Honda Africa Twin Forum banner

21 - 40 of 92 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
202 Posts
I’m 66 years old and owned 66 motorcycles during those years. As far as I can remember they were all manual trannys. I’ve shifted enough...The 67th should arrive next week and it’s a DCT.
Dallas,
I hear ya Pal! Been driving Stick trannies for decades and decades. One of my assignments in the SDFD was to respond to wild fires with a 55,000 lb. 5,000 gallon tanker. It had a 13 spd Road Ranger transmission. Talk about SHIFTING !!!!!!!!!!!! On an average emergency, between responding and returning to the station, I'd shift around, between 200 and 400 times. So, that was just a teeny tiny bit of my shifting life. When the thought a possible automatic motorcycle, as in the DCT entered my potential procurement, as stated earlier, I **** near made the decision before I left the dealership parking lot to go on the demo ride.
Scott
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
@FIRE UP thanks for your feedback.
I did some time ago a test ride on a Honda Integra and a NC 750 X, both with DCT. In a few kms I realized that it did the gear changing like i would do in a manual. With the exception of some roundabouts. In those cases we can downshift manually.
As an european model my bike has self canceling turn signals.
@dallas that's a lot of bikes over the years. I will count on your feedback as soon as you get your new Honda. What's the model 1000 or the newest 1100?
1100
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
DCT is the unique AT feature, which no other manufacture offers in a motorcycle. Once used to DCT, going back to manual is difficult. There would be people saying it is not for them and this is more than fair. Each to their own.

I've got DCT (and Africa Twin) because a great deal, not planned purchase at all. Has not even test rode, bought on the phone! I think for 95% of the time, DCT is better than manual by far. Smoother, faster, easier and fun when using manual mode. There is some 5% I miss, but not the manual shift (you have a mode for that) rather than the ability to feather the clutch in walking pace maneuvering. However I made thousands of miles not in u-turns but nice roads at greater than pedestrian speeds, so it is really a trade off which I have no regrets at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Love my DCT. The only thing I wish it had was a "clutch" where the parking brake is. Some times when I stop at a light my throttle hand gets lazy and I end up giving it a little gas. Not good when traffic is going in front of you. Not a real issue, but being able to put it in neutral with the clutch would be nice.

1) Did you regret your choice regarding DCT? None

2) Have you had any problems with it? Stalling and other things? 2018 and not one issue.

3) When you stop, do you put it in neutral? Only when parking and before I turn it off. You do always want to have it in neutral before you turn it off.

4) I read somewhere that we should not let the bike crawl a bit in gear, for example in city traffic or at a stop sign or in a inclined road. Is it true? Mine does not crawl on it's own. If I am sitting on level ground I do not need to hold it in place with the brake.

5) When refueling the bike, do you fill till the top, when you already see the gasoline? I pretty much let it stop when it stops automatically. Some times I'll add another couple of pennies worth to get a nice round number.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
I've had the DCT now for three years. For those who worry about losing the "feel" or character of the bike, I suggest the optional foot shifter. For me, it transformed the bike. There is simply nothing sweeter than triggering up through the gears, then using the foot shifter for downshifting. It gives you the best of both worlds. The "feel" that you're used to having, and the easy of riding that brings you to the DCT in the first place. I can happily say that this will not be the last DCT in my garage - it's a **** of a bike!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
As a retired Chief Engineer ...The only problem with the auto gearbox was that it couldn't see up the road or knew what was coming.

Suffice to say I bought a manual AT when retiring!
Agreed Ray. I have worked in teams that have designed and developed numerous "automated" systems for aircraft, both piloted and unmanned. As designers, we could never preclude all the things that could go wrong with a system being run by our software (SW). And wrong could be subsystem failures, operating conditions we never thought to consider, or that meat-actuated, noise generator sitting in the pilot's seat doing something we never thought he/she would try. So while I give the Honda engineers a tip of the hat for their DCT system--it IS pretty awesome for "middle of the road" riding--I also know that there will be some conditions that the designers never thought to consider, especially when riding on the edge of performance. This is where these auto systems are most likely to let the rider down.

Wifey has a Honda CTX700 DCT that I ride around occasionally. I find it is almost always doing something I would not do if I controlled the gear shifts. Its Drive mode is particularly frustrating: if you need throttle response NOW to stay out of trouble, you're toast. I'm almost always in Sport mode, or Manual mode.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,928 Posts
...
Wifey has a Honda CTX700 DCT that I ride around occasionally. I find it is almost always doing something I would not do if I controlled the gear shifts. Its Drive mode is particularly frustrating: if you need throttle response NOW to stay out of trouble, you're toast. I'm almost always in Sport mode, or Manual mode.
Agreed.

As pilot, err, um, ..., rider, we can adjust too. In your use case I would have to step down one or two gears immediately to compensate (in Drive Mode) and have found the DCT just does it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
Agreed.

As pilot, err, um, ..., rider, we can adjust too. In your use case I would have to step down one or two gears immediately to compensate (in Drive Mode) and have found the DCT just does it.
It won't do it quickly if you roll on the throttle hard though. The response in Drive Mode is glacially slow. It's a little better in Sport Mode and you might actually get away scott free if you can shift manually while grabbing that fistful of throttle. But only if you can find that **** little switch. 😣
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,928 Posts
It won't do it quickly if you roll on the throttle hard though. The response in Drive Mode is glacially slow. It's a little better in Sport Mode and you might actually get away scott free if you can shift manually while grabbing that fistful of throttle. But only if you can find that **** little switch. 😣
Yes, a Sport Mode would respond quicker if: i) You are already in a Sport Mode, and ii) You don't hit the horn or upshift button first. :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Oddly, I don't regret buying my 2019 AT DCT even though I've managed to crash twice when the bike shot forward from walking speed. Both incidents happened so quickly I still don't know exactly what I did wrong, although I suspect it was just being clumsy with the throttle.

One thing that does concern me is that I have heard from various experienced sources that when the rear brake is applied n the DCT the software cuts the power to the throttle significantly. My second incident occurred when I was trying to judge just how much power to give the bike from standstill on a steep hill (my garden path) to get over a very small rut. I had very little margin for error with a wall about 10 feet in front of me (I was trying to turn it at the same time on a hairpin bend). My left foot was down. My right foot was hard on the rear brake. I finally got to what I would have known as 'bite point' on a manual bike, and took my foot all the way off the brake. The bike seemed to fly from under me. Fortunately I was shot off the back of it by the time it hit the wall.

Now I am completely non technical and I'm far from experienced as a biker. Also, I had been away for ten years. On the flip side, my last bike was a 1200GS and I had well over a year on it without a single incident.

Maybe all modern bikes have the power cut by software when the rear brake is applied, I don't know. But if I had known about this feature, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have ended up with a busted pelvis and broken wrist. I expected the brake to work as a brake - I push the pedal, the pads clamp the disc and hold the bike still until I release the brake. What I find hard to understand is a manufacturer failing to highlight (nor is it mentioned in the manual) that there is another powerful braking mechanism being 'secretly' operated by the software and that there is no gradual release if you come off the pedal immediately, but a sudden return of full power.

That's my story. At the core of it is this software braking assertion; I don't know if it is true and would appreciate your thoughts on it. I was going to write formally to Honda asking them about it, but my bike should be back on the road next week after it's been converted to have the rear brake lever on the left handlebar (the parking brake will be relocated). I intend to carry out several experiments to see if I can replicate that massive power surge and then at least I will know for sure.

EDIT on May 29th 2020
Having the intention as mentioned to get back on the bike I will not now be doing so. The bike was in the garage awaiting a rear brake conversion (to a lever on left handlebar) to increase safety and my confidence. It will now be going back to the dealer. My change of mind was initiated by a post by Double Thumper (linked at foot) describing a very scary incident similar to mine.

After reading that I spent many hours seeking evidence that there was indeed a fault with the DCT model only to find numerous equally scary stories of a THROTTLE. fault. It seems less and less likely to me now that the DCT is to blame, but that is for Honda to investigate.

In non-web investigations I've been told by an industry insider that Honda are aware of the problem as they have refunded or exchanged bikes. This throws a new light on Wee Willy's posts here. I certainly don't want to be an unfortunate but 'necessary' statistic in the progress chart of Honda's (or anyone else's) engineers.

Joe



Best wishes
Joe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
...
The bike seemed to fly from under me. Fortunately I was shot off the back of it by the time it hit the wall.

...

Best wishes
Joe
Hola Joe,

That, there is what we in the control law design business call an "interlock." It's there to "protect" you from doing "dumb" things. Here, dumb means something the designers could not imagine themselves doing. Any such design is usually completed by a competent young engineer (low level of experience) and then vetted by more senior designers in a peer-review session before becoming part of the baseline controller design. Next, there should be significant testing by seasoned riders on real machines who are looking to find weird behaviors like this. They find many of them to be sure. But not all. And that's the rub in automated system design. There is NEVER enough testing time or budget to drive the probability of something like what you experienced into insignificance. I'll bet the designers would even tell you that this is NOT the way the bike should be ridden--it's not designed to do what you were trying to do--"why would anyone want to do that?" Ah well...

It's a well-known fact in the business that bad logic designs kill fly-by-wire aircraft (and the crew on occasion). We could empty a bottle of good scotch over a couple of hours while I ply you with such stories (I prefer Balvenie - a great single malt). This is why self-driving cars are having such birthing pains right now. Tesla cars kill their drivers in autopilot mode. Not often, but they do. The Uber experiment stopped when one of their cars killed a pedestrian in Arizona while the engineer was sitting IN THE BACK SEAT! Some people should have gone to prison for this one IMHBIO. You don't test these immature systems in the wild when lives can be lost...you just don't do it!

Competent autonomous designs are built on the back of bad experiences. As a test pilot mentioned to me once upon a time: "Bill, do you know what a real UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle...a drone) program is? It's a smoking hole in the desert with a bunch of engineers standing around it scratching their heads." Truer words were never spoken in the business.

BTW, real test pilots flying real prototype aircraft don't like interlocks unless they're absolutely necessary. The watch phrase was KISS - keep it simple stoopid! We Skunks tried real hard to apply the KISS rule liberally.

Hope the medical issues work out for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
It's a well-known fact in the business that bad logic designs kill fly-by-wire aircraft (and the crew on occasion). We could empty a bottle of good scotch over a couple of hours while I ply you with such stories (I prefer Balvenie - a great single malt).This is why self-driving cars are having such birthing pains right now. Tesla cars kill their drivers in autopilot mode. Not often, but they do. The Uber experiment stopped when one of their cars killed a pedestrian in Arizona while the engineer was sitting IN THE BACK SEAT!

Tesla, after promoting the autopilot mode, was very quick to deny responsibility for those deaths and put the blame on the drivers. Tesla isn't alone in that though. Watch the commercials for other car manufacturer's. The electronic driver assists features are promoted heavily as relieving the driver of many of the responsibilities of operating a vehicle safely. Some information I came across from a study in Europe showed many of these systems, which are also used in autonomous vehicles can fail to recognize motorcycles in traffic up to 34% of the time. Several instances have been recorded in Europe and North America of these vehicles killing or maiming motorcyclist. If the vehicle cannot recognize a motorcycle in traffic, how can we be sure it will recognize bicycles or pedestrians either. When asked about fatalities associated with these systems, one proponent of autonomous vehicles stated the systems are still being developed and we need to expect some fatalities until they get it right. My thought would be until the failure rate is lower than at least 1% the systems should not be in traffic. As riders it is bad enough we have to worry about drivers trying to kill us, we shouldn't have to worry about their vehicle being homicidal as well. The systems will not be perfect. No matter how good the designers are, in the end the system is going to be used by a person. Despite best intentions someone somewhere is going to do initiate a series of events that could not be foreseen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,928 Posts
I believe it is reasonable to agree that reliable autonomous transportation in a civilian setting will be a lengthy evolution of technological successes (and failures). That said, as complexity increases, so do vulnerabilities to the system and endpoints. This doesn't solve the safe rear-end monitoring of us riders, but it is prudent that we are aware of the limitations of other cages and the like.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Hola Wee Willy,

Many thanks for that detailed response. It's given me much more insight regarding what might have happened, as well as a fascinating peek into your world.

I wouldn't have thought that my situation with that accident was awfully difficult for designers to imagine, especially with an adventure bike. Stopped on a steep hill approaching a tight bend. Trying to get going again. Only one foot available for balance ... Also, my first incident with this was as I was coming to a halt on an incline - albeit not nearly as steep as the one I was injured on - needing to keep some power going while applying the rear brake then bang, I'd hit the car parked about 20ft ahead of me and the bike went down. I was totally baffled. Only after incident 2 did I begin searching for an answer.

I suspect that what happened with 1 (initially I thought, well, I got to a stop and must have jerked the throttle as I was leaning left to put my foot down or kick the side stand down or something) was that as I came to a halt I still had a tiny bit of throttle on while my foot was on the brake lever. As my foot has come off, what felt to me like a tiny bit of throttle suddenly got a big surge. Anyway, I'm speculating.

I expected to find a few similar incidents mentioned on forums like this, but I've found nothing more specific than a handful of references to being caught out by 'whiskey throttle'. I wonder if someone would care to do a wee experiment on a clear and safe piece of ground, by twisting the throttle lightly while on the rear brake, to a point where the throttle feedback suggests you will get nothing more than a fairly gentle and progressive start, and then, holding the throttle fixed at that point and coming quickly off the rear brake? This is the sort of test I'll try myself when I get the bike.

Thanks again for your help, Wee Willie. My injuries are well on the mend. If you ever visit Scotland, I'll be delighted to share that bottle with you. Roads here on the Isle of Bute - about 90 minutes drive/ferry west of Glasgow - are great for biking. Here's last Friday's evening rush hour.

54754
 
21 - 40 of 92 Posts
Top