Intriguing news continues to flow from officially-published patent and trademark documents, with the unearthing of a patent revealing appears to be the engine of the long-awaited MotoGP-derived Honda V-4 superbike.
A new V-4 based on Honda’s championship-winning RC-V prototype racebike has long been the stuff of dreams, made real with the 2012 announcement from Honda Chief Executive Officer Takanobu Ito confirming the new production superbike was in the works. The patents, filed March 28, 2012 and published Oct. 4 later that year, provide further evidence the V-4 product is close to coming to fruition.
The patent itself seems innocuous enough, focusing mainly on a new cooling system for “V-Type engines” that uses a shorter coolant hose than previous designs. While the patent could be adopted for a V-Twin engine, the text clearly states the included diagrams are of a four-cylinder engine in a 90-degree V configuration just like the RC213V or the RCV1000R production racer.
The patent document includes a line diagram of a sportsbike purely for illustrative purposes, so don’t expect the final product to look like this. Honda used a sketch the 2011 CBR1000RR for the diagram, as you can see from vertical gap in the fairing and three-spoked wheels. That Honda used the 2011 model should be no surprise, as it was the current model when the patent was filed; it is significant that it was a CBR1000RR however, as this suggests the V-4 would also be a literbike and could be the long-standing model’s replacement.
There’s no timeline on when we can expect Honda to produce its MotoGP-derived V-4 sportbike, seeing as how the patent is already three years old, but we hope it’s soon.