“Virtual braking and simulated clutch” is the latest hot pot

What do you think if I tell you that on your next electric motorcycle you might equip a virtual braking system? Well, a priori it is not a joke or an idea coming from an unbalanced mind… Or so we hope. The issue here is that Harley-Davidson's subsidiary, Livewire, has filed the registration of this patent with the intention of being able to apply it to some of its models.

The news that we have learned from our colleagues at Ride Apart mentions how expensive a conventional brake system can be. They are based on the idea that it would not be necessary, at least on the rear axle, to equip a conventional braking kit if we have regenerative braking or virtual braking, as they call it.

Virtual braking based on the regenerative process itself

According to the description of the patent itself on the virtual braking system: “Mechanical friction brakes, like hydraulic brakes, add cost and weight, which can affect a vehicle's performance, especially in electric vehicles like electric motorcycles.”

And continues: “In addition, mechanical friction brakes dissipate kinetic energy, which could be used to charge an electrical energy accumulator included in the vehicle, which could otherwise limit the range and operation of an electric vehicle.”

"Virtual braking and simulated clutch"the latest hot drink in the motorcycle sector

Later it is added that: “Accordingly, the embodiments described herein provide methods and systems for regeneratively braking at least one wheel of a vehicle, such as, for example, an electric motorcycle. In some embodiments, regenerative braking is used as the sole braking mechanism.”

That is, we would only have a front disc, with its corresponding caliper. The rest of the braking process would be subject to the capacity of the regenerative braking system itself. Although this option is already used in brands such as BMW, what has not yet occurred in any of its vehicles is the elimination of the braking system on one of its axles. In physical terms, it is understood.

"Virtual braking and simulated clutch"the latest hot drink in the motorcycle sector

To finish the job, livewire It is also betting on a virtual, simulated clutch, an option that other brands are already working on within the electric segment. In this case, the motorcycle would be able to reproduce the sensations of a shifting system, but as expected without it actually existing.

Improving the driving experience and having greater control over the motorcycle would be the main ideas to work on this new technology. For example, Zero is developing a simulated clutch system, which modulates the bike to offer the same feel as the clutch on an internal combustion engine motorcycle.

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