Will we ever see 7-8 speed dual sports?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Colorad0, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. Colorad0

    Colorad0 Been here awhile

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    6 is just not enough.

    I have a 18' 500 exc-f and it's not a bad compromise. Basically 5 gears for off road, and 1 gear for highway cruising. There is a big gap between 5th and 6th.

    My 16' 701 on the other hand is either too tall in 1st for technical off road, or too buzzy on the highway. Gears are spaced very evenly.

    I think the 500 has the better compromise in gearing for a dual sport, but ideally we need 7 or 8 gears. But that will add weight and size, neither of which we want, but you could say that about things like e-start too.
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  2. norseXL

    norseXL Northman

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    Only as DCT with auto.
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  3. Schmokel

    Schmokel Key to Happiness: Low Expectations

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    I don't even have 6th. <kicks dirt>
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  4. Colorad0

    Colorad0 Been here awhile

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    Pass... at least I think I'd pass on that, but a DCT with a up down thump shiftier would be nice.
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  5. Nytebreed

    Nytebreed Need more braaap

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    Honda DCTs have that ability. Like many DCT cars it will however only let you choose a gear it deems appropriate to your speed/rpm, no choosing 2nd or 3rd from a stop for example.
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  6. c_m_shooter

    c_m_shooter Ninja Warrior

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    I wish the dirt bike based dual sports had a high and low range. More than five gears too much shifting. If you had 8 speeds, you would be starting in 3rd on pavement.
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  7. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    We won't see them.

    Because the market for bikes is shriveling up. We don't see new models with belt or shaft drive, or innovative engine layouts. The market is just not THERE.

    This is how a market, how an industry, stagnates. For example, American motorcycles, from the late 1930s to about 1960, changed little.

    There was only a small market for them. Cars were becoming affordable; and then there was the war disruption.

    Things were different in Europe, and so Triumph/BSA and the Italian brands, saw some innovation. Eventually they were imported here in numbers, and since our market was free of regulation, and the development of Euro bikes already amortized, they didn't need a big slice to justify importation.

    And they did, and with their size and performance, opened a whole new American market - riding for sport. Honda found, exploited, grew that market and tried a variety of differing angles: Shaft and belt drive, rotary engines, longitudinal engines. Low engines. Low gas tanks. Monoshock rear suspension. Disc brakes.

    The market grew, then stabilized, and now, with changing demographics and economics, has shrunk. Monoshock rears and disc brakes are now standard but chain drive remains. A few models lowered the gas tanks, but mostly...the format is solid.

    A six-speed transmission is now mostly standard. The development cost is paid for. More gears simply upps the cost, and for a fractionally-increased market, mostly out of competitors' potential buyer-base.

    Not gonna happen.

    DCT or other automatics, on the other hand, makers think, may increase their markets. Maybe they will - draw aging riders and introduce young people who cannot shift for themselves. But, aside from that...it's going to be a winter of technological stagnation until/unless there's some increase in interest in riding, and/or economic or regulatory restriction on auto ownership.
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  8. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Long timer

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    You might know know it yet, but you've started another thread about how KTM messed up their transmissions.
    Short version: From 2000 to 2016 in the 450 and bigger EXCs, 5th gear was taller and evenly split the difference between 4th and 6th. It was basically 4 gears for offroad and 2 gears for highway cruising.
    In 2017 they changed 5th gear for no publicized reason, and made it closer to 4th gear than any gear should be. It's more like a 4.3th gear

    Reasons that an 8 speed probably won't be existing in a dual sport/dirt bike anytime soon:
    It would be way wider. Like at least 1.5", maybe 2. Either it's all added to the right side because the sprocket location is set in stone, or the sprocket location isn't set in stone, but they need to change frames, swingarms and hubs.
    Because the bearings at the ends of the shaft are further apart, the bending stress when you're in whatever speed is in the middle of the stack would be way higher. They would have to compensate for this with either thicker shafts (heavy) or support in the middle of the shafts (more wider, complicated and heavy)
    One more shift fork, heavy
    Bigger shift drum to accommodate 8 positions instead of 6, heavy and bulky
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  9. MotoChris521

    MotoChris521 expert apprentice

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    It's already been done.
    Hercules/Sachs/DKW 7 speed enduro.
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  10. pjgoeman

    pjgoeman Been here awhile

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    I disagree about limited innovation - look at the Yamaha Nikken and the electric bikes which are coming out. I also think you might see some electric hybrid innovations, especially on larger cruising bikes.
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  11. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    7-8 speeds?

    In 1970 Husqvarna had 400cc 8 speed. You could tell visually due to the "extra" lever on the bars. It was basically a high and low range option.

    1970_Husqvarna_400_eight-speed.jpg

    Also in 1970 the Maico 501 only had 3 speeds and most riders couldn't hang on with those!

    501 Maico 3speed.jpg
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  12. Gone Troppo

    Gone Troppo Somewhat bemused observer

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    KTM did the same with their Super Duke and GT. There is a big gap 5-6. 6th is useless below about 120 km/hr.
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  13. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus Supporter

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    I know where 2 of those are. One is still in the crate. Plus numerous other Maicos, some in the crate.
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  14. racetrash958

    racetrash958 n00b

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    I saw on the interweb, the new KLR is 8 speed with FI !!......I think....
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  15. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    The electrics are partly to pull in government grant money; and partly to draw an entirely new class of rider. And it may - I had an early Zero for a short time. Performance and balance were both amazing.

    Amazing, too, was how Zero stopped supporting early models, arbitrarily declaring them "prototypes." That kind of high-handed abandonment of customers is not the thing to encourage future trust in the company or its support and warranty. But that's another issue.

    Electrics will draw from a new base of potential buyer. So will gas/DCT. Two more gears in the mix, though...not so much. Even if one major brand puts them in, at most it will draw a few buyers from others' showrooms. Which, in this market, is a small subset.
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  16. severely

    severely almost a noob

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    Suzuki had the dual range transmissions in the 70's. TC 185 being the biggest seller, one of my favorites. My buddies son and I rebuilt his TC and he won the 250 AND open novice series titles on it.
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  17. Schmokel

    Schmokel Key to Happiness: Low Expectations

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    Didn't/Doesn't Goldwing have a hi/low option too?
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  18. MotoChris521

    MotoChris521 expert apprentice

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    My second bike was the TC90. Which also had the dual range (8 speed).
    b80324e0bf0e18cf982ee58d8ce778a9.jpg
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  19. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    How do you "thump" it? Typo I'm thinking... happens to the best of us keyboard hackers.


    Seven speeds would be plenty. Having a real woods range in the first four and a few more to deal with serious road riding.


    Rode one back in the 80s, it was cool. Dirt capable with a top speed of probably around 100 mph. It was the 250GS enduro/six days model.


    No, it was the CB1000 Custom. Wasn't a big difference. They did it to use the Gold Wing style swing arm/drive adding the dual range to the jack shaft set up to get the drive from the left side (chain drive on the F model) to the right side for the shaft.


    I doubt they will ever do it, but a serious dual range like used to be on the ATC200 Big Red and first TRX200 would be really great. Good low range for crawling along, with a good high range for some speed. I'd love it, but personally think the 7 speed would be great on anything 250cc and down. After all, they went to six speeds on most big bikes including street models. Why not a seven speed?
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  20. Colorad0

    Colorad0 Been here awhile

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    Interesting history lesson, thanks guys!

    I wonder why we don't get hi-low range now-a-days. That would be pretty cool. I'd take a 5 speed tranny with a low range over any of the current options.
    #20