Fancy an “automatic” sports bike? If reports floating around are true it could be a reality soon.
Honda is apparently developing its Dual Clutch Transmission for use in sports bikes.
DCT is currently available in the NC750 series, the Integra scooter, VFR1200F and recently released Africa Twin.
It has never been considered a viable option for sports bikes because it’s heavier than a standard transmission.
Riders have also shown resistance to the idea of an automatic bike.
But because it is seamless, the dual clutch transmission is much faster through gear changes than a standard gearbox, and that could result in a sport bike being able to accelerate faster.
Dual Clutch Transmission uses two clutches and automates the clutch and shift operation. It minimises the power gaps and loss of drive that normally occur during shifting with a manual transmission.
Gear shifts are controlled by switches on the handlebars, much like the gear shift paddles in many cars.
But the dual clutches add up to 10kg to the overall weight of the bike, and Honda is apparently working to reduce that weight.
Automatic transmissions were widely criticised in cars in their early days, but the massive improvements in technology has actually made them a better option.
It is now widely accepted that modern automatic transmissions in cars are faster than manuals, and we can see the same progress now coming into motorcycles.