A newly-published patent application reveals Honda is working on a retro-styled dual sport. The application, filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, reveals a streetbike with round headlight and mirrors but with hand guards, wire spokes and a high-rising exhaust suggesting some off-road capability.
The application suggests the motorcycle is powered by a 1000cc parallel Twin engine, though the wording is vague enough to say this is just one example used for the patent. The degree of detail on the close-up sketch of the engine with clearly specified bolts and mounting points would suggest Honda has an engine already prepared for this new model.
Most of the patent focuses on the design of the air cleaner (labelled with the number 12 in the sketches). The new design has the air cleaner in front of the fuel tank and bulging out the side, outside of the frame. This design would allow Honda to increase the side of the air cleaner while allowing the fuel tank to stay in a slender shape. This design would also make it easier to access the it for maintenance.
The patent application does not provide any clues to when, if ever, the illustrated motorcycle will enter production, or what it would be called. Companies often file patents that never come to fruition or take years to develop.
As for the name, some recently filed Honda trademarks may offer up some clues. Two particular names stand out: Elsinore and Africa Twin. Both names carry a long tradition with Honda. The Elsinore was an early Honda dirt bike released in 1973, but they were small displacement motocrossers that preceded today’s CRF models. The name has the right retro-sounding appeal to it, but connecting the name to a 1000cc engine might be too much of a departure from the Elsinore legacy.
“Africa Twin” might be an apt name, and the engine description would fit the bill. A new Africa Twin however would be more of an adventure tourer along the likes of the Yamaha Super Tenere or Triumph’s Explorer and the design in the sketches lacks the same rugged styling.
Whatever the name, we hope to see more of this new Honda soon.