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Automatic transmission for motorcycles?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by fruechtel, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. Hi, I came across this article on " http://www.bikebandit.com/community/articles/should-motorcycles-have-automatic-transmissions " and I am surprised that automatic transmission has not become more popular with motorcycle riders. I fully understand that the majority of riders see the gear changing as a part of the enjoyment of riding and controlling the bike; but I think there is a place for bikes with auto transmission.
    Some riders might simply prefer auto because it will help them focus on what goes on around them and they do not want to change gears in the traffic.
    Like myself a lot of older riders suffer from conditions ( eg: carpal tunnel syndrome) which make it hard to operate a clutch lever and others have trouble shifting gears.
    Possibly quite a few new riders would prefer to learn on auto, as an easier way to get their license.
    Am not trying to ram the idea down anyone's throat, but I think it's worthwhile having a look at the option.
    An automatic motorbike does not need to look ugly, have a look at the Aprilia Mana 850: Option to drive as an auto or with gears, plenty of power and nice styling.

  2. Automatic motorbike = scooter.

    Gears for me. Can't imagine twisties in auto, I like to stuff up the gearing all by myself.
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  3. So a scooter that looks like a bike.. interesting theory. Would work well in places that have high traffic volume, especially in an urban/city commute scenario.
  4. Yamaha have an automatic version of their FJR1300, Honda have a couple of automatics and then there's the 'semi-automatics' or CVT gear boxes. I suppose if they sold in good numbers then the manufacturers would make more of them. Just like cars. I can remember a time when there were very few automatic cars around, now it seems they are the norm.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Dislike Dislike x 1
  5. Well I'm still driving a manual car so I don't think I'll be converting to an auto on 2 or 4 wheels anytime soon unless it is forced upon me.

    To each there own though!
  6. old news...
    CB750A Hondamatic[edit]
    Also called Hondamatic
    Production 1976–1978[29]
    Engine 736.6 cc (44.95 cu in) inline-four, SOHC air-cooled
    Bore / stroke 61.0 mm × 63.0 mm (2.40 in × 2.48 in)
    Compression ratio 7.7:1
    Top speed 156 km/h (97 mph)[30]
    Power 35 kW (47 hp) @ 7500 rpm[29]
    Torque 5.0 kg·m (49 N·m; 36 lbf·ft) @ 6000 rpm[29]
    Ignition type Coil
    Transmission 2-speed, w/torque converter, chain
    Brakes Front: 296 mm (11.7 in) disc
    Rear: 180 mm (7.1 in) drum
    Tires Front: 3.5" x 19"
    Rear: 4.5" x 17"
    Rake, trail 28°, 110 mm (4.5 in)
    Wheelbase 1,470 mm (58.0 in)
    Dimensions L: 2,260 mm (89.0 in)
    W: 800 mm (31.5 in)
    Seat height 840 mm (33.0 in)
    Weight 262 kg (578 lb) (claimed)[31] (dry)
    259 kg (572 lb)[30] (wet)
    Fuel capacity 18 l (4.0 imp gal; 4.8 US gal)
    In 1976, Honda introduced the CB750A to the United States, with the A suffix designating "automatic," for its automatic transmission. Although the 2-speed transmission includes a torque converter typical of an automatic transmission, the transmission does not automatically change gears for the rider. Each gear is selected by a foot-controlled hydraulic valve/selector (similar in operation to a manual transmission motorcycle).[29][32] The foot selector controls the application of high pressure oil to a single clutch pack (one clutch for each gear), causing the selected clutch (and gear) to engage. The selected gear remains selected until changed by the rider, or the kickstand is lowered (which shifts the transmission to neutral).[30]

    The CB750A was sold in the North American market only.[32] The name Hondamatic was shared with Honda cars of the 1970s, but the motorcycle transmission was not fully automatic. The design of the transmission is similar in concept to the transmission in Honda's N360AT,[30][33] a kei car sold in Japan from 1967 to 1972.

    The CB750A uses the same engine as the CB750, but detuned with lower 7.7:1 compression and smaller carburetors producing a lower output, 35.0 kW (47.0 hp). The same oil is used for the engine and transmission, and the engine was changed to a wet sump instead of dry sump type. A lockout safety device prevents the transmission from moving out of neutral if the side stand is down. There is no tachometer but the instruments include a fuel gauge and gear indicator. For 1977 the gearing was revised, and the exhaust changed to a four-into-two with a silencer on either side. Due to slow sales the model was discontinued in 1978,[29] though Honda did later introduce smaller Hondamatic motorcycles (namely the CB400A, CM400A,[34] and CM450A).[35] Cycle World tested the 1976 CB750A's top speed at 156 km/h (97 mph), with a 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) time of 10.0 seconds and a standing 0 to 1⁄4 mile (0.00 to 0.40 km) time of 15.90 seconds at 138.95 km/h (86.34 mph).[30] Braking from 60 to 0 mph (97 to 0 km/h) was 39 m (129 ft).[30]
  7. I'm with chillibuttonchillibutton here, changing gears is a part of the riding experience for me, it's simply more fun that way. I also think than for an experienced rider manual gearbox will provide more control over the bike. Not saying that auto gearbox for a bike is a blasphemy but it seem that people who are not interested in changing their gears would usually prefer a scooter(especially as they are now making high cc ones, like burgmans or those big-ass bmw scooter thingies) so the market for the auto-gear bikes is rather limited.

    But I guess it all might soon become irrelevant when(if?) electric bikes will become norm. As far as I understand, most of those either don't need a gearbox at all or use different engine modes to change the power/torque output.
  8. Hey hornethornet I don't get why you disliked my comment.
  9. Personally I find engine braking an integral part of riding a motorbike especially in the twisties. Auto's tend to roll around if you're off the gas so you have to use the brakes more.

    But to each their own. Honda now make the NC700 which looks like a bike instead of a scooter.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  10. I wasn't aware that there are automatic gearboxes out there that didn't allow the driver/rider to 'manually' select a lower gear.
  11. #11 fruechtel, Nov 18, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
    image-922829-galleryV9-seje-922829. Energica Eva Blue 95hp, 170Nm

    Yes, you are making an excellent point there. But will they become norm? It is obvious that the vast majority of riders enjoy the sound of the engines and the changing of gears; who will be the buyers of the electric bikes which will have neither of that? At the motorcycle fair EICMA 2015 in Mailand / Italy they are showing quite a few of these bikes. Have the manufacturers got it wrong?
  12. Actually that observation is not correct. Most automatic transmissions in motorcycles and maxi scooters do have engine braking and disengage at very slow speed.
  13. I didn't......
  14. I don't care what you say, I didn't, if I disagree with someone, which I often do with Mick, I post a response in the thread. I did not even read Mick's post before I cut-pasted the info from Wikipedia, but on reading it now, I completely agree with him
  15. DCT style setups overcome that issue.
    Two clutches and a normal manual gear train, just like the VW DSG setup.
  16. Ghost in your machine? Left over from that post office virus. Likes to prank other NR posters....:whistle:
    • Funny Funny x 2
  17. Or a combination of all of them :LOL:
    Mick and I have had some great rows, but it's always been with words, not cryptic signals. In fact I'm not sure that I've 'disliked' any more than a handful of posts in the over ten years I've been on Netrider, and, as I said, If I had read his post before I did mine, I certainly would have agreed with it.....
    Anyway, I can only say that however I happened, it's a storm in a teacup........
  18. In addition to the ones listed earlier in the thread Moto Guzzi produced the V1000 convert which was fitted with a 2 speed torque converter but a conventional clutch.

    The bike could be started, ridden off and stopped without using the clutch but the manual clutch had to be used to swap between low and high ratios.

    Think of it as a 2 speed semi-auto.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  19. That's why I was confused.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. That normally happens with mobile phone posts when you fat finger the dislike option...