Honda may be working on two new motorcycles based on the new 1,048 cc parallel-twin engine of the latest Honda Africa Twin. Latest patent drawings show that Honda has already designed two new frames around the Africa Twin engine, hinting that two different motorcycle models may follow the Africa Twin adventure tourer, but with different personalities, even if sharing the same heart. According to latest patent images, two different chassis designs are revealed which will house the same 1,048 cc parallel-twin engine.
One is a cradle-style steel frame, with a backbone and front downtube that splits into a dual-cradle under-engine section. The second design is a sportier-looking chassis with a steel trellis type front section bolted on to an aluminium swingarm pivot element. What is common in both designs is that, both seem to have the same key specifications, sharing identical position of the bars, seat and pegs. The two designs also have similar front forks and swingarm, and will house the same Africa Twin-derived parallel-twin engine.
The backbone type frame is likely to be the design for a retro-styled street bike, possibly something like the Honda CB1000R with its neo-retro design. The backbone frame also has a dual-cradle section (under where the engine will be), but it will have no vertical rear frame section to connect the backbone to swingarm pivot. The engine will be a structural element of the frame, and will be bolted to the frame at the top, front and bottom.
The trellis-frame design has a different approach, losing the under-engine cradle section but with a beefy aluminium section to add structure around the swingarm pivot. While both designs are clearly visible, it's not clear at this stage, if Honda will opt for one, or the other, or both designs. The patent for the cradle design says it's designed to improve the balance of rigidity, while the trellis frame design says it offers reduced weight and improved steering ability. So far, there's no word on if and when Honda will be expanding on the designs, but one thing is certain, that the new Africa Twin engine will be used, in a more street-oriented bike, and at this stage, we can only keep guessing.