motorcycle manufacturers’ plans for hybrids, such as BMW, Furion, Honda, Kawasaki, TVS, Yamaha and even the US Army.

But the Efesto hybrid kit is the first we have head of that will attach to an existing fuel-powered bike.

It consists of a 100hp electric motor, battery pack and chain drive, plus electronic controls that allow the rider to select the Ducati engine, the electric motor or a combination of the two, yielding 299hp and 300Nm of torque.

Luca unveiled the Efesto protoype at the recent EICMA motorcycle show in Milan.

On the prototype, the electric motor sits underneath the bike, but Luca says it does not compromise clearance or lean angles.

Meet the Efesto hybrid Ducati with 299hp!
Electric motor

The inverter is hidden behind the radiator and the high-voltage battery pack is installed below the tail subframe. It looks a bit ugly, but it’s not as bad as some electric bikes we’ve seen.

Meet the Efesto hybrid Ducati with 299hp!
Battery pack

The electric motor is connected via chain to the secondary shaft.

Rider modesMeet the Efesto hybrid Ducati with 299hp!

Riders can select the power mode via a control on the left switchblock.

Mode 1 is purely Ducati’s 205hp L-twin engine. Meanwhile, the battery is being recharged by taking some of the engine’s power and through regenerative braking.

The battery can only be recharged via these methods using Efesto’s special software. You cannot plug in the battery to the mains to recharge.

To select mode 2 for pure electric drive, the rider has to select neutral and switch off the Ducati engine.Meet the Efesto hybrid Ducati with 299hp!

In this mode, it is twist-and-go like a scooter with no gears.

Luca claims it will ride for 30 to 40 minutes in urban traffic below 70km/h.

He says this makes it legal to ride in some CBDs where there are emissions restrictions.

In mode 3, or “Boost” mode, the Ducati engine and electric motor share drive.

Mode 4 is a custom mode where the rider can set their desired combination of torque and power.

Efesto hybrid Ducati tech specsMeet the Efesto hybrid Ducati with 299hp!

Since the Panigale weighs 190kg with a full tank and this prototype weighs 194kg dry, the electric motor, inverter and battery must weigh about 20kg.

Luca says they have patents for the “anti-spinning and anti-wheeling” electric control system and the counter-rotating electric motor.

Internal Combustion Engine

Engine type

Superquadro: L-twin cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder, Desmodromic, liquid cooled.



Bore x stroke

116 x 60.8mm


143kW (205hp) @ 10,500rpm


145Nm @ 8750rpm

Electric Motor Generator

Motor type

Axial Flux Synchronous Motors and Generator

Liquid cooled

IP 65



Diameter ø / width


Rated battery voltage


Peak Power

80kW (108 HP)

Peak Torque




Meet the Efesto hybrid Ducati with 299hp!



Aluminium box

Front Suspension


Front Wheel

Marchesini forged 3,50” x 17”

Front Tyre

Dunlop Sportmax D213 GP PRO-2 120/70 ZR17

Rear Suspension


Rear Wheel

Marchesini forged 5.50” x 17”

Rear Tyre

Dunlop Sportmax D213 GP PRO-2 200/60 ZR17

Wheel Travel (front/rear)

120mm (4,72 in) – 130mm (5,12 in)

Front Brake

2 x 320mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo 4-piston callipers, with Bosch ABS

Rear Brake

245mm disc, 2-piston calliper, with Bosch ABS

Meet the Efesto hybrid Ducati with 299hp!

Dimensions and Weights

Dry weight








Front Wheel Trail


Fuel Tank Capacity

17 litres

Number of Seats

One seat

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Kawasaki working on hybrid motorcycle

Kawasaki has applied for a patent for a hybrid motorcycle which is like a two-wheeled version of the hybrid Toyota Prius and Chevrolet Volt.

The Kawasaki patent application was originally filed with Japan’s patent office in December 2017 and again a year later in the US Patent Office.

Details have only now come to light that describe a motorcycle equipped with an electric motor and internal combustion engine.

Hybrid tech

The Japanese manufacturer is not alone with plans for hybrid technology as a step toward a full-electric future.

Honda has a hybrid PCX 125cc scooter that gets an electric boost from the ACG starter motor powered by a new 48V high-output lithium ion battery.

Honda PCX Hybrid scooter battery swap
PCX Hybrid

BMW also recently filed an application for a hybrid-drive motorcycle with a removable battery in the “fuel” tank.

Other hybrid examples are the TVS Zeppelin hybrid concept and the American Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency’s stealth off-road motorcycle powered by a petrol engine and an electric motor.

Hybrid motorcycle

Kawasaki’s hybrid system is a mixture of the Toyota and Chevrolet car hybrid systems.

The Toyota Prius uses the electric motor and internal combustion engine to drive the wheels together and separately.

Chevy’s Volt electric motor provides all the driving power while the gas engine simply acts as a range extender by charging the battery.

The Kawasaki hybrid system works both ways.Kawasaki hybrid motorcycle patent drawings

While cars can accommodate an engine and motors, it is more difficult in motorcycles because they are much smaller.

Kawasaki’s patent shows a compact single unit that houses the AC electric motor, combustion as well as the transmission.

The battery is above the engine like the fuel tank on a conventional motorcycle, while the tank can be mounted on the side of the seat or outside the frame beside the battery.

In both cases it sits on the left side of the motorcycle and is balanced by a coolant tank on the right side.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW Motorrad serious about hybrid drive

BMW Motorrad seems pretty serious about building a two-wheeled version of the hybrid Toyota Prius with yet another patent filing for hybrid drive.

Their latest patent filing shows the hybrid-drive battery for the electric motor located in the fuel tank.two=whee-drive patent serious

While that would sacrifice fuel range, the hybrid drive system would make up for some of the range.

It also appears the battery may be removable so you can make full use of the tank’s full capacity.

In 2017, BMW filed these simplistic hybrid patent drawings with the German patent office, although they were not released until February this year.Hybrid drive serious

These two patent filings would make the motorcycle a two-wheeled version of the hybrid Toyota Prius which is powered by both an electric motor and a conventional fuel-powered engine.

The first filing was for an electric motor and boxer engine both delivering power to the rear wheel.

Hybrid drive serious
Hybrid drive patent drawing

They would be connected by a planetary gear system with a torque-limiting slip clutch on the electric motor driving the crank.

The electric motor would also function as a starter motor and generator, converting mechanical power from the boxer engine into electricity.

Being a hybrid-drive system, BMW could reduce the size of the boxer engine and appease stringent Euro 5 emissions targets due in 2020.

Serious pranksters

On April Fool’s Day, 2017, BMW announced a two-wheel-drive version of its R 1200 GS Adventure.

They called it xDrive Hybrid, but it was for a two-wheel-drive motorcycle, not a hybrid-powered bike.

At the time, BMW Motorrad Australia GM Andreas Lundgren said there was a “very thin border between fact and fiction in their pranks … the concept is plausible”.

The Bavarian jokesters are famous for their April Fool’s Day jokes, having begun running spoof advertisements on April 1 in the early 1980s.

BMW’s marketing department says April Fool jokes are “designed to teeter on the verge of credibility” and often focus on a new and revolutionary piece of technology, but “push the idea just beyond the plausible.”

Some of their other April 1 pranks were a self-cleaning car, remote-inflatable tyres, dog-repellent bumpers, tyres that melted snow and a self-driving car that follows you when you go for a jog.

However, BMW may still be serious about a two-wheel-drive adventure motorcycle in the future.

There have been several other two-wheel-drive motorcycles before, most notably Yamaha’s 2WD system called 2-TRAC. They used it to tackle the Dakar Rally but it never made it into mass production.

The idea is not dead yet with Yamaha, either. Their PES2 electric bike is 2WD and the Japanese company has filed a patent for a new 2WD system with an electric motor driving the front wheel.

Other 2WD products and concepts include the Christini dirt bikes, Suzuki Nuda concept, Rokon, Ural 2WD outfits and Australia’s own Drysdale stroker which was intended for the Australian Army.

But the biggest hint that BMW may actually be considering a 2WD bike comes from BMW accessories company Wunderlich

In 2016, they developed an electronic two-wheel-drive system for the R 1200 GS that also gives it a reverse gear.

The Wunderlich invention is basically a 7.6kW electric hub motor in the front wheel that neatly fits inside the ABS ring.

It sounds very similar to what BMW proposed in their 2017 April 1 press release and their patent filings.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com