In the world of motorcycles, Honda has always been at the forefront of innovation and technology. While manual transmissions have long been the standard in motorcycles, Honda has been breaking barriers by introducing automatic transmissions in their motorcycles. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of Honda motorcycles with automatic transmissions, exploring their features, benefits, and the models available in the market.
Honda has been at the forefront of automatic transmission motorcycles since 1973, when they first introduced their CVT into production. They have also been producing DCT transmissions for over 10 years, selling over 100,000 units equipped with this type of transmission.
Therefore, currently, Honda dominates the market for the best traditional engine motorcycles. However, we anticipate that other manufacturers will also start moving in this direction and offering high-quality options in the future.
- 1 The Rise of Automatic Transmissions in Motorcycles
- 2 2. The Benefits of Automatic Transmissions in Motorcycles
- 3 Honda’s DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) Technology
- 4 4. Honda Motorcycles with Automatic Transmissions
- 5 Maintenance and Care for Honda Motorcycles with Automatic Transmissions
- 6 Conclusion
The Rise of Automatic Transmissions in Motorcycles
Traditionally, motorcycles have been equipped with manual transmissions, requiring the rider to manually shift gears using a clutch and gear lever. However, the demand for more user-friendly and accessible motorcycles has led to the development of automatic transmissions in the motorcycle industry. Honda, being a pioneer in this field, has introduced several models with automatic transmissions to cater to a wider range of riders.
2. The Benefits of Automatic Transmissions in Motorcycles
Automatic transmissions offer numerous benefits to motorcycle riders, especially those who are new to riding or prefer a hassle-free experience.
One of the key advantages of automatic transmissions is the ease of use. Riders no longer need to worry about clutch control or gear shifting, allowing them to focus more on the road ahead. This convenience is particularly beneficial in heavy traffic conditions or during long rides.
Smoother Riding Experience
With automatic transmissions, gear changes are seamless, resulting in a smoother riding experience. The absence of clutch control eliminates the possibility of stalling or jerky gear shifts, providing a more comfortable and enjoyable ride.
Accessibility for All Riders
Automatic transmissions make motorcycles more accessible to a wider range of riders. Individuals with physical limitations or those who are intimidated by manual transmissions can now experience the thrill of riding a motorcycle without the added complexity of clutch control and gear shifting.
Honda’s DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) Technology
Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) is a groundbreaking technology that combines the best of both worlds – the convenience of an automatic transmission and the control of a manual transmission.
How DCT Works
DCT utilizes two clutches – one for odd gears and the other for even gears. This allows for quick and seamless gear changes without any interruption in power delivery. The rider can choose between fully automatic mode or manual mode, where they can manually shift gears using paddle shifters or buttons on the handlebars.
Advantages of DCT
Honda’s DCT technology offers several advantages over traditional automatic transmissions:
- Improved Fuel Efficiency: DCT optimizes gear changes, resulting in better fuel economy compared to manual transmissions.
- Enhanced Performance: The quick and precise gear changes provided by DCT contribute to improved acceleration and overall performance.
- Customizability: Riders can personalize their riding experience by selecting different modes, such as sport mode or economy mode, depending on their preferences and riding conditions.
4. Honda Motorcycles with Automatic Transmissions
Honda offers a wide range of motorcycles equipped with automatic transmissions, catering to different riding styles and preferences. Here are some notable models:
The Honda NC750X is a versatile adventure-touring motorcycle that comes with an automatic DCT option. It features a powerful 745cc engine, comfortable ergonomics, and ample storage space, making it an ideal choice for long rides and daily commuting.
The NC750X is a versatile motorcycle that is suitable for commuting and touring. It comes equipped with an automatic DCT for smooth and effortless riding.
The NC750X is a highly accessible and friendly motorcycle, and it was the second Honda model to be equipped with the DCT back in 2012.
Like other bikes, you can choose between a regular manual transmission or an automatic transmission.
It is the epitome of practicality and is well-suited for various purposes, serving as an automatic street bike for commuting, day trips, weekend getaways, and even longer tours.
There is a spacious 23-liter storage compartment where the fuel tank would normally be, providing ample space to carry your gear. You no longer need to carry your full-face helmet around with you when you stop in town.
The seating position is neutral and comfortable, with wide handlebars that put you firmly in control of the bike. It is a confidence-inspiring position that offers great visibility of the road ahead.
This motorcycle is like Honda’s Swiss Army Knife.
- Engine – 745cc liquid-cooled four-stroke 55º parallel-twin
- Max Power – 57 horsepower
- Max Torque – 69Nm
- Top Speed – 125mph
- Curb Weight – 472lbs
- Seat Height – 31.6″
Honda Africa Twin
The Honda Africa Twin is a legendary off-road adventure motorcycle that also offers an automatic DCT variant. With its robust suspension, off-road capabilities, and advanced electronics, the Africa Twin with DCT ensures a thrilling and hassle-free riding experience on any terrain.
The Africa Twin now offers the option of having a dual clutch transmission. This means it provides smoother gearshifts and minimal disruption to the drive. Off-road, this benefits the tires, allowing them to grip the dirt better. Three riding modes can be selected: manual, automatic drive, and automatic sport mode.
Honda has focused more on the adventure bike off-road aspect of the Africa Twin, incorporating dual sport style refinements such as making it lighter, equipping it with taller suspension, and higher handlebars compared to previous models
However, it is still a competent road bike, and the dual clutch transmission has been linked to the IMU so that the gears know when to change or not depending on the bike’s angle. All the electronics are impressive and provide the necessary adjustability to customize the ride. Additionally, the low down grunt means there is ample torque available for all those gritty off-road scenarios.
- Engine – 1084cc liquid-cooled Unicam® four-stroke 22.5º parallel-twin
- Max Power – 93.8 horsepower
- Max Torque – 98 Nm
- Top Speed – 118mph
- Curb Weight – 529lbs
- Seat Height – 34.3″
The Honda Africa Twin adventure-touring bike is available with the option of a DCT, which makes it easier to handle both off-road and on-road adventures.
Honda Forza 300
The Honda Forza 300 is a stylish and practical scooter that combines comfort, performance, and convenience. It is equipped with Honda’s eSP+ engine and features a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) for smooth acceleration and effortless city riding.
Honda Gold Wing DCT:
The Gold Wing is a luxurious touring bike that offers the option of a DCT for comfortable and relaxed long-distance rides.
Just like the Africa Twin you have the option to choose between a manual 6 speed transmission or an automatic DCT 7 speed transmission.
When you get to the point in your riding career that you are on to a Gold Wing then you have earned the right to sit back and relax as you ride which is exactly what the Gold Wing is for.
Long distance, comfortable touring, regardless of transmission choice, the Honda Gold Wing is a proper motorcycle, a big heavy beast and the DCT just makes the ride that bit smoother and easier.
The overdrive 7th gear is perfect for highway cruising, turn on cruise control and spend your long highway miles enjoying the scenery and taking it all in.
With the DCT models you have walking mode which when activated allows you to move the bike at walking pace forwards or backwards. Slow speed maneuvers therefore are a breeze despite the bikes heavy weight.
Electronics include hill start, a reverse gear, throttle by wire, selectable torque control levels as well as a full multi-media centre.
The Gold Wing is the pinnacle of long distance touring.
- Engine – 1833cc liquid-cooled horizontally opposed six-cylinder
- Max Power – 124hp
- Max Torque – 170Nm
- Top Speed – 140mph
- Curb Weight – 804lbs
- Seat Height – 29.3″
Honda CTX700N DCT
The CTX700N is a cruiser-style motorcycle equipped with a DCT, offering a comfortable and relaxed riding experience.
Maintenance and Care for Honda Motorcycles with Automatic Transmissions
While Honda motorcycles with automatic transmissions are built to be reliable and low-maintenance, it is crucial to follow proper maintenance guidelines to ensure longevity and optimal performance.
- Regularly check and change the transmission fluid as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Keep the drive belt or chain properly lubricated and adjusted.
- Inspect the clutch system regularly for any signs of wear or damage.
- Follow the recommended service intervals for general maintenance, such as oil changes and filter replacements.
Honda’s foray into automatic transmissions for motorcycles has revolutionized the riding experience for many individuals. The convenience, smoothness, and accessibility offered by automatic transmissions have opened the doors to a wider audience of riders. Whether it’s the advanced DCT technology or the practicality of scooters, Honda continues to push the boundaries and cater to the evolving needs of motorcycle enthusiasts. So, if you’re looking for a motorcycle that combines the best of convenience and performance, Honda’s automatic transmission models are certainly worth considering.