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Discussion Starter #1
I understand that on the 2018 models there is some way of setting more or less engine braking. Has anybody tried this and is it very noticeable (between maximum and minimum I mean)
Mike
 

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I think it works. I have mine set for least engine breaking so that it continues to roll on smoothly when the throttle is closed. I noticed a difference when going from setting 2 to setting 3. It has 3 settings 1 is max engine breaking.
 

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It definitely works but the difference is rather subttle. Or at least, the result is not noticable at the same extend in all road/speed conditions (which makes a sense). For example if you travel in a straight road at high speed most probably you sahll not notice the difference. If you are descenting a slope and use the engine breaking, the difference is more obvious.

it has 3 levels, 1 beeing the weakest, 3 beeing the strongest engine breaking. The way it works; it just does not close 100% the fuel while you keep the throttle tottaly closed.

Maybe I am tottaly wrong, but in my opinion this feature exists only beacuse it was so easy to implement with the TBW system. I would definitely prefered a Cruice Control over this.
 

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When in Gravel mode the setting is Power-3, Engine Braking-3, Traction-6. Power-3 being lower power, noticeable but not a lot of difference. Engine braking-3 is the most engine braking. I left Gravel mode on when I left the dirt and got onto a sealed road and actually found the stronger engine braking made for a smoother ride going downhill through a twisty road. My buddy on his Tiger was keeping pace with me but commented on how he kept having to brake while the big Honda just cruised into turns with no brake light coming on. So yes, there is a noticeable difference.
 

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BTW, does anyone really know the difference in between the Power levels?

It looks to me that the power delivery is the same; what changes is the amount of twist you need to apply to get the power...

I mean that in other bikes there is an actuall power restriction meassured in HP (i.e. the KTMs or the Yamaha Tracer that I know for sure), but on the AT it does not seem to work like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hmmmmm - either I am reading the above posts wrong or there is disagreement about which way round the maximum and minimum engine braking is.
Like Kev I'm interested in being able to reduce the engine braking effect as I think this may reduce the stop-start lumpy ride round town with a DCT. (Don't get me wrong - my 2017 DCT is OK but I just thought this variable engine braking may be a way to make it really nice).
I would be surprised if they are doing it by 'not closing the throttle 100%'. Surely the EuroRegs would not allow that. Or I should put it another way - if, like every other manufacturer, Honda has to make an abrupt and complete fuel switch off when the throttle is closed in order to pass the round-town emission tests, then they surely aren't going to be allowed to put a switch on the bike that then defeats this?
Mike
 

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Mike, I'll have to go back out and see. I haven't done many miles yet. Owners manual says engine braking 1 is the strongest. I find 3 to be strong. I have only used 2 but 3 is more engine braking. Traction control goes the less the number, the less effective.
 

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You are right Mike, the manual says 1 is the strongest. But I also have the feeling it is vice versa, like Scorch Dugan said.

It would be hard to be a typo, but you never know. I will also do some more throrough checking and come back.
 

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I would be surprised if they are doing it by 'not closing the throttle 100%'. Surely the EuroRegs would not allow that. Or I should put it another way - if, like every other manufacturer, Honda has to make an abrupt and complete fuel switch off when the throttle is closed in order to pass the round-town emission tests, then they surely aren't going to be allowed to put a switch on the bike that then defeats this?
Mike
I think that what is kept just a bit open are the air intake butterflies, not injecting fuel to the cyclinders. I obviously wrote it wrong in the initial post; my bad.... :smile2:
 

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My take is this:
The more intervention, the higher the numbers, so:
3 is least power ie max intervention from standard power
3 is least engine braking ie max intervention from normal engine braking
6 is max traction control ie max intervention from direct drive

My understanding of engine braking is that when the throttle is closed the piston is slowed down on the induction stroke by the creation of a vacuum against a closed throttle. By leaving the throttle open a bit (but still cutting the fuel injection) there will be less vacuum and less engine braking
Get the pump from your cycle , put finger over the end then pull it open - That's the pull that slows down the piston.
 

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My take is this:
The more intervention, the higher the numbers, so:
3 is least power ie max intervention from standard power
3 is least engine braking ie max intervention from normal engine braking
6 is max traction control ie max intervention from direct drive

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Solid rational thinking Kev. Still, I did a number of trials yesterday, solo and 2- up and still my feeling is that 3 offers more EB. It is hard to achive exact same conditions for each try, though. I have read reviews and seen video-reviews and all say what the book says, but quite exagerated in my opinion. The difference is real subbtle while the reviewers claim quite substancial difference, which I do not feel.
 

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You are right Mike, the manual says 1 is the strongest. But I also have the feeling it is vice versa, like Scorch Dugan said.

It would be hard to be a typo, but you never know. I will also do some more throrough checking and come back.
Engine Braking set to 1 is absolutely the least braking effect. I've been playing around with it and it's definitely 1-least, 3-most. It's a handy feature to have, I quite like being able to choose.

I understand people get into discussions about why people still blip the throttle on the downshift with a slipper clutch, but if you have strong engine braking it is necessary to blip to get smooth down changes. If you didn't tell someone it had a slipper clutch, they wouldn't know.
 

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Let's see it from another perspective:

I do not do dirt at all, so the guys that do may help here; In gravel or dirt, do you need stronger engine brake or not?

In the manual ATAS, on GRAVEL mode, the EB is set to 3, so maybe we can draw some conclusion aside our subjective observations.
 

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Let's see it from another perspective:

I do not do dirt at all, so the guys that do may help here; In gravel or dirt, do you need stronger engine brake or not?

In the manual ATAS, on GRAVEL mode, the EB is set to 3, so maybe we can draw some conclusion aside our subjective observations.
I think having more engine braking helps on dirt, to be able to let the engine help you going downhill without using too much of the disc brakes. Think how much harder it would be with your bike in neutral going downhill and using your disc brakes only.
 

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So today I decided to find out for sure which way the engine braking works, ie is 1 most braking or is it 3.
I rode in 3 then pulled over, changed to 1 and set off again. I repeated this several times and did tests by rolling off the throttle as you would normally and then revving it in lower gears and closing the throttle quickly
- - and the verdict is - - -I cant tell the difference, aaaaarrrg. So I will believe the manual and leave it in least braking, ie 3.

The gravel setting adopts 3 for engine braking. Do Honda choose 3 as a lot of engine braking could cause the wheel to slide on loose ground ? - I don't know , I never ride off tarmac
 

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I've done extensive testing myself with the EB settings and find just a very small difference between 1, 2 and 3. It’s so subtle, I must be certain I'm testing in exact circumstances—e.g., flat, level surface.

But no matter what EB setting I'm on, it’s too much sudden deceleration for my tastes on open highway or around town riding. This is pretty much my one and only complaint with the bike: I’d love to be able to shut it off completely and do my engine braking the old-fashioned way—by downshifting.

Someone said they can let off the throttle and coast with the EB setting at 3… my bike, for all intents and purposes, does not “coast.” Not in the usual sense of the word.

Having said that, it makes the bike much safer overall and I have learned to use it well—esp. on winding back roads. It does have its uses and works great for that sort of thing.

But… no matter what EB setting I'm on, if I'm going 40 mph or more and let off the throttle, the overly-sudden deceleration is so powerful my body is thrown forward lightly. If I'm doing 70 mph and let off the throttle, my body is thrown forward very noticeably.

The two modes I ride in most are USER with P=1, EB=3, T=1. Or Touring Mode: P=1, EB=2, T=6.

Maybe I'm just imagining it, but with traction/torque control set to 1, I feel the bike has a bit more low-end power, gets up and goes just a tad faster.

But I'm getting used to it all and every time out is better than the last. I love this bike more and more every time I ride it. After getting the shifter and the chain slack sorted, she’s smooth as silk when I'm doing my job right. And as I mentioned, I’m learning to use the engine braking to my advantage.

But most importantly… I took her off-road for the first time this weekend on wet mud, sand, deep gravel and steep hills and the bike performed flawlessly. My heart was in my throat as I first began descending a *steep* hill, at least 4 inches thick with gravel, (visions of my front tire digging in). But the bike just *exuded* confidence. And after a few minutes my confidence began to match the bike’s. She handled *everything* with ease and aplomb. Climbing the same deep gravel hill was magnificently easy! I took it slow, but the bike just leisurely growled its way up the hills in 1st gear—the torque was amazing! These were steep hills and I kid you not, she nearly idled her way up them. (I had it set in Gravel mode, btw, and I don’t have my engine protection bars yet or knobbies, so I did go slow). But I cannot tell you how much fun it was! My heart racing at first, then a smile I couldn’t wipe off my face for hours. Even with the stock tires, this bike is *so* superb off-road, I’m actually amazed it performs as well as it does on the highway—like a cruiser! (Less the engine braking).
 

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When the throttle is closed the rate at which the bike slows down is a function of:
Friction - tyres, engine, transmission etc
Engine braking - cylinder induction vacuum
Total weight - rider, luggage, fuel, passenger etc
Frontal area - screen size , rider size
Wind speed and direction
Gradient
Speed - air resistance increases as the square of the speed

So its to be expected that engine braking tests are not easy to do. As garyh says if the engine braking levels are only slightly different your test needs to be on same road, same direction, on same day etc.

To be honest you can get used to most things, all these options make us too sensitive
 
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