Michelin Patented External Wheel Drive Rear Fender / Motonews / Bike
The wings mounted on a pendulum perform several functions at once: 1) the immediate task of protecting from dirt; 2) fixing the license plate. Tire manufacturer Michelin has developed an idea to include a third feature – external wheel drive.
Michelin has patented the idea of embedding an electric motor in the wing to be used to aid maneuvering at low speeds, but it can be most useful when moving backwards.
The idea is pretty simple. The patent describes a roller (# 12 in the diagram) hidden in the wing and powered by a small electric motor. A remote switch is installed on the steering wheel. When turned on, the wing is pressed against the wheel, the engine begins to rotate the roller, and due to friction, the wheel rotates forward or backward.
The patent specifies a 3.6V DC motor with a torque of 2 to 4 Nm. It’s enough to keep the bike moving at 1 km / h – not much, but it should be enough for parking assistance and similar situations. To power the motor, the patent proposes a 3.6V 2A lithium-ion battery installed in the wing (# 14).
The advantage of such a gadget is its versatility, that is, it can be installed on most motorcycles without significant effort. For those who don’t like it, Michelin engineers have developed a different design with a front-mount installation. The patent also mentions how to install this thing on the front wheel, but this idea is much more complicated and not so interesting.
Of course, the patent doesn’t mean Michelin will ever release anything like that.