Honda has had the dual clutch transmission (DTC) on the European market since 2010. 140,000 motorcycles equipped with this technology have been sold in Europe alone. Ten different models were equipped with this unique technology.
The first motorcycle with DCT in Europe was the VFR1200F Sports Tourer. DTC is an automatic transmission. The technology makes it possible to shift through the gears on the motorcycle without using the (non-existent) clutch and without the need to interrupt traction. The gears are selected automatically by the transmission control unit.
Automatic transmissions are widely used in the automotive industry. For motorcycles, only electric motorcycles and various Honda models are equipped with them.
Even if some drivers shy away from this technology and prefer to shift gears themselves, the equipment variants with DCT accounted for more than half of the sales of the ten possible models. 45% of the Africa Twin, 52% of the NC750X and 67% of the Gold Wings were sold with DTC, just to name a few examples.
Honda published an interview with DCT chief engineer Dai Arai, in which he explains that several years before the introduction of DCT the technology had been worked on and the development was not without obstacles.
“Everything on the development of the very first DCT for the VFR1200F was a real struggle. No-one had ever done it before, so it was so difficult from both the hardware and software point of view”
Since then, DCT has been continuously developed. “One of the first big steps was the automatic return to Automatic mode if you used the manual triggers as an override to select a gear,” he said. “Later, we refined the way that the throttle ‘blip’s on the downshift to accurately match the revs and make those shifts really smooth. (…) We also introduced the ‘Adaptive Clutch Capability Control’ which uses the electronic control of the DCT system to ‘slip’ the clutch a little when the throttle position is changed initially from a fully closed or fully opened position.”
Arai did not reveal how the technology would be further developed, but he mentioned that he would like to see the technology used in Dakar.
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