Some time back we posted about hybrid motorcycles but the definition in that post wasn’t clear and after some thought, I believe that is one area of automotive development where motorcycles have no need to follow. Think about it, hybrid cars are a gasoline or diesel engine combined with an electric drivetrain for short distances or low speed driving. The end result is a car with better mileage and a hefty premium at the dealer. Motorcycles already get great mileage and if you really need higher mileage, get a smaller displacement motorcycle or one of the new diesels being developed. There’s a point at which higher miles per gallon no longer matter and if you’re already over 100 mpg anything more isn’t worth the development cost. The next logical step would be an electric motorcycle or some form of fuel cell bike which is really just an electric bike with different batteries.
On the hybrid front, motorcycles do not have the spare room to work with found in your average car and the weight penalty of some combo drivetrain cancels out the benefits of either small displacement conventional engines or going all electric. There’s no need for half measures.