No, this isn’t more speculation that Honda Powersports is getting back into building personal watercraft – or even the standup ski business, either (although man, that’d be sooo cool). Rather, this is bit of information should spark a bit of interest in the aftermarket standup industry as ski builders are looking for new powerplants to replace their antiquated ol’ smokers currently outlawed in every state drinking the Al Gore Kool-Aid.
Earlier this month, Honda submitted a patent application for a completely unique 2-stroke engine that uses direct fuel injection for a significantly cleaner burn and better piston cooling. Featuring a lower positioning for the fuel injector, the fuel is injected close to top dead center, only after the exhaust valve has closed. This results in higher burn efficiency, less unburned fuel and consequently reduced emissions.
Originally uncovered by Morebikes, the new patent is described as “a new two-stroke engine with a fuel injection system mounted on the back of the cylinder, pointing upwards toward the back wall of the cylinder bore. The injector is set to spray the fuel when the piston is near top dead center, so that unburned fuel won’t get swept out with the exhaust gases, and the fuel is aimed such that the cylinder and piston can both be partially cooled as the fuel evaporates against them.”
It is believed that this design can help to resurrect the besmirched 2-stroke’s place among current engine platforms, as 2-strokes are lighter and produce more power per cubic centimeter of displacement. Likewise, this new design aims to eliminate some of the complexity of other injected 2-stroke designs. This, in turn, would assist in reducing the production and maintenance costs, “potentially making them relevant for manufacture again,” as stated Gizmag.
Initial hopes were that this engine would be targeted at Husqvarna and KTM (among others) who are rumored to be “sitting on” injected two-stroke motor designs, biding their time for the “right opportunity” to debut to the public. Yet language in the patent, as well as the design drawings, might suggest that the new engine – in its current form – is not for motorcycles at all, stating, “the two-stroke engine is often preferred over the four-stroke engine in the field of general purpose engines because of the simplicity in the structure,” pointing towards an industrial generator-type machine rather than a high-performance motorcycle engine.
Of course, until the new 2-stroke reaches production will we know for sure. But the prospect of cleaner, more efficient, lighter and more potent 2-strokes should be an exciting one.