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Old 05-13-2014, 05:57 AM   #1
MHaz01 OP
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Heresy! I Want An Automatic Transmission!

I recently finished a 5,200 mile ride, two up on a large touring bike. I got caught in extended stop-and-go traffic several times. You know the routine: Clutch in clutch out clutch in clutch out several hundred times.

I noticed that my clutch hand and wrist are now sore and tingly. I think I may be developing carpal tunnel syndrome. While contemplating this potential limitation on my future riding, I asked meself:

"Why aren't motorcycle manufacturers offering large touring bikes with automatic transmissions??"

Riders of big touring rigs are more likely to be a bit older and likely to appreciate having an auto trans. Doesn't this make some sense as an option?

What's your take? If you have a touring bike, would you opt for an auto trans?
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:00 AM   #2
firebrick
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It is nice to just have to twist the throttle in town with the scooter.
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:03 AM   #3
Super Sneaky Steve
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I thought a lot of the fancy ones had push button shifting. Doesn't the VFR1200 have that?

I don't know much about it cuz I'm a real man.
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:08 AM   #4
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Isn't there an automatic FJR out?

edit... hmm must be mistaken.
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crocodile Tears View Post
Isn't there an automatic FJR out?
edit... hmm must be mistaken.
FJR had an electronic clutch/button shifter version that didn't seem to sell well, but the owners like them. Not really a true automatic.

Honda's dual clutch is as close to a true motorcycle trans with computer control that you are likely to find. Some models have it, some don't. I wouldn't call the VFR-dct a 'touring' rig.

Aprilia had a few smaller bikes with the CVT style belt trans.

You will have to pick and choose what bikes fit the style of riding you want, but most riders would rather shift themselves.
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:28 AM   #6
Scott of the Sahara
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Also the Can Am Spyder can come with a paddle shifter. That way you don't have to slip the clutch or put your foot down.
I feel your pain. The worst riding is two up in stop and go traffic.
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:37 AM   #7
Dave.0
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Aprilia mana 850 - cvt transmission, takes a little getting used to, but it works better than you would think. It was my wife's first touring bike. Once you get the hang of it, you can hustle that thing. No downshifting so corner entry is a little simplified. Throw it in deep, trail brake, then roll on the throttle. My wife put 30 thousand miles on hers. She recently picked up a Norge, so we're passing it on to my dad. We added the mana specific Givi panniers, ktm hand guards, a center stand and a rear hugger thing. Great brakes, so-so suspension. It's worth a look.
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:40 AM   #8
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Air conditioning and windshield wipers would be nice also.
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:42 AM   #9
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The Honda DN-01 is automatic. I rode pretty regularly with a guy that has one and he has no issue keeping up. Not exactly a touring bike but it looks pretty comfy.
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:47 AM   #10
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I rode a Zero electric DS the other day. They still have some shortcomings, but I'm actually quite looking forward to the coming electric era. They are clutch and gear lever free and the torque is glorious.

Honda 1200 and FJR as mentioned. The Aprilia works pretty well from what I gathered on the short ride I had on one.

And I agree that there are some uber-scooters that I'd be quite happy to take for a longer ride now too. Some of the 650's - and the Piaggio BV350 has better power to weight than my KLR.
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:35 AM   #11
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If I had a big touring bike, would I opt for an auto trans?

Surely. I would.

The least enjoyable part of riding a touring bike is the loaded/2up part in traffic. Otherwise, if you're droning along flat straight roads to get somewhere, what does it matter?
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:19 AM   #12
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the time that a clutch has really bothered me is riding an old-school harley clutch in traffic. you can work up to it to some extent, but at the end of the day you just dont want to be doing it all the time. my left hand is turned into a claw in short order.

harley puts lighter clutches on their touring bikes now.
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:32 AM   #13
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I looked pretty hard at one of these recently...

http://www.apriliausa.com/motorcycle...50-gt-abs.html

Pretty awesome automatic bike (actually a CVT). You can also ride normally and foot shift or paddle shift (it uses preset ratios to behave like gears). It's a dead sexy bike, and sounds great. No clutch lever though. You can rev it at stop lights though as it is never out of gear. If the one I was looking at didn't have odd title issues I would have purchased it.

I went with the Dorsoduro. I do not regret the decision, but the Mana is a cool bike.

http://www.apriliausa.com/motorcycle...o-750-abs.html
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:37 AM   #14
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On these sort of threads there's always at least one real man who gives words of wisdom,who could do stop & go traffic,with 1 leg & 1 hand,while eating an apple,the rest of us pansies should be in a cage

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Air conditioning and windshield wipers would be nice also.
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:43 AM   #15
mrbreeze
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Would I opt for an automatic in a big touring rig?

YES!

a Goldwing with DCT and a power windshield would be the cat's meow! I rode the NC700X with and w/o DCT. I would love to have the DCT. You can paddle shift if you want, or just let the computer do it. That thing is so easy to ride. I am really surprised they didn't offer it on the CTX1300.

I spent two hours in stop/go traffic this morning. Thankful I was in the truck.

Yamaha had an electronic clutch version of the FJR. I may have to try to pick up a used one.

This is what I want on my next bike:

DCT
Electronic cruise
Electric windshield
hard removable luggage
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