The wing, attached to the mint, serves two purposes at once – it cuts off mud splashes from the wheel and serves as an attachment point for the number holder. And a well-known tire manufacturer has come up with a third application for the wing console – external wheel drive.
Michelin Wheel Drive Fender
The Michelin patent application describes an electric drive design with a propulsion device (i.e., a transmission element) located in a wing close to the tire, a so-called hagger. Such a system will allow the use of an electric drive for slow maneuvering on a motorcycle, in particular for reversing.
The essence is quite simple: the roller (number 12 in the diagram), hidden under the wing, is driven by a small electric motor. By clicking a switch on the steering wheel, the wing is brought closer to the wheel, the roller is pressed against the tire, and the electric drive through it, due to the frictional force, rotates the wheel in either of the two directions.
The patent describes the electric drive as a 3.6-volt DC motor capable of delivering 2 to 4 Newton * meters of torque, which Michelin claims will be enough to drive at 1 km / h. This is, of course, not much, but enough.
For what? To roll the motorcycle without getting up from the seat – either forward or backward, for example, into a narrow nook in a parking lot or near a gas station. The patent also proposes to use this function for climbing a ramp, for example, when loading a motorcycle. The low power of the engine will avoid unnecessary tire wear, which Michelin, of course, must take care of.
According to the patent, the drive motor will be powered by a 3.6-volt 2 amp * hour battery installed in the same wing (in the diagram, it is at # 14). The advantage of this arrangement is that it is almost completely autonomous and can be installed on almost any usual pendulum. This will allow Michelin to position the device as an option for a huge number of motorcycles, modern and not so.
If the combination of a rear hagger with a style number holder is not suitable for a particular model, a Michelin patent offers another option for installing an external drive – in the fender in front of the rear tire. The patent also mentions the option of installing this system on the front wheel – in this case, it is attached to the fork, but the installation on the rear wheel is easier, and the system will encounter less vibration than on the front.
As is usually the case, a patent in itself does not mean that the product will go into mass production and go on sale. But we know that Michelin engineers in their developments go beyond compounds and tread patterns, which means that even more interesting projects can be prepared in their laboratories!