When I received a recent Honda press release, I must admit that I was caught off guard. Honda says that it is marking the tenth anniversary of its Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) in its machines. What? DCT has been around that long? Time flies when you are having fun.
Honda points out that DCT technology first appeared in the original VFR 1200F in 2010. Since then, more than 140,000 Honda motorcycles have been equipped with DCT in Europe alone.
If you’re not familiar with DCT, Honda describes it as:
…an automated, electro-hydraulic clutch and shift operation gearbox, comprising a pair of independent clutch packs housed in one unit, each of which are connected to separate gear sets – one clutch works with start-up, 1st, 3rd and 5th gears, the other with 2nd, 4th and 6th gears.
Gear changes are made either in Manual mode by the rider using the ‘paddle-shift’ style triggers on the left handlebar, or in Automatic mode according to shifting schedules dictated by constantly-monitored parameters including vehicle speed, engine rpm and throttle opening angle. In either case, no clutch lever or footshift is needed. During a gear change, as one clutch disengages, the other clutch simultaneously engages the target gear to ensure a consistent, ultra-fast and seamless shift, with no loss of drive to the rear wheel.
Honda says that DCT provides “natural advantages for sporty riding”. They claim that it allows the rider to focus on more important things. Things like their riding line, braking points, cornering, and acceleration. Lastly, Honda claims that the system offers reduced rider fatigue, low-stress urban riding, engine stalling avoidance, and reduced motorcycle pitching.
If you’ve never heard of DCT or would like to know more about its development, you can go to a special Honda page featuring an interview with Dai Arai, the Chief Engineer responsible for the evolution of DCT. Interesting stuff!
Although I’ve never ridden a DCT equipped machine, I know a few people who have and they like it. What do you think about it? Let us know in the comments below.