New 2018 Honda Gold Wing Patents show HUGE Changes in the works…?

– All-New GoldWing Changes for 2018? More New and Interesting Patent Documents just Filed! –

While doing my weekly patent digging and investigating I have stumbled across some new motorcycle patents filed. Of course in patent documents, details on the model names etc aren’t listed and are images that show select features are vague at best to not spill the beans entirely on new models and or model changes since these are ‘public documents’.

Check out the latest GoldWing patent documents that hint a DCT Automatic Transmission is in the works by Clicking Here.


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New 2017 / 2018 Honda Gold Wing Changes - Touring GL1800 Motorcycle / Bike - GoldWing

It doesn’t take much though to pin what model this is as you’ll tell quickly by the documents below once you see the 6-cylinder engine, fairing, saddlebags and trunk etc. It all points in the direction of the Gold Wing.

What are these motorcycle patent documents talking about?

They are referencing the “front structure of the motorcycle”. Below, I’ll include the entire text from the patent filings so you can read the nitty-gritty details. Pay close attention to the front suspension of the possible Gold Wing pictured in the documents!

New 2017 / 2018 Honda Gold Wing Suspension Changes - Touring GL1800 Motorcycle / Bike - GoldWing

Could this be hinting at technology that will be used on the 2018 Gold Wing touring motorcycle?

Only time will tell but it’s obvious the masterminds at Honda have something up their sleeves and I for one am excited to see how all of this pans out…

While I’ve got your attention and we’re on the subject of changes for the future Gold Wing. Check out my past blog posts covering patents that show Honda has filed for slapping the DCT Automatic Transmission in the Gold Wing. Call me crazy but it looks like we have our once-in-a-decade Gold Wing redesign with changes coming soon.

PATENT DESCRIPTION:

Abstract: A front structure of a motorcycle where a larger amount of air can be directed to the inside without increasing the size of the vehicle. In a front structure of a motorcycle includes a front fork steerably mounted on a front portion of a vehicle body frame and supporting a front wheel thereon. A front fender is provided for avoiding mud from being splashed by the front wheel. A duct, through which a flow of air flows, is formed on a side surface of the front fender. An air intake opening, for taking in the flow of air, is formed on a front end of the duct with an air discharge opening directed inwardly in the vehicle width direction being formed on a rear end of the duct. The rear end of the duct opens to an inside of an inner surface of the front fork.

(New Gold Wing Patent Documents / Photo Gallery)

The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20160264199 , Front structure of motorcycle.

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims priority under 35 USC 119 to Japanese Patent Application No. 2015-048752 filed Mar. 11, 2015 the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

SUMMARY AND OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an improvement of the front structure of a motorcycle.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

2. Description of Background Art

A front structure of a motorcycle is known wherein an air guide passage through which a flow of air is guided to an engine is formed in an upper portion of a front fender. See, for example, JP-A-2006-15930, FIGS. 3 and 4.

As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 of JP-A-2006-15930, an upper fender () which avoids mud from splashing up from a front wheel () is mounted on a front fork () with a visor () on which a headlight is mounted from above being mounted on the upper fender () (numerals with parenthesis indicating symbols described in JP-A-2006-15930, the same indication adopted hereinafter). A recessed portion () is formed on an upper surface of the upper fender (), and a flow of air (W) is guided to an engine () using an air guide passage () formed of the recessed portion () and a visor lower portion () which forms a lower portion of the visor ().

In the technique described in JP-A-2006-15930, the air guide passage () is formed above the upper fender (), and a length of the air guide passage () is limited to a maximum of a length of the upper fender () in the vehicle width direction. In view of such a circumstance, there has been a demand for a structure which can exhibit a larger flow straightening effect.

It is an object of an embodiment of the present invention to provide the front structure of a motorcycle wherein a larger amount of a flow of air can be directed to the inside of a vehicle without increasing the size of the vehicle.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, a front structure of a motorcycle includes a front fork steerably supported on a front portion of a vehicle body frame for supporting a front wheel thereon. A front fender is mounted on the front fork for avoiding mud from being splashes up by the front wheel. A duct, through which a flow of air flows, is formed on a side surface of the front fender such that the duct projects sideward in a lateral direction of a vehicle. An air intake opening, for taking in the flow of air, is formed on a front end of the duct with an air discharge opening being directed inwardly in the vehicle width direction on a rear end of the duct.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the rear end of the duct opens to an inside of an inner surface of the front fork in the vehicle width direction or to an outside of an outer surface of the front fork in the vehicle width direction.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the inner surface or the outer surface of the front fork in the vehicle width direction includes a planar surface, and a rear end of the duct is formed contiguously with the planar surface.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the duct has a front guide portion projecting toward a front side in a longitudinal direction of the vehicle at the air intake opening.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the front guide portion has an extending ceiling portion extending from a ceiling portion of the duct and an extending bottom portion extending from a bottom surface of the duct, and an outer side surface in the vehicle width direction which extends between the extending ceiling portion and the extending bottom portion is opened.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the duct has a rear guide portion extending rearwardly in the longitudinal direction of the vehicle such that the rear guide portion extends to the outside of the front fork in the vehicle width direction.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, a recessed portion directed to a member to be cooled of the vehicle is formed on a rear portion of an outer surface of an upper portion of the front fender.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, a sub fender extending toward an area behind the front fender is further mounted on the front fork contiguously with the front fender, and a lower surface of a rear edge portion of the front fender is joined to an upper surface of a front edge portion of the sub fender. A fender mounting portion on which a rear surface of a front edge portion of the sub fender is mounted is provided to the front fork.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, a mounting flange extends upwardly and is mounted on the front fork. The mounting flange is provided to an upper surface of the sub fender with a boss portion on which the mounting flange is mounted by a fastening member being provided to the front fork. A positioning and holding portion which positions the front fender with respect to the sub fender and holds the front fender on the sub fender by making a portion to be positioned extending in a height direction is formed on the front fender engage with the mounting flange from above being attached to the sub fender.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the positioning and holding portion has a box shape, and is formed of a front wall; a rear wall arranged to opposedly face the front wall; one side wall extending between one end of the front wall and one end of the rear wall; the other side wall extending between the other end of the front wall and the other end of the rear wall; and a bottom wall extending between a lower end of the front wall, a lower end of the rear wall and lower ends of said one and the other side walls. The mounting flange is formed on the rear wall, and the positioning and holding portion is formed on the bottom wall.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, a duct, which projects sideward in the lateral direction of the vehicle, is formed on the side surface of the front fender. By forming the duct such that the duct projects sideward in the lateral direction of the vehicle, compared to the case where the duct is formed on an upper surface of the fender, it is possible to form the duct with a wide flow passage area without increasing the size of the vehicle. By increasing the flow passage area of the duct, a flow straightening effect can be increased. Accordingly, a member to be cooled such as a radiator arranged in the inside of the vehicle can be effectively cooled without increasing the size of the vehicle.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the rear end of the duct opens to the inside of the inner surface of the front fork in the vehicle width direction or to the outside of the outer surface of the front fork in the vehicle width direction. Accordingly, a flow of air which flows through the duct minimally impinges on the front fork after being discharged from the rear end of the duct. Thus, it is possible to accurately direct a flow of air to a member to be cooled which requires cooling. As a result, the member to be cooled can be effectively cooled.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, a flow of air which flows out from the rear end of the duct is smoothly guided toward a rear side of the vehicle along the planar surface of the front fork arranged contiguously with the duct. More specifically, the front fork can be used as a part of the guide for guiding a flow of air. Thus, the flow of air can be guided more efficiently.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the duct has the front guide portion projecting toward a front side in the longitudinal direction of the vehicle at the air intake opening of the duct. Accordingly, a flow of air is guided into the air intake opening by being guided by the front guide portion. As a result, the flow of air can be effectively guided to the air intake opening.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the outer side surface in the vehicle width direction of the front guide portion for taking in a flow of air is opened. By forming the outer side surface which is opened in the vehicle width direction, in addition to the flow of air from a front side of the vehicle, a flow of air from a side of the vehicle can be effectively taken into the air intake opening.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the duct has the rear guide portion extending rearwardly in the longitudinal direction of the vehicle such that the rear guide portion extends to the outside of the front fork in the vehicle width direction. With the provision of the rear guide portion, a flow of air leaked to the outside of the front fork can also be accurately guided to a member to be cooled of the vehicle.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the recessed portion directed to a member to be cooled is formed on a rear portion of the outer surface of the upper portion of the front fender. A flow of air which impinges on the rear portion of the outer surface of the upper portion of the front fender is directed to the member to be cooled by being guided by the recessed portion. As a result, a flow of air which passes the outside of the front fender can be also more accurately directed to the member to be cooled.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the sub fender is mounted on the front fork, and the front fender is joined to the sub fender. More specifically, the front fender having the duct and the sub fender adopt the split structure. By adopting the split structure, a molding die can be simplified, and the front fender can be easily formed by molding. Along with such an advantageous effect, the degree of freedom in designing the duct formed on the side of the front fender is increased. Thus, the duct can be large-sized without difficulty. By making the large-sized duct, an effect of straightening the flow of a flow of air can be increased.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the mounting flange extending upwardly is formed on the upper surface portion of the sub fender. By extending the mounting flange upwardly, for example, compared to a case where the mounting flange extends downwardly, the sub fender can be easily mounted on the front fork.

By attaching the positioning and holding portion to the mounting flange and by making the portion to be positioned of the front fender engage with the positioning and holding portion from above, the front fender can be positioned by and held on the sub fender. By setting the front fender on the sub fender from above, the front fender can be easily positioned with respect to the sub fender and can be easily held on the sub fender. As a result, assembling operability of the front fender and the sub fender can be improved.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the positioning and holding portion has a box shape, and is formed of the front wall; the rear wall; one side wall; the other side wall; and the bottom wall. More specifically, the positioning and holding portion is formed into a box shape, and the portion to be positioned is engaged with the positioning and holding portion having a box shape. With such a structure, strength of the joining portion can be increased, the joining portion can be miniaturized, and the number of mounting portions for mounting the fender to the front fork can be reduced. As a result, a large-sizing of the duct and enhancement of the assembling property of the front fender and the sub fender can be realized.

Further scope of applicability of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description given hereinafter. However, it should be understood that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating preferred embodiments of the invention, are given by way of illustration only, since various changes and modifications within the spirit and scope of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from this detailed description.

Hereinafter, an embodiment of the invention is explained in detail. In drawings and the embodiment, the directions of “up,” “down,” “front,” “rear,” “left” and “right” indicate directions as viewed from a rider riding on a motorcycle.

The embodiment of the invention is explained with reference to the drawings.

As shown in , a motorcycle is a saddle-ride-type vehicle where a vehicle body frame includes a main frame extending toward a rear side of the vehicle from a head pipe ; and a pivot frame extending downwardly from the main frame and an engine is suspended from the vehicle body frame . A front wheel steering portion , including a front wheel , is mounted on the head pipe in a steerable manner. A rear wheel suspension portion , including a rear wheel , is supported on the pivot frame in a swingable manner with a seat being mounted on the vehicle body frame between the front wheel and the rear wheel . A rider rides on the vehicle in a state where the rider sits on the seat in a straddling manner. An exhaust device is connected to the engine . The exhaust device includes exhaust pipes (, , ) which extend downward from a cylinder portion of the engine and, thereafter, extend rearwardly.

The front wheel steering portion which is mounted on the vehicle body frame in a steerable manner includes, as main constitutional elements thereof a front fork which is mounted on the head pipe in a rotatable manner; the front wheel which is supported on a lower end of the front fork and a steering handle which is mounted on an upper end of the front fork . The rear wheel suspension portion includes a swing arm extending toward the rear side in the longitudinal direction of the vehicle from the pivot frame with the rear wheel being supported on a rear end portion of the swing arm .

A vehicle body cover for covering a vehicle body includes a front cowl ; left and right front side cowls L, R (only symbol L, indicating the side cowl on a viewer’s side, is shown in the drawing) which extend toward the rear side in the longitudinal direction of the vehicle from the front cowl up to an area above the engine ; an under cowl which covers an area below the engine and the exhaust device ; and left and right protectors L, R (only symbol L, indicating the protector on a viewer’s side, is shown in the drawing) which are arranged contiguously with a rear side of the under cowl and cover the exhaust device . Radiator openings L, R (only symbol L, indicating the radiator opening on a viewer’s side, is shown in the drawing) through which air entering and exiting left and right radiators L, R (only symbol L, indicating the radiator on a viewer’s side, is shown in the drawing) passes are formed in the left and right front side cowls L, R, respectively.

The engine is a horizontally opposed 4-cycle 6-cylidner engine where a crankshaft of the engine extends in the longitudinal direction of the vehicle. The left and right radiators L, R for cooling the engine are arranged respectively on sides of the engine in the lateral direction of the vehicle and above the engine . The left and right radiators L, R are side radiators each of which has an air receiving surface arranged parallel to the longitudinal direction of the vehicle, and the left and right radiators L, R are supported on the main frame . The left and right radiators L, R are arranged such that the air receiving surfaces are surrounded by the left and right front side cowls L, R respectively and are made to face a space which communicates with an air guide opening disposed on a front side of the vehicle and is defined inside the vehicle width direction, and air discharging surfaces are made to face outside in the vehicle width direction. A flow of air introduced through the air guide opening is made to pass the left and right radiators L, R from the inside to the outside in the vehicle width direction thus cooling the left and right radiators L, R.

Left and right trunks L, R (only symbol L indicating the trunk on a viewer’s side shown in the drawing) for storing articles are disposed on lateral sides of the rear wheel on a rear side of the vehicle, and a rear trunk is disposed above the left and right trunks L, R. A front fender , which avoids mud from being splashed up by the front wheel , is mounted on the front fork .

As shown in , as viewed in a front view of the vehicle, a headlight is disposed at the center of the front cowl in the vehicle width direction, and left and right rear-view mirrors L, R for visually checking areas behind the vehicle extend toward left and right sides of the front cowl in the vehicle width direction. A wind shield glass for wind shielding extends upwardly from the front cowl .

Hereinafter, the structure and the like of the front fender are explained in detail.

As shown in and , the front fender is a member which is mounted on the front fork , covers the front wheel from above following a profile of the front wheel , and avoids mud from being splashed up by the front wheel . The front fender is formed of an upper covering portion for covering the front wheel from above; left and right covering portions L, R which extend downwardly from left and right end portions of the upper covering portion in the vehicle width direction; and left and right projecting portions L, R which extend outward in the left and right directions in the vehicle width direction from these left and right covering portions L, R.

An upper portion of the front fender has a shape which conforms to the profile of the front wheel . By making the upper portion of the front fender conform to the front wheel , a thickness of the upper portion of the front fender can be made thin. As a result, a vehicle height can be suppressed to a small height.

The left and right projecting portions L, R are portions projecting from the left and right covering portions L, R which form side surfaces of the front fender , and left and right ducts L, R through which a flow of air flows are formed in these left and right projecting portions L, R, respectively. More specifically, the ducts L, R through which a flow of air flows are formed such that the ducts L, R project sideward in the lateral direction of the vehicle.

As shown in , the front fork is arranged behind the left and right ducts L, R which are formed integrally with the front fender . Rear ends Lb, Rb of the left and right ducts L, R open more to the inside than inner surfaces of the front fork . The inner surfaces of the front fork in the vehicle width direction include planar surfaces , , and the rear ends of the ducts L, R are contiguously formed with the planar surfaces , . There is no problem in making the rear ends of the left and right ducts open more to the outside than outer surfaces of the front fork.

The engine which is a power unit is arranged behind the front fender having the left and right ducts L, R in the longitudinal direction of the vehicle. An intake device is disposed above the engine . The intake device includes connecting tubes La, Lb, Lc, Ra, Rb, Rc through which air-fuel mixture is supplied to cylinder portions L, R disposed on left and right sides of the intake device in the vehicle width direction.

As shown in , the ducts are formed on the front fender , and the radiators are arranged at a position obliquely rearwardly and upwardly with respect to the ducts in the longitudinal direction of the vehicle. An air intake opening through which a flow of air is taken into the duct is formed at a front end of the duct , and an air discharge opening which is directed inward in the vehicle width direction is formed at a rear end of the duct . The duct has a ceiling portion and a bottom surface which opposedly face the ceiling portion .

Returning to , the ducts L, R are disposed in a pair on the left and right sides in the vehicle width direction. As viewed from a front side of the vehicle, in the left and right ducts L, R, the air intake openings L, R and the air discharge openings L, R are formed such that the air intake opening L and the air discharge opening L at least partially overlap with each other, and the air intake opening R and the air discharge opening R at least partially overlap with each other.

As illustrated in , the duct L includes a front guide portion projecting toward the front side in the longitudinal direction of the vehicle at the air intake opening L. The front guide portion has an extending ceiling portion extending from the ceiling portion of the duct ; and an extending bottom portion extending from the bottom surface of the duct , and an outer side surface in the vehicle width direction which extends between the extending ceiling portion and the extending bottom portion is opened. The duct (see ) has a rear guide portion at the air discharge opening disposed on a rear end of an outer surface of the duct such that the rear guide portion extends rearwardly in the longitudinal direction of the vehicle to the outside of the front fork in the vehicle width direction.

The inner surface of the duct is formed of an inclined surface which is directed toward a member to be cooled (radiator ) disposed in the inside of the vehicle.

As shown in , recessed portions directed to the members to be cooled (radiators (see )) of the vehicle are formed on a rear portion of an outer surface of an upper portion of the front fender . A sub fender , formed contiguously with the front fender and extending toward an area behind the front fender for covering the front wheel from a rear upper side, is mounted on the front fork .

As shown in , in a state where the front fender (see ) is removed from the sub fender , the sub fender includes a rear covering portion for covering the front wheel from the rear upper side and a fender mounting portion by which the front fender engages with (is joined to) an upper surface of a front edge portion of the rear covering portion .

As shown in , mounting flanges L, R, extending upwardly and mounted on the front fork (see ), are formed on an upper surface of the sub fender . Boss portions L, R, on which the mounting flanges L, R are mounted by fastening members , , are formed on the front fork .

The mounting structure for mounting the front fender on the sub fender or the like is hereinafter explained.

As shown in , the fender mounting portion including the mounting flanges L, R is mounted on the front fork by the fastening members , (see ). A lower surface of a rear edge portion of the front fender is joined to the upper surface of a front edge portion of the sub fender . Fender flange portions for mounting the front fender to stays of the front fork are formed on lower ends of the left and right covering portions (L, R) of the front fender .

In assembling the front fender , the lower surfaces of the rear edge portion of the front fender are made to engage with (to be joined to) the upper surfaces of the front edge portion of the sub fender as indicated by an arrow (a) in the drawing. The fender flange portions are set to and made to engage with (to be joined to) the stays of the front fork . The fender flange portions are fastened to the stays from the outside in the vehicle width direction as indicated by an arrow (b) in the drawing by fastening screws thus mounting the front fender on the front fork .

As shown in , a pair of left and right portions to be positioned L, R is formed on a lower surface of the rear edge portion of the front fender . The pair of left and right portions to be positioned L, R is made to engage with (to be joined to) positioning and holding portions L, R formed on the sub fender (see ) side. Each of the pair of left and right portions to be positioned L, R is formed of: a front vertical wall and side vertical walls , extending downwardly; and a bottom portion extending between lower ends of the front vertical wall and the side vertical walls , , and an engaging hole is formed in the bottom portion .

As shown in , the mounting flanges , extend upwardly and are mounted on the front fork , and are formed on the upper surface of the sub fender . The boss portions , on which the mounting flanges are mounted by the fastening members , are formed on the front fork .

The sub fender is mounted on the front fork , and the positioning and holding portions for positioning the front fender with respect to the sub fender and for holding the front fender are attached to the sub fender . The portions to be positioned formed on the front fender are made to engage with the positioning and holding portions from above.

To explain the structure for mounting the front fender on the sub fender also with reference to , each of the positioning and holding portions L, R has a box shape, and is formed of: a front wall ; a rear wall arranged so as to opposedly face the front wall ; one side wall extending between one end of the front wall and one end of the rear wall ; the other side wall extending between the other end of the front wall and the other end of the rear wall ; and a bottom wall extending between a lower end of the front wall , a lower end of the rear wall and lower ends of one and the other side walls.

An engaging pin , which projects toward the upper side from the lower side of the bottom wall , and engages with the engaging hole formed in the front fender , is mounted on the bottom wall . The rear wall includes the mounting flange .

To explain the structure for mounting the front fender on the sub fender also with reference to (), the front fender is positioned by and held on the sub fender such that the left and right side walls , are fitted in and between one side wall and the other side wall of each positioning and holding portion while bringing the front vertical wall of each portion to be positioned in contact with the front wall of each positioning and holding portion , and the engaging holes disposed on the front fender side are made to engage with the engaging pins mounted on the sub fender side in a projecting manner.

Conventionally, with respect to a front fender which is configured to be split into a front fender and a rear member, in mounting the front fender on the front fork, there may be a case where the number of mounting portions is increased such as a case where a plurality of fastening portions are provided for fixing the front fender to the front fork. In addition to the above, it is not expected that ducts or the like for guiding a flow of air are formed in the outside of the front fender in the vehicle width direction. Accordingly, it has been difficult to attach the ducts on the front fender.

As illustrated in , according to an embodiment of the present invention, in the fender structure adopting the split structure where the sub fender is mounted on the front fork and the front fender is joined to the sub fender , the stays of the front fork , which are portions where the front fender , is mounted on the vehicle body side are positioned below the ducts , and the front fender is mounted on the stays by fastening from outside in the lateral direction using the fastening screws . With such structure, the ducts can be easily formed on sides of the front fender.

The degree of freedom in designing the ducts is increased so that the ducts can be large-sized without difficulty, for example. By making the ducts large-sized, an effect of straightening the flow of a flow of air can be also increased. By adopting the split structure in forming the front fender having the ducts and the sub fender , a molding die for forming the front fender having the ducts can be particularly simplified.

As illustrated in , the mounting flanges extending upwardly are mounted on the upper surface portion of the sub fender . By extending the mounting flanges upwardly, for example, the sub fender can be easily mounted on the front fork compared to a case where the mounting flanges extend downwardly.

Further, the positioning and holding portions are attached to the mounting flanges , and the front fender is positioned with respect to the sub fender and is held on the sub fender by making the portions to be positioned formed on the front fender engage with the positioning and holding portions from above.

By setting the front fender on the sub fender from above, the front fender can be easily positioned by and held on the sub fender . As a result, operability of assembling the front fender and the sub fender to each other can be enhanced.

To explain the mounting structure of the front fender on the sub fender also with reference to , each of the positioning and holding portions L, R has a box shape, and is formed of the front wall ; the rear wall ; one side wall ; the other side wall ; and the bottom wall . More specifically, the positioning and holding portions L, R are formed into a box shape, and the portions to be positioned L, R are made to engage with the positioning and holding portions L, R having a box shape.

With such a structure, the strength of the joining portions between the positioning and holding portions L, R and the portions to be positioned L, R can be increased. Thus, the joining portions can be miniaturized, and also the number of mounting portions for mounting the fender to the front fork can be reduced. As a result, large-sizing of the ducts and the enhancement of the assembling property of the front fender and the sub fender can be realized.

The manner of operation of the above-mentioned front structure of a motorcycle is described hereinafter.

To explain the manner of operation of the front structure of the motorcycle also with reference to , the ducts are formed on the side surfaces of the front fender so as to project sideward in the vehicle width direction.

Assuming a case where a duct is formed on an upper surface of a front fender, it is necessary to ensure a sufficient distance between the duct and a part disposed above the duct so as to prevent the duct from interfering with the part disposed above the duct when the front fender moves up and down during operation of the vehicle. However, it is necessary to increase a vehicle height to ensure a sufficient distance between the duct and the part disposed above the duct, and this increase in the vehicle height is liable to cause an increase in the size of the vehicle.

On the other hand, according to an embodiment of the present invention, the ducts (L, R) which project sideward in the lateral direction of the vehicle are formed on the side surfaces of the front fender . By forming the ducts (L, R) such that the ducts (L, R) project sideward in the lateral direction of the vehicle, compared to the case where the duct is formed on an upper surface of the fender, it is possible to form the ducts (L, R) with a wide flow passage area without making the vehicle large-sized. By increasing the flow passage area of the ducts (L, R), a flow straightening effect can be increased. Accordingly, the members to be cooled , such as radiators arranged in the inside of the vehicle, can be more effectively cooled without increasing the size of the vehicle. In this embodiment, “flow straightening” means to make the flow of air move at a uniform speed in one direction along lines of flow which are parallel to each other within a limited zone.

The air intake openings (L, R) and the air discharge openings (L, R) are arranged so as to at least partially overlap with each other. By making the air intake openings (L, R) and the air discharge openings (L, R) partially overlap with each other, a turbulence of a flow of air in the ducts (L, R) can be suppressed. Thus, the flow of air easily becomes a smooth flow. As a result, it is possible to accurately direct a flow of air which flows in the ducts (L, R) to the members to be cooled which require cooling.

Returning to , the duct has the front guide portion projecting toward a front side in the longitudinal direction of the vehicle at the air intake opening . Accordingly, a flow of air is guided into the air intake opening by being guided by the front guide portion . As a result, the flow of air can be effectively guided to the air intake opening .

The outer side surface in the vehicle width direction of the front guide portion for taking in a flow of air is opened. By forming the outer side surface which is opened in the vehicle width direction, in addition to the flow of air from a front side of the vehicle, a flow of air from a side of the vehicle can be effectively taken into the air intake opening .

Further, the duct has the rear guide portion extending rearwardly in the longitudinal direction of the vehicle at the rear end of the outer surface in a state where the rear guide portion extends to the outside of the front fork in the vehicle width direction. With the provision of the rear guide portion , a flow of air leaked to the outside of the front fork can be also accurately guided to the members to be cooled of the vehicle (see ).

Returning to , the rear ends of the ducts open to the inside of the inner surfaces of the front fork . Further, the planar surfaces , of the front fork are arranged contiguously with the rear ends of the ducts . The flow of air which flows out from the rear ends of the ducts is smoothly guided toward a rear side of the vehicle along the planar surfaces , of the front fork arranged contiguously with the rear ends of the ducts . Accordingly, a flow of air which flows through the ducts minimally impinge on the front fork after being discharged from the rear ends of the ducts . Thus, it is possible to accurately direct a flow of air to the members to be cooled which require cooling. As a result, the members to be cooled can be effectively cooled.

Returning to , the inner surface of the duct is formed of the inclined surface directed to the member to be cooled . By guiding a flow of air along such an inclined surface , it is possible to accurately direct the flow of air to the member to be cooled . As a result, it is possible to increase an effect of cooling the member to be cooled .

The recessed portion directed to the member to be cooled is formed on the rear portion of the outer surface of the upper portion of the front fender . A flow of air which impinges on the rear portion of the outer surface of the upper portion of the front fender is directed to the member to be cooled by being guided by the recessed portion . As a result, a flow of air which passes the outside of the front fender can be also more accurately directed to the member to be cooled .

Although the invention is applied to the motorcycle in this embodiment, the invention is also applicable to a three-wheeled vehicle and may be applied to vehicles in general without causing any problems.

The invention is preferably applicable to a motorcycle provided with a front fender.

The invention being thus described, it will be obvious that the same may be varied in many ways. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the spirit and scope of the invention, and all such modifications as would be obvious to one skilled in the art are intended to be included within the scope of the following claims.


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