To need or not to need.
A few weeks ago, we documented that Honda was apparently working on what could be a new variable valve timing technology that would underline a next-generation CBR1000RR; a sort of next-gen VTEC if you will. It looks like the manufacturer could be bringing yet another car-inspired technology to its motorcycle lineup, and probably not the one you think. Future Hondas could get extra steering power. A patent filed back in 2016 and published on January 8, 2019 tells the tale of a Honda motorcycle fitted with a steering assist system.
In what looks like what possibly is the front-end of a Gold Wing-looking motorcycle, Honda details the system’s functioning 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.”
That’s a lot of steering, but if you were able to “work around” that seemingly (uselessly) complex sentence, what it boils down to is a design that allows for the integration of a system producing a “steering force” that is transmitted to the steering stem of a motorcycle (“saddle-ride type vehicle”), ergo, a steering assist.
The company is no stranger to a motorcycle power steering system—in fact, a few years ago, Honda introduced the Neowing concept, a Niken-like leaning three-wheeler equipped with a type of steering assist. The patent, however, suggests a more compact iteration of the system fitted to a steering stem that supports a single wheel—so not a trike.
Whether the plan is to develop a future Gold Wing generation equipped with the technology, or a self-riding bike, only time will tell, but whatever it is, Honda is working on it. Now, the question is: do we really need steering assist on a bike?
Source: Free Patents Online