Honda has developed a new fuel-efficient motorcycle engine that will be used in a scooter that goes on sale globally next year.
Honda Motor Co. said Monday that the new engine for 125-cc scooters is 25 percent more fuel efficient than similar conventional ones.
It targets people who use scooters to commute not only in Japan but also in Southeast Asia and other nations, according to Tokyo-based Honda, which also makes the Odyssey minivan and Civic sedan.
Honda developed a series of little ideas that worked incrementally, rather than one major breakthrough, to reduce friction in engine parts such as new types of pistons as well as better control over combustion and improved electronic starters.
Honda did not give a price for the new scooter, but acknowledged that keeping prices low through cost cuts is the crucial challenge for the business.
Honda also said it was planning green technology for a bigger motorcycle engine that will be sold globally, but targeting especially Europe.
Honda did not say when the midsize motorcycle will go on sale. Details will be announced at the Milan and Tokyo auto shows next month, it said.
Honda has a strong motorcycle division and controls nearly half of the global market in commuter scooters.
That has helped drive growth and profits, compared to rival Japanese automakers including Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. that don't have such businesses.