Is this the new Honda V4 superbike? | Sport Rider

Is this the new Honda V4 superbike?

Patent filed by Honda shows RCV-like V4 engine in CBR-style body with innovative water pump driven off camshaft

Spanish magazine Solomoto uncovered a patent filed by Honda Motor Company in March 2012 that deals with a new water pump design driven off one of the engine camshafts. Of more interest though, is that the patent also covers the new water pump design installed on a V-4 engine that closely resembles the engine in the RCV1000R production MotoGP racebike, nestled in a chassis that has a striking likeness to the current CBR1000RR. Rumors have been rampant that Honda has a new flagship sportbike waiting in the wings to replace the aging CBR1000RR that has been struggling to remain competitive these past few seasons, with a rule allowing the retrofitment of ride-by-wire throttle systems enacted last year being the CBR's saving grace in World Superbike racing. Could this be that new sportbike?

The patent shows a 90-degree V-4 engine that closely resembles the powerplant in the RCV1000R production MotoGP racebike, with the coolant pump driven off the front cylinder exhaust camshaft.

The fact that the patent covers not just the water pump but also its installation on a V-4 engine that is installed (and noted in the patent literature) in a street-legal chassis complete with headlight, mirrors, taillight, turn signals, etc., in the design diagrams tends to put this beyond just a patent for the water pump design (which is not only used on Honda's MotoGP race bikes, but also currently on the NC700 econobike). The rumors have stated that the new Honda will supposedly be a V-4 closely based on the firm's current MotoGP machines-- but also that the bike will be a very limited production unit similar in concept to Honda's heralded oval-piston NR750 of 1992.

The patent describes and portrays a 90-degree V-4 engine with cylinders angled similar to the RCV engine, along with ultra-short stroke and extremely compact cylinder head design.

However, the latest rumors from Japan have suggested that the new Honda V-4 has been temporarily shelved due to the continuing lagging sales of sportbikes worldwide. Honda has always been a fairly conservative company, and it's unlikely that it would start a very costly production process if it didn't feel the effort would be worth the predicted sales.

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