Honda Africa Twin Forum banner

Africa Twin Transmission Options: DCT or Manual?

1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
359 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
On the leakedhttp://www.africatwinforum.com/foru...4-honda-portugal-leaks-africa-twin-specs.htmlhttp://www.africatwinforum.com/foru...4-honda-portugal-leaks-africa-twin-specs.html spec sheet, transmission options for the africa twin were confirmed, being a 6-speed manual or 6-speed DCT with driving modes for on-road and off-road.


Which transmission are you planning to get? (vote on the above poll)


If you haven't already, take a moment to hear what the development team had to say about the optional 6-speed DCT:

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I voted manual, but I'd like to test ride both and then decide....I just can't imagine not feeling in control of shifting, and maybe that's the magic? Maybe the DCT still makes you feel in control when necessary?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
287 Posts
I voted for DCT. Manual would grant me more control but manual gear shifting while standing on the pegs is not my strong point. Manual would be good for on road riding but when you'r standing most of the time off road with bumps it's not as efficient.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
359 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Because my left wrist suffers less in traffic jams and mountain roads!
x2, as mentioned before in another thread i want something a bit more easy going for when I need it to be and the DCT helps to contribute to that, although manual is tempting!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
I have a busted up left leg and it is very difficult for me to shift so it is DCT for me. I bought a CTX700 with it last year and was very happy with the transmission, just not the bike (not a cruiser guy). One cool feature is a parking brake. When you are stopped on a hill with both feet on the ground you can engage it and it frees up your hands.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
My story is a unique one. I originally ordered the DCT as I read heaps on the forums and reviews and thought this would be the way to go. As soon as I left the shop I regretted the decision and thankfully the dealer was happy to change my order back to a manual the next day. Why the sudden change?

1. Reliability - in the middle of nowhere I didn't like the thought of a computer operating the clutches so my bike can change gears. If this failed, could you imagine someone being able to help you.
Buttons to engage the DCT? Buttons on my remote and other technology fail all the time. Does this mean a simple thing as a bad connection from dust moisture etc is going to bring me to a halt? I intend to ride this bike through deserts in Australia, and it is a little unnerving to take this technology into such a remote area where mechanical assistance is nonexistent. At least if you snap a clutch cable or lever the bike can still operate. The additional buttons and triggers on the handle bars to operate this system was becoming unnerving.

2. There is almost something hypnotic that occurs between a rider and a machine as you blip the throttle and use the clutch and gears to negotiate the tight and twisty trails. DCT loyalist will argue that you can use the paddles, however it just isn't quite the same and I base this on owning a VW with a DSG box. Yes they operate well, but it isn't a stick shift and some of the joy of driving is lost.

I appreciate there is a market for this style of transmission, and many AT owners are opting for this. For me however, I still enjoy the raw connection between rider and machine which I believe is lost once all the computer gadgets take over.

Keep the shiny side up!

Wadeo
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
Ha... that's funny Wadeo, because I have the exact same concerns about the DCT, but I went the other way and ordered one anyway! I suppose the reason is that I'm giving Honda the benefit of the doubt on both those issues for now, and just keeping my fingers crossed that I made the right decision.

On the whole being stuck in the middle of nowhere thing, first quick thing to say is that there are advantages to the DCT too. No clutch lever and gear shift to brake in a drop. Yes, I know you can carry spares, but it's still nice to not have to. As for the rest, I guess time will tell whether a) Honda DCTs are reliable enough for this sort of thing, and b) if they do fail how catastrophically they tend to fail. Do they just stay stuck in gear for example? That might still let you get to the next town depending on which gear it sticks in.

On the magic of changing gears manually thing - yep. I've posted about this myself. Time will tell on this one whether I miss it or not. I'm hoping that the aggregate of benefits will outweigh some of the intangible pleasure of changing gears manually and I'll be happy with my choice.

If not, hey, I might be willing to exchange my DCT for someone's manual version a little while down the road! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
287 Posts
DCT for me . I know on my other bike, I use the "S" mode all the time, and with the AT it'll have three "S" modes, that should keep me happy :wink2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
I'm going for DCT, my VFR had it and it turned that monstrous engine into a manageable commuter in drive mode while still offering up the power on the motorway in sports mode.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Riding a NC700X-DCT for 4 yours and have recently bought an AT with ABS and DCT. Not that I was unhappy with the NC700, but mainly because the AT suits me better w.r.t my length of 1.90m. Knies were hurting on the NC700 after 1-2 hours, but this may also be a 'luxery' problem of course. Very happy with the DCT and never had a single problem with the bike (and DCT).

There was a question on possible higher service costs of the DCT, but it is only the 2nd oil filter for the DCT, the same oil is used for the engine and DCT. Oil filter change every 12,000km.

You have to get used to the DCT and although Honda made software improvements with the NC750 and the AT, the main characteristics remain unchanged.
I got used to the following DCT use. In the city I use the manual mode with up- and down shifting with the 2 flippers on the left handlebar. In auto mode, especially the D (touring) mode, the system changes gear too frequently. Outside town I use the D mode, but only when the area is flat like in The Netherlands. In hill/ mountain areas I use the S (sport) mode and/ or manual mode.

In D mode the DCT up shifts around 2500rpm and down shifts around 1500rpm. In S mode shifting levels are 500-1000rpm higher. Software mods made by Honda for the NC750 where mainly an slight increase in shifting levels for the D mode. But now a nice DCT trick comes into play. The moment of upshifting is depending on how far you open the throttle. In D mode when you drive relaxed upshifting is done at 2500rpm. When you open the throttle half way, up shifting moves up by 500-1000rpm, whereas when you give full throttle, upshifting can take place at 4000-5000rpm.

Also to mention is that you can always manually down shift, also in auto mode. This is a very handy feature, because in D mode the engine hardly brakes when you close the throttle. When approaching a turn I downshift manually to break, open the throttle to make the turn and the DCT does the rest again.

It is not allowed here (and some other N.W.European countries) to ride offroad except on special tracks, hence I have never used my NC700 and most likely will not use the AT for offroad. I am almost sure that the D mode is not suitable for offroad because of the very low rpm range in which the engine will be running. The AT has three S modes, S1, S2 and S3, with different up- and down shifting levels. These will be meant for offroad.
I always have found on my NC700X the difference between D and S mode a bit too big. D mode too low rpm and S mode too high rpm. The NC750 should be better in this respect, but the AT probably will have it all. D mode for relaxed cruising on the road, S1 - S2- S3 for other 'road works' and offroad.

May be a long story, but this will give actual user experience for DCT newbies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I chose the DCT for two reasons:

1) Last year I broke and dislocated my left index finger. After a plate and 12 screws/pins it is back together, but not fully functional. It gets very tired after prolonged single-track or technical terrain that requires continual clutch work. I previously had a BMW F800GS which I had installed a Rekluse Auto-clutch which made this type of riding much easier on the left hand - especially since the F800GS has a cable-actuated clutch.

2) Continuing on with point one - you can't stall an automatic. Protecting the jewels. During a technical hill climb, or rocky, boulder navigation I've been known to sack myself because the bike stalls.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
My story is a unique one. I originally ordered the DCT as I read heaps on the forums and reviews and thought this would be the way to go. As soon as I left the shop I regretted the decision and thankfully the dealer was happy to change my order back to a manual the next day. Why the sudden change?

1. Reliability - in the middle of nowhere I didn't like the thought of a computer operating the clutches so my bike can change gears. If this failed, could you imagine someone being able to help you.
Buttons to engage the DCT? Buttons on my remote and other technology fail all the time. Does this mean a simple thing as a bad connection from dust moisture etc is going to bring me to a halt? I intend to ride this bike through deserts in Australia, and it is a little unnerving to take this technology into such a remote area where mechanical assistance is nonexistent. At least if you snap a clutch cable or lever the bike can still operate. The additional buttons and triggers on the handle bars to operate this system was becoming unnerving.

2. There is almost something hypnotic that occurs between a rider and a machine as you blip the throttle and use the clutch and gears to negotiate the tight and twisty trails. DCT loyalist will argue that you can use the paddles, however it just isn't quite the same and I base this on owning a VW with a DSG box. Yes they operate well, but it isn't a stick shift and some of the joy of driving is lost.

I appreciate there is a market for this style of transmission, and many AT owners are opting for this. For me however, I still enjoy the raw connection between rider and machine which I believe is lost once all the computer gadgets take over.

Keep the shiny side up!

Wadeo
Ditto! The Borg implant on the side of the crankcase of the DCT may well enhance the ride, but I for one prefer to be in complete control. I just love the oneness I feel with the bike when the gear slips in effortlessly on a clutchless upchange.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
My story is a unique one. I originally ordered the DCT as I read heaps on the forums and reviews and thought this would be the way to go. As soon as I left the shop I regretted the decision and thankfully the dealer was happy to change my order back to a manual the next day. Why the sudden change?

1. Reliability - in the middle of nowhere I didn't like the thought of a computer operating the clutches so my bike can change gears. If this failed, could you imagine someone being able to help you.
Buttons to engage the DCT? Buttons on my remote and other technology fail all the time. Does this mean a simple thing as a bad connection from dust moisture etc is going to bring me to a halt? I intend to ride this bike through deserts in Australia, and it is a little unnerving to take this technology into such a remote area where mechanical assistance is nonexistent. At least if you snap a clutch cable or lever the bike can still operate. The additional buttons and triggers on the handle bars to operate this system was becoming unnerving.

2. There is almost something hypnotic that occurs between a rider and a machine as you blip the throttle and use the clutch and gears to negotiate the tight and twisty trails. DCT loyalist will argue that you can use the paddles, however it just isn't quite the same and I base this on owning a VW with a DSG box. Yes they operate well, but it isn't a stick shift and some of the joy of driving is lost.

I appreciate there is a market for this style of transmission, and many AT owners are opting for this. For me however, I still enjoy the raw connection between rider and machine which I believe is lost once all the computer gadgets take over.

Keep the shiny side up!

Wadeo
Wasn't my thoughts on the reliability of DCT prophetic, especially where I question buttons that might fail. I had made these comments well before the much publicised issues that have been well covered on this forum.

There is a place and a particular rider who will love the DCT technology, but I for one am still happy with my manual transmission.

As an owner of a DSG VW, this notion that you can't stall a DCT might be true but technically, it's just 'riding' the clutch to crawl along slowly. It's not a true auto / slush box. I know from owning a VW with DSG, if you're crawling slowly up a hill and it is 'slipping' the clutch to crawl, believe you me you'll smell the clutch burning. Not something you want to do to your vehicle.

It would be interesting to know if the DCT riders who have crawled along slowly with hill work have smelt their clutches burning like my DSG does?

Cheers

Wadeo
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
My story is a unique one. I originally ordered the DCT as I read heaps on the forums and reviews and thought this would be the way to go. As soon as I left the shop I regretted the decision and thankfully the dealer was happy to change my order back to a manual the next day. Why the sudden change?

1. Reliability - in the middle of nowhere I didn't like the thought of a computer operating the clutches so my bike can change gears. If this failed, could you imagine someone being able to help you.
Buttons to engage the DCT? Buttons on my remote and other technology fail all the time. Does this mean a simple thing as a bad connection from dust moisture etc is going to bring me to a halt? I intend to ride this bike through deserts in Australia, and it is a little unnerving to take this technology into such a remote area where mechanical assistance is nonexistent. At least if you snap a clutch cable or lever the bike can still operate. The additional buttons and triggers on the handle bars to operate this system was becoming unnerving.

2. There is almost something hypnotic that occurs between a rider and a machine as you blip the throttle and use the clutch and gears to negotiate the tight and twisty trails. DCT loyalist will argue that you can use the paddles, however it just isn't quite the same and I base this on owning a VW with a DSG box. Yes they operate well, but it isn't a stick shift and some of the joy of driving is lost.

I appreciate there is a market for this style of transmission, and many AT owners are opting for this. For me however, I still enjoy the raw connection between rider and machine which I believe is lost once all the computer gadgets take over.

Keep the shiny side up!

Wadeo
I ordered the manual for the exact same reasons. I'm skeptical about electronic gadget reliability when I'm far from home and I like the physical connection between me and the bike. In fact, part of the reason I love riding a bike is the physical simplicity of it all. I'm not even really sold on the ABS but it comes standard on the AT here in the USA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Carburetors, drum brakes, and halogen bulbs. Or feeler gauge setting of points. Maybe seat of the pants throttle control, based on perceptions of potential wheel spin or locking. And of course manual clutches... they all work just fine.

But generalizing and viewed over time, there is strong support (some would say irrefutable evidence) that overall - technological upgrades have improved convenience, safety and reliability. For those unsure, check with Siri!

Naturally some will hanker for a purist experience, and each to their own. But in terms of progress, I'm pretty sure those same folk would not let their child ride in a friends car if it had no seatbelts, air bags or anti-lock brake for instance.

An auto shifting with manual override gearbox is not so safety critical over it's manual version, and it adds weight and some would argue unnecessary complexity, plus additional financial outlay too. And those would all be fair comments.

But going by the number of people globally who now drive cars with DCT's (not to mention the poll results of this thread) it's what the general populous are now trending towards.

What's next? An affordable DCT electric bike, with motorcycle matching performance and range from Mugen (Honda) / Victory / Harley or Tesla? Some of us will always prefer a motorcycle that runs on ignited fumes, but we can never stop what the manufacturers consider as progress. And that market demand is always driven by consensus desire.

I do think DCT is the future. And just like when fuel injection became available to the masses (and I told anyone who'd listen that it would always be going wrong and cost a fortune to fix) we'll all have to get used to accepting it sooner or later - so get with the program!


:grin2:
 
  • Like
Reactions: LFonte

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
I went manual for the fact I'm not that old yet!....... And my dealer ship said all they could get me was a black manual and in Canada it looked like the only other choice I had left was grey DCT but who mand an old man dentist bike. All the rally reds seemed to be spoken for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
329 Posts
... in Canada it looked like the only other choice I had left was grey DCT but who mand an old man dentist bike.
...and that is the exact bike I ended up with.

Given the choice I would have gone with a manual, but the colour is me No 2 choice behind the HRC.

I'm super keen to try it out and it'll get a test on the TAT later this year!
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top