Hybrid With a Helmet? Honda to Sell Gas-Electric Motorcycles

In an effort to push fuel economy to new heights, reports out of Japan say Honda is developing a range of hybrid motorcycles that will increase mileage by over 50 percent.

According to The Mainichi Daily News, the bikes will use a modified version of the hybrid system from the upcoming Honda Insight compact car. If true, it means that Honda has achieved an engineering breakthrough allowing it to significantly downsize the technology to fit the much smaller structure of a motorcycle.

Although several small companies currently produce short range electrics, the Hondas would be the first hybrids from a major manufacturer and promise to offer driving distances even greater than standard motorcycles.

The current Honda Rebel 250 is rated at about 65 miles per gallon, and a hybrid version could get over 100 mpg. The first two-wheelers with two motors could start rolling down the road as soon as 2011.

Click here for more on this story from The Mainichi Daily News.