Honda to offer hybrid motorcycles from 2011
Honda Motor Co. will start selling hybrid motorcycles as early as the mid-2010s, and with smaller electric motorcycles coming out as early as 2011, the automaker has announced.
The move is part of Honda's efforts to cope with rising gasoline prices and global warming by applying its 4-wheeled hybrid and battery technology to motorcycles.
Adding a hybrid engine and battery to a motorcycle's traditional internal combustion engine was thought to present too many engineering problems, not least that of size. However, Honda believes that it can shrink a hybrid engine enough to be mounted on a motorcycle frame.
The hybrid motorbikes will be available in engine displacements between 200 and 1,000 cc, and, according to Honda, will be 50 percent more fuel-efficient. Production will be cut by using common components in both hybrid cars and motorcycles.
Honda will also be producing a new line of electric scooters, and a successor to the Cub series motorbikes for commercial use, with an engine size of 50 to 125 cc.
Though with a limited range -- a smaller electric motorcycle will only be able to run about 30 kilometers on one charge -- fuel costs will be smaller than that of a gasoline motorcycle.