New Patents Suggest Semi-Automatic Hayabusa Variant

Recent patent filings point to the development of a semi-automatic transmission for the 'Busa

Suzuki recently filed a trio of patents for a semi-automatic transmission that may have been developed for the upcoming, updated Hayabusa. Hideaki Takahashi—who has in the past filed patents for Suzuki transmissions—was credited for the three patents, one of which was filed in the US, another in Germany, and the last one in Suzuki’s native Japan. Instead of just regurgitating other modern, semi-auto-moto offerings, Takahashi’s patents reveal a pretty nifty new semi-automatic setup that mimics the new bike’s traditionally manually-shifted brethren.

Takahashi’s new patents show what is called an “automated manual transmission”, or AMT, where the clutchless two-wheeler is shifted via a traditional left foot-pedal. Doing this relays a signal to the machine’s ECU, telling it to initiate a gear change. Honda already offers at least one model (Africa Twin DCT) that offers a semi-automatic transmission that can be “shifted” via a pedal, but unlike the Honda, Suzuki’s new shift-by-wire system sports what the patent describes as a “clicking mechanism”, replicating the tactile sensation of changing gears on a traditional manual gear shift.

The filings show a system in which the clutch actuator is positioned just behind the crankcase, with the shift-actuator resting just above it. The semi-auto system also boasts small cylindrical elements labeled as little motors regulated via the bike’s ECU. Honda’s DCT system reportedly adds about 20 extra pounds to the bike’s weight, so we can assume the Suzuki AMT system, though seemingly more compact, will add a few extra pounds to the ‘Busa, a bike that already weighs in at 586.5 pounds (wet) in its current form.

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