By Dennis Chung
Honda has filed two patent applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that suggest a Rebel with the Africa Twin‘s DCT engine may be close to production.
Rumors of a larger Rebel have been circulating for a while, with a few patents over the last few years showing an engine that roughly looks like the Africa Twin’s powerplant in a Rebel chassis. The new patent applications, published today by the USPTO, are much more detailed, which is usually an indicator of how far a project is in the development cycle.
The engine pictured in the patent drawings is a match for the DCT-equipped Honda Africa Twin’s engine.
Also telling, the two new patents are for the positioning of exhaust sensors and for a new rear suspension design, elements that aren’t usually addressed until after more complicated issues, like the packaging of an engine in a chassis, are well under way.
The latest patents provide a good look at the right side and the front of a Rebel with the DCT version of the Africa Twin engine. The engine cases are a match with the Africa Twin’s, and the Unicam engine head is distinct from the DOHC engines employed on the existing Rebel 500 and 300. The front view (pictured below) shows an engine, and fuel tank that are noticeably wider than the svelte Rebel 500.
If there remains any doubt about a dual clutch transmission, note that the handlebar in the patent diagram lacks a clutch lever.
The exhaust sensor patent describes how the probes (#65 and #66 in the drawings) connect to the two header pipes just below the bottom edge of the radiator. This allows the radiator to provide a bit of protection to the exhaust sensors while also allowing easy access to them. The sensors are also protected …read more