Kawasaki could be working on a new transmission system on an upcoming motorcycle. Leaked patents suggest that the new motorcycle could get an automatic clutch. Furthermore, leaked designs also suggest that the motorcycle will not even come with a clutch lever. The brand has used the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX for the background art but speculations are that it could be a new motorcycle.
But why an Auto-Clutch when you could simply use a Quickshifter?
Of course, the brand does not plan to make a complicated and expensive automatic DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission). And while Quickshifters are a simple and affordable option, they only work efficiently at wide open throttles. When traversing at slow speeds Quickshifters can be a pain to use. The motorcycle becomes jerky and it is better to use a manual clutch. But what if you wanted to make a transition of power from an electric unit to an internal combustion engine. Yes, patents reveal that the motorcycle with the auto-clutch gearbox will be a hybrid.
How do Hybrid engine and transmission work?
In a hybrid engine, the electric motor can directly power the wheels drawing power from the battery or work in conjunction with the ICE motor improving its efficiency by providing torque assist. The auto-clutch comes in handy when the motorcycle is transitioning from the high torque electric motor to the ICE powertrain or when both are working in conjunction. The auto-clutch will be able to juggle the complex transition process. without any need from the driver.
Last year Kawasaki revealed that the brand is working on a hybrid motorcycle. While the brand did not reveal details of the powertrain, speculation is that the hybrid engine will be capable of having an electric-only range of 30 km. The platform and engine are also likely to be based on the Kawasaki Ninja 400 and the battery will be capable of recharging using regenerative braking and power from the internal combustion engine.