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Old 11-10-2013, 10:34 PM   #1
ArtCuisin OP
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CVT vs manual transmissions in World.

If Honda sold so many Cubs or whatever worldwide,
why does China pretty much only have CVT vehicles?
(Never mind the Symba--how many Chinese buy those?)
That is, why didn't they massively copy semi-auto clutches
with manual transmissions?

Maybe I think wrong, but I would think that a manual
transmission and a manual clutch (I'm not sure if a
semi-automatic clutch is cheaper or more expensive
than a manual clutch) would be cheaper and more reliable
than a CVT. Don't tell me the CVT is popular in China only
because they do weird things with vehicles over there--transporting
objects/people/animals such that shifting/clutching would
interfere with operation.

I WISH the Sym Wolf were priced more closely to the
locally available $1399 or $1599 scooters.

Thank you for any useful insight.
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:15 PM   #2
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Look how simple a CVT is. Two moving face pulleys, a clutch, and a belt and weights.

Look at anything with a manual transmission. Multiple gears requiring actual metallurgy so they don't explode, precision so the parts don't explode, and, well... It seems easy why the cvt is popular.
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:46 AM   #3
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lower cost to produce and easier to operate a CVT
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianwheelies View Post
Look how simple a CVT is. Two moving face pulleys, a clutch, and a belt and weights.

Look at anything with a manual transmission. Multiple gears requiring actual metallurgy so they don't explode, precision so the parts don't explode, and, well... It seems easy why the cvt is popular.
Another point: chain drive. That is the weakness in manual transmissions. Chains need frequent attention, replacement, and throw lubricant around. The CVT is enclosed and requires very little attention. I have a manual shift scooter with a fully enclosed chain drive in an oil bath http://www.flickr.com/photos/2982116...n/photostream/( partly disassembled)
but Honda only used sheet metal or plastic chain enclosures which were not very effective.
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:53 AM   #5
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China produces a ton of Honda Cub clones.

https://www.google.com/search?q=chin...w=1280&bih=530
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:13 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by hexnut View Post
China produces a ton of Honda Cub clones.

https://www.google.com/search?q=chin...w=1280&bih=530
Well the manual transmission delivers markedly better fuel efficiency. The old Honda 90 would go 120 miles on a US gallon, which is twice as far as most scooters of equal performance. My antique 175cc gets 80 mpg, which is better than most scooters, and it weighs 330 lb. The Honda Cub is a fine design with features that work for rural use, excellent on rough roads, and I am not surprised the Chinese are still producing copies.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/2982116...n/photostream/
My first bike was an early CT90. A really tough machine. I loved it.
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:15 AM   #7
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First of all, it's not only the Chinese that produce scooters with CVT transmissions. Nearly all scooters produced anywhere have CVTs. So do many ATVs and cars. As already mentioned, CVTs are relatively inexpensive to produce. They also work fairly well, are reliable and easy to work on, for the most part.

The most important reason for CVTs has not been mentioned yet. Manufacturers produce what sells. Most scooter buyers want an automatic transmission. They don't want a manual with a centrifugal clutch like the cub.

Also, IMO, the layout of scooters is not conducive to operating a foot pedal or control. This makes a CVT which requires no pedals or levers to be very practical for scooters. All of the controls, brakes and throttle are on the bars. This makes a scooter very easy to operate.

If you want a manual transmission, there are plenty of motorcycles out there that have one.
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:06 PM   #8
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A name brand manual transmission is way more reliable, and more efficient than a name brand CVT. I have never had a manual transmission fail, or a chain for that matter. From my research, belt failures seem to be fairly common. Mine was demolished after only 4,000 miles, and it was genuine Yamaha. A CVT is the cheapest type of transmission there is. They are starting to show up in low end cars, and word is getting out fast about how unreliable they are. Car magazines are recommending against buying cars with a CVT, due to both performance and reliability issues.

I wish they would build a 250cc Wolf, of good quality. I wouldn't mind paying a TU250 price for it.
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
A name brand manual transmission is way more reliable, and more efficient than a name brand CVT. I have never had a manual transmission fail, or a chain for that matter. From my research, belt failures seem to be fairly common. Mine was demolished after only 4,000 miles, and it was genuine Yamaha. A CVT is the cheapest type of transmission there is. They are starting to show up in low end cars, and word is getting out fast about how unreliable they are. Car magazines are recommending against buying cars with a CVT, due to both performance and reliability issues.

I wish they would build a 250cc Wolf, of good quality. I wouldn't mind paying a TU250 price for it.
Again, a mis-statement of facts.
Thanks for your consistency
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
A name brand manual transmission is way more reliable, and more efficient than a name brand CVT. I have never had a manual transmission fail, or a chain for that matter. From my research, belt failures seem to be fairly common. Mine was demolished after only 4,000 miles, and it was genuine Yamaha. A CVT is the cheapest type of transmission there is. They are starting to show up in low end cars, and word is getting out fast about how unreliable they are. Car magazines are recommending against buying cars with a CVT, due to both performance and reliability issues.

I wish they would build a 250cc Wolf, of good quality. I wouldn't mind paying a TU250 price for it.
Every motorcycle that I put over 60,000 miles on had the transmission fail. That would be a Yamaha, Kawasaki and BMW. Yes, manual transmissions are more efficient but that doesn't mean CVTs are junk.

If a belt does fail, it's a usually whole lot simpler and less expensive to replace than fixing a manual transmission. Since you seem to think that simpler and less high tech is good, why the switch when it comes to trannies?
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
I wish they would build a 250cc Wolf, of good quality. I wouldn't mind paying a TU250 price for it.
That's you. So ONE sold....
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Old 11-12-2013, 05:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
A name brand manual transmission is way more reliable, and more efficient than a name brand CVT. I have never had a manual transmission fail, or a chain for that matter. From my research, belt failures seem to be fairly common. Mine was demolished after only 4,000 miles, and it was genuine Yamaha. A CVT is the cheapest type of transmission there is. They are starting to show up in low end cars, and word is getting out fast about how unreliable they are. Car magazines are recommending against buying cars with a CVT, due to both performance and reliability issues.

I wish they would build a 250cc Wolf, of good quality. I wouldn't mind paying a TU250 price for it.
Jerry, Jerry, Jerry! The only reason you belt failed was because YOU worked on it. From the pictures, it looked like you lubed the rollers or variator (a no-no). All that black on your variator is not normal.
Did the original belt on your Yamaha fail?
Tell me, what scooters have a reliable manual transmission? Your Stella? It won't run long enough for you to find out!
I have NEVER known anyone with a scooter around here that had a belt failure. Belts last at least as long as a chain on a KLR650. I speak from experience.
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Old 11-13-2013, 03:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klaviator View Post
Every motorcycle that I put over 60,000 miles on had the transmission fail. That would be a Yamaha, Kawasaki and BMW. Yes, manual transmissions are more efficient but that doesn't mean CVTs are junk.

If a belt does fail, it's a usually whole lot simpler and less expensive to replace than fixing a manual transmission. Since you seem to think that simpler and less high tech is good, why the switch when it comes to trannies?
My old German scooter has 90,000 miles on a 4 speed manual transmission and never a problem. It is a very simple device.
One thing I can't understand is why my 1984 CH125 can get 105 mpg with a CVT and I never hear of that kind of efficiency on other CVT scooters.
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scootrboi View Post
My old German scooter has 90,000 miles on a 4 speed manual transmission and never a problem. It is a very simple device.
One thing I can't understand is why my 1984 CH125 can get 105 mpg with a CVT and I never hear of that kind of efficiency on other CVT scooters.
Maybe you just haven't looked around enough. Consider the 125cc Honda PCX. I seem to recall somewhere riders getting in excess of 100 mpg. (fuelly? ecomodder?) I pretty sure there are other scooters with a CVT that get good mpg as well.

Well, the saying goes "they don't make them like they used to" is true for a lot of things; scooters included. But I do think that the recycle/disposable/throw away mentality has permeated manufacturing in a global way for a while now. A lot of things are made with planned obsolescence. That is really just a generalization for the most part, but within some markets, premium items do seem to fare better over the long haul than others. In general, current mass produced small scooters just don't perform or endure as well in use as larger scooters from well established manufacturers.

It is easier to make something that will do OK/well enough for the task without much regard for longevity. This works well enough for most consumers. It's human nature to want the short term, instant gratification for what seems relatively cheap rather than pay more up front for what may actually be more cost effective over the the long term.

Old German scooter? Yes, once upon a time manufacturers world wide took pride in their work and only knew of one way how to build things and that was quality building to last. Not so much now; even with modern materials and methods.

For the sake of this discussion, we are considering only the commonly used moveable pulley face/belt drive type CVTs.; there are other types of CVT transmissions that are far more complicated.

True, manual transmissions are more efficient but are more complicated. And a manual tranny that may be considered at least marginally overbuilt would theoretically last longer, but would be even more expensive. CVTs are inexpensive and easy to produce, simple to operate and easy and inexpensive to repair. They do OK/well enough for the task. That in large part is why they are so popular as the drive line in many vehicles; small light weight vehicles like scooters especially.
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:51 AM   #15
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First of all, I like the four speed manual transmission/automatic clutch in my Symba. A lot.

Yesterday I rode a bike with a CVT for the first time, a Honda 250 Elite. The lag between hitting the throttle and the CVT catching up and engaging was irritating as was the feel of engine braking. It reminded me of trying to ride an old Hondamatic two speed, not good.

Obviously people get used to it but to me it seemed like a cheap, second rate set up.

This was also the first bike I'd ridden with tiny wheels ( at least since mini bikes 50 years ago) and I was pleasantly surprised. It felt a lot more stable than I expected.
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