Is Honda’s DCT Coming To Sportsbikes?
Insider information from Honda mentions that its Dual Clutch Transmission may be making its way to their sportsbike range. And if it does come, will it be a blessing or a curse?
Honda engineer Kosaku Takahashi told British motorcycle magazine Visordown about their attempts to make DCT a viable and suitable option for their sportsbike section. After the unveiling of Honda’s updated NC750X and Integra models, which both use DCT, the engineer mentioned that the firm is desperately trying to reduce the size and weight of their modern dual clutch transmission systems to make it sportsbike friendly. Currently, the only Honda models to use the DCT are the Africa twin, the VFR1200F, and the two mentioned above. It certainly makes sense for those particular models, but as the currently technology adds a hefty 10 kg of weight to a motorcycle, is it really worth it for a sportsbike?
The weight and size issue isn’t likely to be solved in matter of weeks though, but when the problem is solved, Honda will be looking to add the option to all of its sports models. Why? Well, according to Mr Takahashi, the DCT system is far superior to the standard gearbox because “it eliminates the loss of drive during gear changes,” which allows the bike to perform faster. Interestingly, Mr Takahashi also mentioned that because of this that if two identical bikes of exactly the same weight, one with DCT and one without, were to go head to head, the one with DCT would surely out-perform the other.
He also went on to state that a DCT equipped MotoGP spec RC213V would perform better than the same bike equipped with a seamless-shift gearbox. But that’s where his knowledge sharing, slip of the tongue ended. Would you be interested in a DCT equipped CBR, or would that take the fun away?
It’s no lie that DCT operated machines to work better, but at the expense of the rider/driver enjoyment. The Porsche had them, but quickly turned back to manual transmission for their 911 model, for that exact reason. In my opinion, if I wanted simplified gear shifting, I’d just buy a semi-automatic scooter… It doesn’t really matter anyway, as long as they make it an optional extra, rather than a requirement!