Honda is filing a flurry of patents, clearly hinting at massive updates to its lineup in the future. The newest patent details a proprietary steering assist technology filed back in 2016.
Honda published the patent on 8th January 2019. The patent details what looks like a Honda Goldwing front end fitted with the company’s newfangled tech. Honda describes this system as: “(…)an object of the present invention is to easily incorporate an assist steering system to a steering device while saving a space in the steering system of a saddle-ride type vehicle which includes a front fork that includes a steering shaft at the upper end and supports a front wheel at the lower end, a steering arm attached to the steering shaft, a steering force transmit member that is turnably supported by a steering stem that is arranged in a body frame, and a steering system link that joins the steering arm and the steering force transmit member.”
The language is convoluted, but it is basically a system that attaches to the steering of a motorcycle and produces a “steering force” transmitted to the steering stem of a motorcycle – or a “saddle-ride type vehicle” as Honda says in its patent. In simple words, you are looking at a patent for a steering assist.
Honda hasn’t tried its hand at developing a steering assist for the first time. A few years ago, the Japanese bike maker had introduced the Neowing concept, a trike very much like Yamaha Niken, equipped with a rudimentary steering assist. The latest patent suggests a more compact take on the technology fitted to a steering stem that supports a single wheel. So this patent is not for a trike after all.
In the near future, we can see Honda fitting its popular Goldwing with the steering assist tech, because that bike could do with any electronic assist it got. Further ahead in the future, are we looking at a self-balancing, autonomous motorcycle? Only time will tell, but the implications are huge. Imagine a motorcycle you can thrash to the limit, but which rights itself automatically if you get too carried away. Now wouldn’t that be a perfect package to hone the fine art of motorcycling on?
Patent Image Credit: Free Patents Online