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Old 11-13-2013, 07:51 AM   #16
snakebit
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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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Old 11-13-2013, 10:51 AM   #17
bandito2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtCuisin View Post
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.
Anything requiring more precision in manufacturing is going to take more time and effort during that manufacture
plus time to ensure quality control. In most any for profit endeavor, time means money. The CVT design by its
very nature is imprecise and would seem not to require as strict an adherence to precision in manufacture as a
manual transmission. CVTs have fewer moving parts. The CVT is a simple design that is easy to be rapidly and
massively reproduced. It's all about the money. (and getting it the quickest and easiest way)

The Chinese seem to have a proclivity for doing things on a homogeneous and massive scale. The trouble with
that is that when they make crap, they make a hell of a lot of it. Really they cut too many corners. When they
figure out that it will be a lot better for them to put as much into quality as they put into quantity, then the world
will get better product from them in high demand. I remember as a child how it used to be that cheap stuff usually
had a sticker on the bottom "made in Japan" Look what happened when they changed from cheaply made to a
better quality standard.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:10 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snakebit View Post
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.
Don't judge all CVT scooters by one old Honda. I dislike automatics in cars and wouldn't buy a motorcycle with an automatic but I am reasonably happy with the performance of my 2 CVT scooters. Neither of my scooters has any lag in acceleration due to the CVT, unlike any car with an automatic. My biggest gripe with the CVTs I have is lack of engine braking down hills, especially the Aprilia.
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Old 11-13-2013, 12:11 PM   #19
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I noticed that his first ride on an auto scooter was on a thirty year old model. Perhaps not representative of current machines, any more than generalizing about motorcycles after one experience with a 1980 Honda 750.

Klaviator, I've generally found the engine braking on my GTS sufficient, though not as strong as on my Silverwing. It makes for a smooth ride around town, even if ridden with a jerky throttle hand. It is quick out of the hole.
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Old 11-13-2013, 01:13 PM   #20
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I was hoping to hear from somebody with experience in other countries,
maybe somebody that lives in one, one where people actually ride small-bore two-wheeled vehicles in large numbers.

I noticed on another site, this guy's post on the CVT vs more traditional transmissions. I believe he hails from the Phillipines. I find particularly interesting his claim that the underbones are cheaper than the CVT stuff in his country.

(Thread:
http://www.kymcoforum.com/index.php?topic=8790.0)

Excerpt from Vivo's post:
======
Even before I came to this world, motorcycles are already used as transportation especially for the masses and when you say motorcycles... it's Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, and Kawasaki. That is one reason... Another is that Kymco mostly are famous for their scooters and people here are not used to belts running their bikes... they want chains.... they are afraid of belts, they might just snap anytime.. difficult to remove and install.... scooter tires are expensive and also difficult to install...scooters also consume more gas compared to the "underbones" and "Cubs". Reliability-wise, cubs/underbones (as we call them) are faster, cheaper, cheaper to maintain, consumes lesser gas, lots of after market accessories and performance parts, has an AC-CDI that can run without a battery or weak battery, and it has a chain...

This is the cheapest Honda... costs around $1,300.00... at more than 150 miles to a gallon, no scooter can beat that...


http://www.hondaph.com/showcase/wave-100

==============
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:16 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klaviator View Post
My biggest gripe with the CVTs I have is lack of engine braking down hills, especially the Aprilia.
Piaggio's BV350 has engine-braking very similar to a geared bike. Best I've ever experienced in a CVT equipped machine, and I've owned several.

It's exceptional...the entire power plant/driveline in that machine is exceptional.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:31 PM   #22
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I've had 2 Vulcan 750s, both bought new, and both with over 80,000 miles on them. I still have the last one I bought, an '02. It has just over 85,000, and runs like new. My '09 Stella has just over 10,000 miles on it, with no transmission problems. I have had to adjust the clutch and shifter cables a few times, but it's made in India, what do you expect?

I replaced the belt the first time at around 10,000 miles. Yamaha says 12,000. It looked good. I replaced the second belt at around 10,000 miles as well. It also looked like it had quite a few miles left on it. The third belt had only 4,000 miles on it when it shredded. Reason never found. A broken belt cannot be replaced on the side of the road. A chain can, if you have another one. I have carried a spare chain on long off road trips, but never needed it. On the Zuma forum, they seem to feel a broken belt is a fairly common occurrence.

Being in the market for a new economy car, I did some research on CVT transmissions. Seems their average lifespan is around 60,000 miles, and when they fail, the transmission is usually replaced rather than repaired, a $3000 job, and of course out of warranty. And just like the scooters with them, they seem to have the same problem with a narrow gear range, specifically a low range, causing them to bog going uphill, while a traditional hydraulic automatic transmission has a low enough gear ratio to redline the engine at 30 mph if you wanted to.


I can understand nobody wants a manual shift scooter. So they need to build scooters (at least the decent ones) with true automatic transmissions. I don't know how Honda's DCT works, but it has got to be better than a CVT. A CVT is just a bad concept in general. It was designed for one thing. To be as cheap as possible to produce.


EDIT: Ok, I now know how a DCT works. It is several times as complex as a CVT, but should work a lot better and last a lot longer. But the traditional automatic is still way better in a car. Way back, both Honda and Suzuki built bikes with real automatic transmissions. They were much slower than a manual, and burned more gas. I guess that is why Honda is now using a DCT. I still say a CVT is basically junk, from personal experience.
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:08 PM   #23
k-moe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
On the Zuma forum, they seem to feel a broken belt is a fairly common occurrence.
No they don't. There are several threads about broken belts, but those are mainly from people who are new to scooters. The majority of intelligent members do not beleive that belt failure on unmodified scooters is a common problem. The 50cc 2T guys that put on big bore kits, and are shooting for 70MPH, break belts. The new people who don't know how to set up a CVT break belts when they change to racing vaiators and racing clutches. A lot (and I mean a lot) of the experinced members have moved on from posting there because thy are busy riding. One member has a Zuma 125 with a 200cc kit on it, and has put (at last post) 8,000 freeway miles on the original belt that the scooter came with (IIRC the scooter tops out at 85MPH, but he is generally cruising at 65 for his commute).

I had one belt breakage, which was due to pushing my Zuma (kitted to 155cc) as hard as I could on a very hot summer's day. I had kept the scooter undergeard for acceleration in town, but was riding it between 65 and 70 MPH for over an hour in 110F heat. The belt shredded as I hit 73MPH on a downhill. I regeared the final drive for highway use, and had no more troubles with belt breakage.

FYI to those who don't frequent Zumaforums.....there are several "JerryH's" there.
The site itself is awesome though; lots of good people who know of what they speak.

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Old 11-13-2013, 05:14 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k-moe View Post
FYI to those who don't frequent Zumaforums.....there are several "JerryH's" there.
say it ain't so
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:52 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
but it's made in India, what do you expect?






EDIT: Ok, I now know how a DCT works. It is several times as complex as a CVT, but should work a lot better and last a lot longer. But the traditional automatic is still way better in a car. Way back, both Honda and Suzuki built bikes with real automatic transmissions. They were much slower than a manual, and burned more gas. I guess that is why Honda is now using a DCT. I still say a CVT is basically junk, from personal experience.
Honda and Suzuki DID NOT build bikes with real automatic transmissions. The Hondas had two-speed transmissions with a torque convertor. You could take off in low or high, but you had to shift it if you wanted it to change. If I remember correctly, Suzuki's was the same deal, even though I don't even remember them even having one.
I bet there are more cvt scooters running around on the roads (without broken belts) than all the Vulcans and Stellas combined.
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Old 11-13-2013, 06:05 PM   #26
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Like the other automatic transmission motorcycles (except the Husqvarna), the Suzuki doesn't have an automatic transmission. It has a hydraulic torque converter and a two-speed transmission, shifted with a lever on the left side of the engine, just like a normal motorcycle. It also has an engine very much like the normal GS450: dohc Twin, four valves, two carbs, good power and all the rest. Add to that a shaft drive, because this isn't a performance machine, it's a convenience machine. All these parts go into what looks like a GS450T, the traditionally-styled Suzuki Twin, with its wire spoke wheels, low stepped seat, teardrop gas tank and even such old-fashioned things as chromed fenders. It's a nice looking motorcycle.
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:49 PM   #27
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I'm not a scooter guy but I saw the thread title and had to have a peak, only to find all the hate for CVT's...

First off, don't compare a car CVT to any small engine CVT. A car CVT deals with a hundred or more ftlb's and a TON of weight, it is also MUCH more complex than a bike CVT.

As for CVT's, I love them. I'm trying to figure out a way to justify shoehorning a Ski-Doo etec 2 stroke snowmobile motor into an R6, CVT intact. On a properly tuned CVT (and they are easy to modify) your engine just cruises along at an efficent RPM, and then goes to peak torque when you whack the throttle. I've run 100hp snowmobiles that would stand on their tail when you hammered it, imagine a lowered busa with only 100 HP with a 12" extended swingarm pulling a power wheelie. I've seen those bikes run 8's and not stand on their tail, with 200 HP and a 2 step drag launch system. Peak torque on tap NOW! Now a factory system, especially in a scooter, isn't tuned like that, but that's just tuning and is just an overly soft secondary.

I've run thousand of miles on CVT's with never a belt failure. Sure, we took care of them (some, our AVT was never even looked at), and I have seen a 300hp turbocharged snowmobile blow one, but never in our drag sleds, snow cross sleds or trail sleds have I seen one go. Heck, one snowmobile we ran had a clutch engagement of near 5000 rpm, and never a belt problem.

As for changing one, that's just design and an unswappable chain system could be implemented just as easily. On a snowmobile it was literally a 2 minute affair to change a belt.

Put a well tuned CVT in even a Ninja 250 and I'll show you a fun bike, nothing like putting max power down at practically a standstill.

snoman002 screwed with this post 11-14-2013 at 08:37 AM
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Old 11-14-2013, 04:23 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snoman002 View Post
I'm not a scooter guy but I saw the thread title and had to have a peak, only to find all the hate for CVT's...

First off, don't compare a car CVT to any small engine CVT. A car CVT deals with a hundred or more ftlb's and a TON of weight, it is also MUCH more complex than a bike CVT.

As for CVT's, I love them. I'm trying to figure out a way to justify shoehorning a Ski-Doo etec 2 stroke snowmobile motor into an R6, CVT intact. On a properly tuned CVT (and they are easy to modify) your engine just cruises along at an efficent RPM, and then goes to peak torque when you whack the throttle. I've run 100hp snowmobiles that would stand on their tail when you hammered it, imagine a lowered bus a with only 100 HP with a 12" extended swingarm pulling a power wheelie. I've seen those bikes run 8's and not stand on their tail, with 200 HP and a 2 step drag launch system. Peak torque on tap NOW! Now a factory system, especially in a scooter, isn't tuned like that, but that's just tuning and is just an overly soft secondary.

I've run thousand of miles on CVT's with never a belt failure. Sure, we took care of them (some, our AVT was never even looked at), and I have seen a 300hp turbocharged snowmobile blow one, but never in our drag sleds, snow cross sleds or trail sleds have I seen one go. Heck, one snowmobile we ran had a clutch engagement of near 5000 rpm, and never a belt problem.

As for changing one, that's just design and an unswappable chain system could be implemented just as easily. On a snowmobile it was literally a 2 minute affair to change a belt.

Put a well tuned CVT in even a Ninja 250 and I'll show you a fun bike, nothing like putting max power down at practically a standstill.
Unfortunately, for a insolated inmate or two here logic, producing fact, and proof of theory are wasted efforts.

Thank you from me though for the informative information and a reinforcement of what I already knew and believe.
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:37 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gogogordy View Post
Piaggio's BV350 has engine-braking very similar to a geared bike. Best I've ever experienced in a CVT equipped machine, and I've owned several.

It's exceptional...the entire power plant/driveline in that machine is exceptional.
CVTs are not all the same. Like anything else, some work better than others. No doubt there are some crappy, poorly built CVT trannies out there that the people can point at to show how bad they are. I look at a CVT like I do anything else in the Scooter/Motorcycle world. It's not perfect and is a compromise. The same thing can be said for engines, tires, brakes, or anything else.

There are a lot of pretty nice CVT equipped scooters out there. I just wish that I had more money and garage space so I could add a couple more to my collection. That and more time off so I could ride more.

Or maybe I'd be happier if I spent more time on line bitching about how screwed up everything is.

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I think I'll go for a ride on my crappy CVT equipped scooter which is incapable of climbing hills and may blow a belt at any time.

See ya!
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:23 AM   #30
JerryH
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First of all, yes, the transmissions in the older Honda CB750 and CB400, and the Suzuki GS450 were indeed 2 speed transmissions with torque converters. There was no actual shifting controlled by hydraulic pressure as there is in a conventional automatic car transmission (which also use torque converters) It would have probably have been cost prohibitive and technically difficult to put such a transmission in a motorcycle.

So far, the most reliable automatics in cars are hydraulically shifted and have torque converters. The old GM TH350 and TH400, Ford C4 and C6, and Chrysler 727 Torqueflite were nearly bulletproof. They were used in the muscle cars of the '60s and '70s, large pickups capable of heavy towing, and are still used quite successfully in racing. The automatic in my '01 Malibu (front wheel drive) is pushing 200,000 miles with nothing but regular maintenance. That is impressive indeed for an automatic FWD transaxle. It has a torque converter, and works the way an automatic should. Neither a CVT or a DCT will come close to lasting that long, and they are not good for high performance applications. Pickups do not use them, and neither do cars like the Mustang, Challenger, and Camaro.


But the cheap CVTs used on scooters border on being unacceptable, both for reliability and performance reasons. I had several 1000+ mile round trips planned for this winter on small scooters. I will now use a small displacement motorcycle instead. The scooters are still ok for running around town, though I need to get rid of one of the CVT scooters.


As for Zumaforums, yes, they love to modify their scooters, and when you modify something, there is always a tradeoff. When you make modifications to gain more power and speed, the tradeoff is almost always reduced engine/drivetrain reliability and longevity. But my Vino was 100% completely stock. It had always been maintained and never abused. But it still broke, and I still have no idea why. I would have expected that from a Chinese scooter, but not a stock Yamaha. For next winter, I will try to have a totally rebuilt vintage Vespa to make trips on.
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