Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Oxford, England, UK
WARNING to DCT riders: DO NOT ride if you have sticky left switchgear
Hi All. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I need to share my DCT experience of yesterday after my 600 mile service with you
In short, if you ride DCT and have the sticky left switchgear syndrome please TAKE CARE
Bike had its first service today (579 miles). I drew the dealer's attention to the sticking button on the left switchgear (the SET button that is used to control displayed fuel consumption / trip meters / ambient temp blah blah blah). Whilst outside showing them the problem, the DOWN select button packed up. I tell them I am not happy and fear the problem may spread to the paddle gear shift buttons (for non DCT riders the gear shifters are part of the same switch set)
Dealer services bike. Just an oil dump, oil filter and another filter for the DCT. Dealer tells me that the left hand switchgear is full of water. I ride in any weather, and on Wednesday that meant through foot deep floods. This IS an Africa Twin - that shouldn't have happened. Dealer logs a case with Honda, new left switchgear on it's way from Brussels to be fitted on Monday under warranty. Cool. I'll live without worrying about fuel consumption for a few days
Dealer test rides it after servicing it, I pay, gives me keys. Get out on the A420 for the 15 mile ride home - bike seems fine, although a bit more vibey than before, plus they gave me back the ludicrous amount of throttle free play. I ride it in a spirited fashion using a combination of it's full auto mode (DRIVE) and SPORTS 3, manually intervening to drop cogs using the paddle shifter upon corner entry. Bwaaarp Bwaaaarp Bwaaaaarp loving it
Ride into the town I live. It's busy. It's school kick out time and the roads have parked cars everywhere, people everywhere. Old boy coming towards me in a big Merc so I stop and wave him through. At this point I have the bike in Drive mode - it forces first gear on me when stopped, I have the option to select neutral but don't. In this situation the DCT acts like a twist and go effectively
Old boy passes me, I apply a light and constant throttle position - we pull away. (normally in this mode the bike short shifts up the box at about 1800rpm - it's ridiculously mild and at 35mph is usually already up into 5th). So we pull away as usual, and at about 5-10mph the revs suddenly go wild - HIGH - right up near the redline (but not banging off the limiter) - as if it found a false neutral and then of it's own accord dumps the clutch! Not it's usual beautifully smooth clutch work, it DUMPED the clutch. I was totally out of control, up on the back wheel in the middle of town, just missed a parked car - not knowing that the **** was going on. Manage to get it under control and didn't run anybody over. **** me right up. Badly
Once I'd calmed down and turned the bike off, I nursed it to a safer place and tried to replicate the issue. I felt bad. I thought it was my error. I can confirm that the same thing occurred a second time, only this time I was ready for it. It finds 'false' neutrals and is highly dangerous because I have no actual control of the clutch like on a manual bike!
If I had a pillion on the back we would have looped the thing in the middle of town - without question. Oh how I wish I had had my GoPro on
Don't want it anymore, don't want to ride it. Utterly dangerous. I have spoken to Honda UK - WHO WILL GET BACK TO ME IN THREE WORKING DAYS - despite the fact that this is currently Europe's best selling bike and almost 50% of buyers are opting for the the very clever, very unpredictable got a mind of it's ******* own dual clutch transmission
Don't know what else to say apart from please please please take care on your DCTs, especially if you have sticking left switchgear. This morning I am furious, pissed off, angry but have collated my thoughts. It seems that the left switchgear is sending confusing signals to the gearbox - which in turn is giving random neutrals and applying totally random unexpected clutch behaviour
Honda UK don't seem to want to take me seriously, so until they do I'll carry on being interviewed by MCN and will spread my experience far and wide
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