Honda has announced a new liquid-cooled, 700 cc, parallel twin engine that was designed for use in its mid-sized motorcycles. The manufacturer claims that the power plant has powerful low to mid-range torque, and that when coupled to the second generation of their Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), can achieve a fuel economy of 4.2 L/100 km (68 mpg).
Our first peek at the new engine will be at EICMA 2011, which will be held this November in Milan, Italy, when it will be appear in three concept models. Honda says the new engine meets the demands of several new and upcoming models that were designed to provide good fuel economy and be equally adept at touring and urban riding.
Honda decided on the parallel twin layout after considering every available engine configuration. The mid-sized twin satisfied their requirement that it be able to suite a wide variety of uses, and be able to work with either the new DCT or a 6-speed manual transmission.
An uneven, 270 degree interval firing order promises to be the hallmark of the new design as Honda says it provides a pleasant throbbing feel. Who, we ask, wouldn’t enjoy a pleasant throbbing feel when riding?
A more unusual feature of its exhaust is that it places the catalyser directly beneath the exhaust ports. Apparently this ensures that the combusted gasses are still hot as they pass through the catalyser, and when combined with the engine’s ECU controlled fuel injection, it’s claimed to have an emission level that is half of the allowed limit by the European emission standards (Euro 3).
The other news pertains to Honda’s DCT, which first appeared on the VFR1200F, and has been redesigned to be lighter and more compact. Perhaps even more impressive is that it now has a learning function that Honda claims can detect a variety of riding situations, whether you’re riding on city streets or through a mountain pass. The second generation DCT will then automatically adjust its shifting pattern to suit the conditions. The new DCT is also said to be able to match the fuel economy of a manual 6-speed transmission.