Suzuki’s Electric Motocross Patent is Essentially Just an EV-Swap

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Electrification is an inevitability that we all have to embrace. If you’re one of the many who refuse to accept this, well, chances are you’re in for a world of hurt. It all started with small startups specializing in electric two-wheelers. And now, even big names like Harley-Davidson and Can-Am have embraced electrification with open arms.

We’re seeing the trend spread to the Japanese big four, too, with Kawasaki recently releasing electric equivalents of its Ninja and Z bikes. Yamaha and Honda have also expressed interest in EVs, and much more recently, Suzuki even filed patents for a new electric motorcycle, presumably one derived from its popular motocross bike, the RM-Z.

So, what’s Suzuki cooking up?

The patent depicts an electric power unit for use on future models.

The patent depicts an electric power unit for use on future models.

The patent, simply entitled “Power Unit,” doesn’t really make any mention about the platform on which it’ll be mounted, as well as the battery and power output of the motor. Instead, it focuses on the details of the transmission, which reduces the final drive through a series of gears before reaching the front sprocket.

In essence, Suzuki is patenting the layout of the reduction gears. This is particularly interesting as it makes the final gear ratio of the bike lower for better control and quicker acceleration. It also keeps the powertrain’s dimensions compact and lightweight.

Reduction gears reduce the final drive of the electric motor.

Reduction gears reduce the final drive of the electric motor.

Another interesting thing to take note of is that the front sprocket is closer to the bike’s centerline than the motor’s output gear. As such, Suzuki will be able to retain the chain position (as well as all the accompanying anti-squat properties) of the Suzuki RM-Z.

Practically speaking, this means that the existing swingarm and rear wheel design can simply be carried over from the ICE model.

The frame depicted in the patent looks just like that of the RM-Z.

The frame depicted in the patent looks just like that of the RM-Z.

So, why is this so important?

Well, it seems that Suzuki is doing what no other manufacturer is doing—building an electric equivalent of an ICE motocrosser. It’s something we’ve seen aftermarket specialists do in the past, with bikes like the Husqvarna EE18 and Electro & Company’s electric Yamaha YZs.

The fact that Suzuki is working on an existing platform means that the time it takes for them to develop the bike will be much quicker. And to top it all off, R&D costs will be much lower than if it were building it from the ground up—something that we hope will translate to the sticker price on the finished product.

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