Honda’s latest patent reveals radical new electric motorcycle concept

Honda Riding Assist (

Honda Riding Assist (

Honda’s recent patent indicates a groundbreaking electric motorcycle concept that builds upon the earlier Riding Assist-e concept but incorporates a different electric-drive system aimed at enhancing motorcycle handling and performance.


The motorcycle showcased in these patent images appears to have a familiar outline, reminiscent of Honda’s unique Riding Assist-e concept from 2017. However, beneath its aesthetics, this electric motorcycle employs a completely different approach to leverage the advantages of electric power for enhancing future motorcycle capabilities.

Honda’s previous Riding Assist-e concept was known for its ability to electrically alter its steering-head angle and wheelbase, achieving self-balancing even when stationary. This was made possible by an actuator in the steering column that turned the front wheel to maintain balance. While intriguing, it was unclear how this capability would benefit most riders in practical terms.

In contrast, the new design, while sharing the styling of the Riding Assist-e, integrates a distinct electric-drive system, with two separate patents highlighting the concept’s unique features.

Two rear electric motors:

The first patent pertains to the electric motors at the rear. Positioned longitudinally and side by side under the rider’s seat, these motors rotate in opposite directions. Each motor is directly linked to a driveshaft running along the bike’s swingarm, ultimately driving the rear wheel. This design may seem unconventional, but it plays a pivotal role in delivering enhanced cornering capabilities.

The opposing rotation of these motors impacts how the bike handles. When the left-side motor rotates clockwise (while the other turns counter-clockwise), it assists the bike in leaning into left-hand corners. Conversely, when the right-side motor rotates counterclockwise (and the other clockwise), it helps the bike stand up when exiting corners. Essentially, these motors are used to encourage the bike’s behavior during cornering, enhancing both stability and control.

During a left-hand turn, for instance, the left motor receives more power on the entry into the corner, facilitating quicker leaning. In the middle of the corner, both motors share power to maintain stability, and as the bike exits the corner, the right-hand motor receives priority, helping the bike return to an upright position.

This innovative approach may significantly impact handling and performance, especially in high-performance electric motorcycles and racing scenarios.

Front-wheel hub electric motor:

The second patent focuses on the bike’s front wheel, where an electric motor is located within the wheel’s hub. This front-wheel motor not only improves power delivery to the ground, which is challenging with traditional one-wheel-drive motorcycles, but it also serves as an advanced wheelie control system.

Conventional wheelie control systems work by reducing power to the rear wheel when the front wheel lifts. However, Honda’s design relies on the torque-reaction principle and the motor within the front hub to control wheelies without limiting power, resulting in enhanced acceleration.

The system detects when the front wheel starts to rise and counteracts the movement by reversing the front wheel motor. As a result, the front wheel slows and can even start spinning backward to counteract the front-wheel lift. This effectively counters the torque attempting to lift the front wheel.

To ensure rider safety, the system recognizes when the front wheel stops lifting and begins to descend, cutting power to it or returning it to forward rotation before landing.

These patents represent an exciting glimpse into the future of electric motorcycle technology, with potential applications for both street riders and high-performance electric bikes. Honda’s innovative approach to utilizing electric power for enhancing handling and performance may have a profound impact on the motorcycle industry.