Tuesday, September 8, 2009
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!