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Honda EXP-2

18 Apr 2011 | Honda may have had the future in its hands in the late Why did it let it go?

In many of those ‘lubricated’ that we have about bikes and life on bikes, the of who … the two-strokes often up. The finger is generally pointed at as though with the wave of mighty wand the company a species off the map, while it never loved them

This is probably stretching although there is a grain of in it, too. Honda sees as a four-… manufacturer; it was a strongly-held of company founder Soichiro that the four-… engine was to the two-…. Strange perhaps, so many of Honda’s racing were achieved on two-strokes.

Would it then surprise you to that as late as 2003, was working on a two-… that match the lower emissions of a

The ‘EXP-2’ was a 400cc ‘Dakar’-inspired bike designed by one Yoichi of Honda Research and Development, who did pretty amazing work the ‘four-… heavies’ shut him

Many years ago it was noted two-… engines would still run without any spark The phenomenon was explored in Japan in the and labelled ‘Active Thermo-Atmosphere (ATAC). It was found that could be controlled and put into on any given engine, but only a narrow rev range.

Mr Ishibashi was working on the same in the 1990s (he called it ‘Active Combustion’, or ARC), and he was concentrating on opening up the workable rev range.

was just getting started. To even more efficiency and emissions, he developed a ‘pneumatic system’, and the new configuration was called Combustion. Ishibashi claimed PDI-ARC reduced hydrocarbon to near four-… levels, carbon dioxide and nitrogen where reduced by 500 and 700 per cent compared to the thumpers.

Ishibashi also found fuel consumption was reduced by 15 per over the four-….

‘Ishi’ to work on designing an engine his PDI-ARC concept, also programmed fuel injection Upon completion the engine use spark ignition off the bottom, but it reached 3000rpm AR Combustion in and the bike ran without any ignition to about 40 per cent throttle, the PDI system drastically cut emissions.

came the complete bike. The EXP-2 was built in 1995 and its race debut in the Granada-Dakar where it scored fifth first in the under 500cc and first in the Experimental class.

Next it was taken to the Nevada where it finished eighth, the EXP-2 carded a seventh in the gruelling Baja 1000.

top-line desert racer at the was the NXR780 four-… twin. The gave away some to the NXR but they produced equal and the EXP-2 weighed in at 53kg Given its superior fuel to the NXR, the EXP-2 was able to a lighter fuel load and it fewer emissions.

The understanding of auto-ignition dates back to the and the harnessing of the process (by a Toyota was achieved in the ’70s. So what after 2003? Honda the project and Ishibashi’s bike is sitting in a crate in a storage somewhere.

Honda went hard the CRF concept and nothing about a powerful and efficient two-… was of again.

Interestingly, General unveiled a concept car in 1992 by the of the ‘Ultralite’, which was powered by a three-cylinder, two-… engine set new standards in fuel economy. The exists and has existed for some to give the dinger a new lease on and a development path that take it well into the

The EXP-2 might have made production, but it seems KTM sees much more in the EFI dinger, and it can’t be the only

Honda EXP-2

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