Honda has marked 10 years of its automatic dual clutch transmission (DCT), which first appeared on the Honda VFR1200F. Today, Honda offers several models with the DCT, but in India, the Honda Africa Twin and the Honda Gold Wing are offered with a DCT variant. In fact, when the Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin debuted in India, it was only offered with a DCT, and now, the Gold Wing is only offered with DCT. In Europe, over 1,40,000 motorcycles with DCT have been sold. In 2019, 45 per cent of Honda Africa Twin bikes, 52 per cent of Honda NC750X motorcycles, and 67 per cent of Honda Gold Wing touring bikes were the DCT version.
Also Read: 2018 Honda Africa Twin First Ride Review
Honda's dual-clutch transmission is 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, and the other with 2nd, 4th and 6th gears. As one clutch disengages, the other clutch simultaneously engages the target gear to ensure a consistent, fast and seamless shift, with no loss of drive to the rear wheel.
Gear changes are made in Manual mode by the rider using the 'paddle-shift' style triggers on the left handlebar, or with an accessory gear lever, which allows gearshifts in the conventional manner, but without a clutch lever in use. In Automatic mode, the system constantly checks parameters including vehicle speed, engine rpm and throttle opening angle. Honda's DCT system offers several benefits, like reduced rider fatigue, low stress urban riding, and no risk of stalling during gear changes. Purists however will find it difficult to accept automatic transmissions on a motorcycle and let go of traditional clutch and toe shifting of gears. We expect Honda's DCT to undergo more improvements in the coming years, possibly even making its presence in competition events.