Banging the drum at the front and at the back.

There’s been a healthy amount of patents filed by Honda recently. In fact, it’s likely been one of the more (obviously) active manufacturers on the development and patent filing side of things. From variable valve technology to aerodynamic components, it looks like Big Red has no shortage of ideas. One of the brand’s most recent patent focuses  a weird-looking motorcycle that seems to blend a healthy does of modern styling with some proper vintage styling cues. Weirdest of all? The design suggests the bike is fitted with a drum brake at the front and at the back.

Drum brakes are the dinosaurs of braking technology. We still find that sort of set up on a handful of modern-day bikes such as the Suzuki Van Van 200 or the Yahama SR400, however, most motorcycles use discs on both wheels. The technology is inherently more efficient and allows for the us of the ABS—something that can’t be connected to a mechanical drum. Even when a mode is fitted with a drum brake, it’s usually only at the rear wheel—the front one normally equipped with a proper disc and caliper set up. So you can understand our surprise when we found this weird Honda patent detailing the design of a seemingly new model of motorcycle that uses a drum brake on both wheels. This is the type of “return to basics” we don’t fully understand.

Honda patent drum brakes

The look of the bike in itself is weird and looks nothing like we’ve recently seen from Honda. The headstock is reminiscent of the CB series’ former generation design, a stark, almost eye-gouging contrast from the lines of the gas tank and the flat saddle supported by dual shocks that scream retro. The patent describes how the chassis of the motorcycle is built from a main tube that extends from the headstock to the tail of the bike, underlined by a cradle, nesting what is seemingly a small-displacement engine—a single cylinder if the description of the engine in the document has any truth to it.

These weird choices by Honda could hint at an ambition to design an affordable, entry-level model—maybe even cheaper than the current entry-levels. I mean, not even the cheapest current Honda model, the Grom, uses drum brakes! The engine footprint also doesn’t look like any current singles in the Honda lineup, suggesting we might be looking at a new mill, maybe a vintage 200? We sure are curious to see whether anything will come from this patent and whether Honda will in fact introduce a Van Van challenger, but mainly, we’re wondering how well drum brakes will do in 2019.

Source: Free Online Patent