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Vo Knows

Automatic Motorcycles?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Hondas new dual-clutch transmission.
Honda's new dual-clutch transmission. The future or just a fad?
Honda has just announced they have developed a dual-clutch automatic transmission for motorcycles. First off, there's no doubt an amazing achievement from a technical standpoint. But could this spell the end for the traditional tranny, much as it has in the car world? Are automatic and automated-manual the future? I say – No!

I think motorcycle riders are the type who buy manual cars to be more involved in the driving experience, for the sheer enjoyment. I know personally I’ve always had a manual car and it’s a prerequisite for anything I buy – it’s just that much more involving. If nothing else, it forces the driver to at least pay attention a bit more. (Shame on you Ferrari for getting rid of the manual these days!)

This is why I think, and hope, that the Big Red's dual-clutch tranny will be nothing more than a technological marvel, a fad. Look at how poorly the Yamaha FJR with automatic hand-shifting did – not good for Yamaha, but promising for us passionate enthusiasts. And while I’m sure the Honda unit will be nothing short of amazing, I’ll take my sportbike with a clutch lever and shift pedal, please!
Post Tags: automatic transmissions on motorcycles, honda, honda dual-clutch
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Comments
Steven -Automatic Tranny September 1, 2010 09:02 PM
I completely disagree. The Auto Tranny will be a God send to all of us who may not have complete use of their left leg etc. This disability has robbed me of ability to feel the wind whistling by or the rush of raw power bending to my will. Why should I be excluded from my joy because others don't like the concept of a change in technology?
Heavy -choices October 9, 2009 06:42 AM
EAB--

I think the point is, is that for certain things it is purely a choice. Does having windows achieve a different (better) end result than DOS? Yes. Can you do things with it that you cannot do with DOS? Yes. But as far as a transmission, whether you have a good ol' clutch manual or this dual clutch for example, and you reach your destination, you're not "more there" with your fancy dancy automatic as the guy with the manual. You can get into specifics like "Well but the dual clutch shifts in .0034423 nanoseconds! That's faster than a human can shift!" Who caaarreess??? How many people run against a stopwatch (and it actually count for something)?? Not very many!! I don't see it as any type of technological opposition because one chooses to be as involved in the driving or riding process as they can. By the way, sound quality is better on a CD since MP3 files are compressed ;)
EAB -Heard this before October 1, 2009 06:57 AM
Great moments in technological opposition. 1861 - I would never have one of those Gatling guns. They are so noisy and because of the quick firing, they don't require you to aim at all. I would rather be able to hit my target with one shot!! 1919 - How dare they put electric start on the Model T. Don't they know that all Model T drivers prefer to crank start their Tin Lizzie? 1928 - Those foot shifters are stupid!! That's why I ride a Harley, that way I shift as God intended..with my hand (Suicide Shifter) 1980 - Computer controlled ignition?? No thanks, I want to set my own timing!!! 1995 - Anybody that needs a GUI to run their computer (Windows 95) ought to just stay away from them. I will give up my DOS when they peal it from my cold, dead hands!!! 2001 - I think the sound quality is so much better with a CD. The iPod is nothing more than a fad!!! ------ The point I am making is that technology always brought a product into the mainstream at the objection of those that didn't need it. For someone that has a good hand, a good left foot, the ability to use them to shift, and sees joy in this (or says they do), it's a threat. By the way, I don't see anyone pulling the port fuel injection off of their 2010 Camaro and putting on a Quadra-Jet carb nor do I see many buying their brand new laptop and throwing DOS 4.1 on them. All of that being said, I do think that changing people's minds on the auto shifting will take some time. The dual clutch CLASS 8 18 wheelers get at least .5MPG better than a seasoned pro shifting his own. It also reduces wear and tear on the truck. But how many trucks do you see with this? Not too damn many. "It's for sissies!!!"
Dan the Canadian -Evolution September 8, 2009 06:21 PM
Well boy`s, it`s just EVOLUTION..........
Ferrari Mondial T had a manual with no clutch....
Then came the SEQUENTIAL semi-automatique......
It must be just a question of time that MotoGP start having the same transmission thecnology like F1....
A couple of year`s ago, motorcycle racing had not Traction Control.... Now WSBK, they all have it, and only Ducati put it on their production model.....
oldredrider -automatic September 8, 2009 03:32 PM
well, according to the yamaha website, the "A" model is no more for 2010. For 2010 it looks like manual only, in liquid silver.
Superlight -Auto Trans September 8, 2009 10:44 AM
I also drive a manual trans car after comparing it to the dual-clutch automatic/manual being offered on the same vehicle, but cars are different than motorcycles. On the one hand people buy bikes to be more involved, with the machine and the outdoors. On the other hand, a really sporty auto trans, like this appears to be, might open up motorcycling to a whole new demographic, one that finds shifting a chore. If you don't think some folks are like that, talk to your local bicycle dealer about many folks aversion to shifting on bicycles, which, like motorcycles, is very easy to do. Some, however, don't want to be bothered.
oldredrider -automatic motorcycles September 8, 2009 10:08 AM
Have to agree wholeheartedly with you here.
I have a fjr manual and love it.
I really belive that the Auto version was an answer by Yamaha to a question that I dont think anyone was asking.
Cant speak for all, but I know the "A" models languish in the dealerhships where I live.
Likewise, for manual shift cars - wouldnt have it any other way.