VFR1200X DCT vs. Africa Twin DCT

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by Jarrett2, May 30, 2018.

  1. showkey

    showkey Long timer

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    While Honda did not invent DTC I think they might have the current technology and patents covered “very tightly”. Other manufacturers use the system in cars but motorcycles it appears Honda is out front for some reason.
    #21
  2. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    It's not that other JP manufacturers haven't tried to market an automatic transmission,
    https://advrider.com/index.php?thre...-manufacturer-to-come-out-with-a-dct.1240551/

    IMO, Honda implemented the most cost effective design that works. AT and GW sales numbers will prove it.
    More importantly followed thru while others saw the negative market response and got scared off.
    Now, it's a bit too late for others to catch up with DCT.
    HD debuting their intentions for an ADV bike comes to mind: too little, too late.
    #22
  3. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    The DCT was a great labor saver on my city commute when I didn't care about shift points much (S1 worked reasonably well for droning). But for fun riding the automodes left a lot to be desired with their frequent shifting when I didn't want them to. I spent most of my time in manual mode to avoid this and saved automodes for droning.

    Then there was the intermittent stalling and the DCT breakdown of my AT. It's a complex system and a lot can go wrong. A Japanese friend just sent me a bunch of links going into details about the problems other AT DCT owners are suffering. Seems like my bike is far from an isolated case in Japan. That complexity is probably the reason why other makers aren't introducing DCT models. Quick shifters/blippers eliminate the hassles/performance drains associated with clutches yet are much less complex, don't add weight and they allow the use of the clutch when desired. Best of both worlds. That's the future for most makers, not DCT.

    Now I'm back on a manual and loving the considerably extra power of the Tenere, the tubeless wheels, the shaft drive, the better brakes, the more refined traction control, the cruise control and the fine control a clutch affords for u-turns and instantly cutting power to the rear wheel. Sure I have to shift it manually, but the transmission is butter smooth and the huge torque really reduces the amount of shifting needed. It's also really nice not having the transmission shift when I don't want it to. The DCT saves labor but adds it too with the corrections needed and the constant mode choices.
    #23
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  4. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    I demo rode the new S10 and felt "meh";
    if it had DCT, I'd have traded my AT, the same day.:jinx
    #24
  5. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    You need to spend $225 to flash the ECU and get rid of Yamaha's nanny restrictions and the EPA settings. Then it's a beast. Try a flashed one.
    #25
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  6. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    I have. It's a fine bike, but just meh to me. It's a great value compared to the competition though.
    #26
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  7. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    Wait... you had problems with a DCT AT?

    This is the first I'm hearing of this.
    #27
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  8. k1w1t1m

    k1w1t1m Kiwi

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    All I can say is that I love my VFR1200X manual and I would suggest you at least have a test ride.
    #28
  9. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    No offense, but if I opted out of the DCT, the VFR1200X would fall to the bottom of a longer list for me.
    #29
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  10. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    Must have been a crap flash. Mine's amazing! :ricky
    #30
  11. ex_MGB

    ex_MGB Been here awhile

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    I have not done any high speed runs on my AT DCT so I cannot speak directly as to passing performance at 80+ mph. Saw on the interwebz someone stated at 75 mph the motor was spinning at 4500 rpm. Given that redline is just below 8000 rpm, I'd say at 80 mph you could easily downshift to 5th gear and I would think 4th gear (can't find a speed/rpm graph by gear for the AT just now). You need to simply determine speed at redline for 4th and 5th gears.

    With this knowledge, the strategy for passing is to downshift to the lowest gear possible just prior to passing to put the engine in the heart of the power band and then go WOT to redline. The bike will automatically upshift at redline. I believe manual downshifting is best because I suspect at 80 mph the bike will want to stay in 6th gear although maybe in S3 mode for example it will automatically downshift when full throttle is applied.

    Bear in mind, maximum acceleration is only possible by shifting at redline. Yes hp falls off, but over time the engine stays longer in tHe heart of the powerband. I used this strategy, at lower speeds in my 1997 Maxima 5-speed. At 60 mph and dropping into 3rd gear and WOT it would pull on non-performance vehicles quite well. However, that was back in the day and automatic transmissions have vastly improved from CVTs to 8/9/10 speeds, even with 10 speeds in pickup trucks. That is, many vehicles love to accelerate when you try and pass them. Before, the Max would blow by in 3rd, now their power bands are much more easily accessible with all the gears they have.

    BTW, I was sure you were going to complain the AT was a pig for off road and got a chuckle when instead your disappointment was over taking at 80+ mph. Even so, you are pushing the AT's performance envelop even though it can cruise all day long at 100 mph. At high speeds, a motorcycle's cd kills them compared to vehicles.

    PS - If you really are into motorcycles and speed a 1000cc supersport on a track is a nice option.
    #31
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  12. MUDHWY

    MUDHWY Featuring understanding emotions

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    Can't speak to the AT DCT but there are many VFRX (CT in Europe) owners over on the Euro CT forum who are approaching 100K trouble free miles on their DCT equipped bikes. The CT was released in Europe in 2012 so we are coming up on 7 years of time the model has been in use. To suggest that there are comprehensive DCT problems is misleading.
    #32
  13. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    I was referring to the AT DCT and specifically my experience and the experience of others in the Japan market.

    Now that I'm back on a manual I do really enjoy not having the transmission second guess me all the time. When I put it in a gear, it stays there till I want to change it. It also has a clutch lever that allows me to instantly cut the power to the wheel at any time and feed in the exact amount of drive I want. I can also start the bike in any gear and shift anytime I want. And even lock the back wheel up so it doesn't roll backward if I'm stopped on a hill. Amazing tech! :clap :rofl
    #33
  14. MUDHWY

    MUDHWY Featuring understanding emotions

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    Love my DCT. Would not change. Plan to own this bike (VFRX) for a long time.
    #34
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  15. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    No doubt the DCT makes it easier to ride dirt for less skilled riders. I rode a DCT AT for a couple years and am aware of how easy it makes it. No futzing with shifting while standing, being able to weight the left peg and dab with the left leg, freed up from shifting duties.

    But a skilled offroad rider will want the much greater control that the manual clutch gives. Below are several examples:

    1) If you do a hill climb on a DCT and don't make it to the top or get stuck, you CANNOT lock up the rear wheel in gear so it doesn't roll backward. And the parking brake won't be of much use either in that situation.

    2) Tthis one cited by an AT DCT owner. He was in deep sand and wanted to shift into second to get greater traction/less wheel spin. The DCT wouldn't let him because the bike wasn't moving fast enough.

    3) Popping the front wheel up over logs and other obstacles. Much more difficult without a clutch...

    There's a reason why the top enduro riders don't even use a Rekluse auto clutch. Nothing beats the control a manual clutch gives in the dirt.
    #35
  16. motosickle2000

    motosickle2000 Been here awhile

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    I'm sorry, but the information above is totally bogus! It makes me wonder if the poster has ever taken a DCT off-road. Apparently, an 11 time Baja 1000 champion, Malcolm Campbell did not read the above opinion:

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwj1_Lu_xZHdAhUh7IMKHb19D70QwqsBMAB6BAgFEAQ&url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZ3ijMbb82w&usg=AOvVaw0CEKk3oMH0EjGOUWN6t2v9

    I have ridden motorcycles 50 years including off-road racing and I much prefer the Africa Twin with DCT transmission off-road. Another Baja 1000 champion, Jimmy Lewis prefers the DCT version of the Africa Twin. I guess he didn't read the "expert" opinion above either!

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwj1_Lu_xZHdAhUh7IMKHb19D70QwqsBMAB6BAgFEAQ&url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZ3ijMbb82w&usg=AOvVaw0CEKk3oMH0EjGOUWN6t2v9
    #36
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  17. mzflorida

    mzflorida Adventurer

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    Hi Haggis. I do see your point, and it is well taken, and I hope it is appreciated that you are looking out for Jarett's personal safety and well being. But, there are strategies a rider can leverage, even a relatively new rider, to make the transition to more weight and horsepower. Throttle control is probably the most important aspect to respect. The VFR is fast by just about any standard. It also pulls hard and steady through 7200 RPM. Like any bike, you need to have that bonding period where you learn to manage the machine. Then there is the weight. VFRX carries it low. It is not top heavy at all. The low-speed handling of the VFRX should be a significant practice point. Finally, I think that when transitioning to this or any bike everyone should ride at no more than 60% of their skill level. The VFRX does have a snatchy throttle and takes some getting used to. Take your time, get used to the bike, dial in the suspension, change tires if you need to, and develop skills every time you ride. My two cents. But, I think it is important to note that you were clearly trying to help out and save somebody's hind side...and that it is good advice whether it is followed or not.

    I am speaking about pavement riding only as I have zero experience in the dirt.

    DCT is awesome, by the way.
    #37
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  18. MUDHWY

    MUDHWY Featuring understanding emotions

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    :nod GOOD post (for a n00b! LOL)
    #38
  19. mzflorida

    mzflorida Adventurer

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    Actually, MUDHWY, I think you got it wrong. It was frigging awesome post for a noob...if I do say so myself...

    Tongue in cheek of course...thanks for the kudos!
    #39
  20. Plane Dr

    Plane Dr Long timer

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    I'm biased because I have a VFRX. I tend to 5%/95% off to road. I commute 12 months a year. I've had it about 18 months and am approaching 15K miles. This is a fantastic machine I love the DCT, after 1400 miles in 30 ish hours (Dallas to LA) you have never appreciated an "automatic".

    the suspension is mid grade, as are the electronics. Overall it is heavy and has a twitchy throttle. The seat is marginal. So. Compared to any other brand it's 5-7K cheaper. Because you are lying if you say you bought a stripped GS and never did anything to it. Apples to apples it's good value.

    I went this way as opposed to an AT simply because here I do more highway the gravel. It's 3-4 hours to anywhere. for most other places I would have gone AT for more offroad. Real offroad is a WR250.

    So a sport/dual sport/touring/mile muncher. I load the poor girl up like a rented mule and then ride the piss out of her. The VFR got my vote.
    #40
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