Honda may be working on a supercharged Honda Africa Twin, with innovations including an engine-driven supercharger and dual injection system.
But the Achilles Heel with the Africa Twin is power-on-tap relative to its competition. Its 1,084cc parallel-twin engine pumps out 101 bhp, while the other bikes in the same group as the BMW R 1250 GS, Ducati Multistrada 1260, push out 134 hp and 158 hp, respectively. The 4th generation Multistrada V4 delivers 170 hp from its 1,158 cc V4 Granturismo Engine!
Initially, three individual patents arose from the Japanese patent office, comprising hundreds of pages, but with an intriguing technical sketch of what appears to be a forced-induction system mounted directly above the 1,084cc parallel twin-engine African Twin base.
Supercharged motorcycles already existed on the market, with the likes of the Kawasaki H2 series, but with a variation in supercharged technology. The H2 uses a centrifugal style supercharger containing an impeller that rotates at very high RPMs, producing most of its power output in the top-end range.
Adventure motorcycles, however, need grunt at the low end and midrange to help them maneuver through a variety of road and trail undulations. Looking at the drawing, Honda seems to have gone down the twin-screw supercharger path. This type of supercharger is a positive type of displacement, i.e., the airflow travels only in the forward direction. It is coupled to the engine using a chain drive/belt drive and pushes a fixed volume of air through the two helical screws. This ensures that a constant amount of boost pressure is maintained in the rev range.
Further analysis from Ben Purvis reveals an obscure airbox configuration that splits into two sections on either side of the front of the bike. One side consists of a tube that delivers air to the supercharger’s left side and then moves compressed air back to the airbox until it is sent to the throttle bodies and then to the engine.
In the engine front, a secondary fuel injector powered by a high-pressure camshaft pump helps to atomize the fuel instantly. It is strategically placed along the direction of turbulent airflow from the intake valves, which prevents fuel from sticking to the cylinder walls. As a result, by electronically changing the actuation of the fuel injectors based on engine load, rpm, and throttle position, Honda will offer advances in engine output and efficiency.
Earlier reports of Honda working on another supercharged version of the Africa Twin suggest a long-running R&D project of the Japanese stable.
With the market swinging in favor of Adventure motorcycles, it is only a matter of time before this project becomes a reality.
Until then, the waiting game goes on.