Automatic Motorcycles: Are they even a thing? -
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Automatic Motorcycles: Are they even a thing?

automatic motorcycles

One of our readers recently asked us if it is true that there are motorcycles out there that come with automatic transmissions. Okay, this is a question that we admit we had not previously thought of. However, after carrying out research, we can safely say that yes, there are many automatic motorcycles out there and not all of them are scooters.

Automatic Transmissions in Cars

Automatic transmissions have been around for some time now and they are most popular with cars. In fact, manual transmissions have, over the past few decades, become something of a rarity in the United States, with over 97% of all the cars that are on the road today coming with automatic transmissions.

Have bikers been left behind?

So, does this astounding bit of information extent to motorcycles. Fortunately for hard core riders who revel in the art of shifting from one gear to the next, with the wind buffeting mercilessly across their bodies, the answer to the above question is a resounding no.

When it comes to motorcycles, it appears that automatic transmissions are the rarity. Companies such as Honda have, however, been ramping up the manufacture of automatic motorcycles, and you can expect a steady growth over the next few years.

The most common type of automatic motorcycle

When people talk about automatic motorcycles, scooters are usually the first thing that comes to mind. So, if you are looking for something that will take you from one place to the other at a steady pace and without the hassle of having to gear shift, then this is the option that you should go for.

Automatic Motorcycles are not limited to Scooters

The good, or bad new (depending on how you feel about the subject) is that automatic transmissions in motorcycles are not limited to scooters. Indeed, there are a growing number of options in this regard from manufacturers across the globe. The following are just a few of the motorcycles that come with automatic transmissions that can be found out there;

  • Honda NC00X DCT
  • Honda CTX700 DCT
  • Aprilia Mana 850
  • Honda VFR1200X DCT
  • Honda NM4 Vultus DCT
  • Energica Ego
  • Zero SR

Honda Leading the Way

As you can see in the above list, Honda has taken the lead as far as the production of automatic motorcycles is concerned. The company has several models on the market, most of which are versions of mainstream bikes that come with standard manual transmissions.

Automatic Transmissions Rule among Electric Motorcycles

Perhaps not surprising considering the mechanical dynamics, the vast majority (90%) of all the electric motorcycles that can be found out there come with automatic transmissions. With both electric vehicles and motorcycles, power is delivered directly to the wheels, which removes the need for gear boxes. The last two bikes in the above list are good examples of what we are talking about here.

The Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) system

So, how does automatic gear shifting work in motorcycles? Is the system the same as can be found in cars? The vast majority of the motorcycles that come with automatic transmissions use the Dual Clutch Transmission system.

If you need to know how the DCT system works, feel free to check out the above video. What we can say here is that in motorcycles, the DCT system comes with two clutches, one of which controls odd gears, with the other controlling even gears. Shifting is managed by an onboard computer. All that you need to do as a ride is concentrate on the road.

Continuously Variable Transmissions

Another common type of automatic transmission that can be found in motorcycles is the continuously variable transmission. These are the most popular type of transmission that can be found in scooters.

Automatic Transmissions in Motorcycles: The Appeal

Now, manual shift transmission enthusiasts will swear that riders of clutch-less motorcycles are sissies but if you are looking for a less complicated way of becoming a daredevil biker, then this is a great option for you.

You only need to consider that automatic transmission cars had the same reputation some years ago, yet now they have completely turned the tables to become the dominate transmission type across the globe.

It is more than possible, therefore, that a few years down the line, automatic transmission motorcycles will gain traction within the market. Even now, they are a good way through which beginners can get a feel for the biking world. You will also love them if your only concern is to move from one point to the next, while, as an example, commuting to and from work.

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