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Discussion Starter #1
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

Gutted

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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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Well it would be remiss of me to have experienced this and not shared with others

Trust me, this thing went wrong. Very wrong. I can't confirm that what I experienced was as a direct result of the sticking left switchgear due to water ingress, but there are certainly a number of reports of the switchgear issue
 

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Well it would be remiss of me to have experienced this and not shared with others

Trust me, this thing went wrong. Very wrong. I can't confirm that what I experienced was as a direct result of the sticking left switchgear due to water ingress, but there a a number of reports of the switchgear issue
Absolutely, and I know it looks as though the switch is at fault however I think we need to see the root cause, it could for example be due to an issue with the service procedure or incorrect reassembly etc etc.

Hopefully Honda will be looking at this with some urgency. Please keep us informed.
 

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Glad you're OK, this problem sounds very dangerous indeed. If they do have any more similar issues there will very likely be a recall.
 

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Imagine the bike going "wild" when you are filtering or on a rainy day :frown2:
 

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I REALLY want this Africa Twin to be the reliable around-the-world bike Honda is marketing it as. But if there ends up being a fair amount of reports like this and the 2017 model doesn't receive fixes, I'll end up getting an XR650L.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Something else that tells me this is related to the left switchgear - HSTC. You can't wheelie the bike with traction control on - it's impossible. As soon as the front goes light it's like you hit an invisible rev limiter................ yesterday I had traction enabled, so why / how did it let me go skywards?
 

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Found this on the net:

Posted 08 May 2013 - 07:42 AM

This morning my NC700X DCT wouldn't stand still at the traffic lights on my usual commute run, and the switch to put it in neutral didn't work. The Drive/Sport/Neutral selector wasn't responsive, and I also think that the MT/AT button selected Sport mode. Turning the ignition off and on again didn't rectify the problem, but just as I was getting off the bike to push it, I could select neutral, then gear, and the problem resolved itself.

I'll see if it happens again then call Honda. I suspect an electrical problem. It was wet this morning after a dry spell, although I'm clutching at straws here a bit. Luckily I'm only a year in to the 2yr warranty.

Some details:

Bike was July 2012 delivery, has done 2,500 miles, 67mpg average commuting west London to central London. It's had the chain recall, first service at 900 miles. Is ridden slowly and rarely goes above 70mph. I'll check the oil level when I get back to the bike.
Source
 

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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
Don't you have a government agency you can report the incident to? In the US we have the NHTSA, which decides what measures to take, recalls etc.
 

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Really sorry to hear about that S4MST3R - a major disappointment and a major safety problem.

Sadly I picked my DCT up this morning and didn't see this otherwise I would have had serious reservations about going ahead. But now I'm in the same quagmire as you - albeit not having had the buttock-clenching moments (yet).

What a shame - this is precisely why I didn't go for a BMW... And I have a suspicion that Honda after-sales won't be quite as responsive as BMW after-sales...

Good luck with getting it sorted - one way or another - and please let us know how you get on.
 

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That's a terrifying situation you found yourself in and one that gives me the fear.... Glad you got away with it.
I'll admit I have an over active imagination and I don't wish to scaremonger, but if that had happened in some other situation, at speed or mid bend... it could have been potentially life changinglly bad.
How about off road, with a drop..... etc, etc. I'm getting slightly carried away but I'm seriously questioning the faith I had in the new tech and wondering if I could relax knowing about this situation.
We know there are always mechanical failure risks on a bike but not having the ability to physically disengage the motor is a bit of a worry.
I guess well have to see if anything else gets reported and look at the odds but I am now having doubts about my choice of DCT over Manual.
 

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That's a terrifying situation you found yourself in and one that gives me the fear.... Glad you got away with it.
I'll admit I have an over active imagination and I don't wish to scaremonger, but if that had happened in some other situation, at speed or mid bend... it could have been potentially life changinglly bad.
How about off road, with a drop..... etc, etc. I'm getting slightly carried away but I'm seriously questioning the faith I had in the new tech and wondering if I could relax knowing about this situation.
We know there are always mechanical failure risks on a bike but not having the ability to physically disengage the motor is a bit of a worry.
I guess well have to see if anything else gets reported and look at the odds but I am now having doubts about my choice of DCT over Manual.
I'm happy the OP is fine and sorry to hear that the DCT isn't working out like it says on the box... But it's a far cry from a consistent problem which is being reported by everyone. And I'm not sure if this single post is enough to put doubt on my mind as it has on you it seems.
DCT isn't exactly new technology, has it had been in other bikes in previous years.
Of course, as a buyer of DCT myself, I am hoping it is one off, which remains to be seen.
Honda has always proven to be reliable, so if there is any problem within the warranty period, I'm sure they will fix it.
 

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"plus they gave me back the ludicrous amount of throttle free play"
... did they adjust the throttle cable? I remember my throttle cable sticking open on my X7 when I was just a teenager. That was a lot of fun. With 6" of snow on the ground!
 

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You maybe right Washryc, it's not that new and it's only one incident. Same could happen with any other part of a bike I guess... Just that it's new to me and probably most on here and I find it takes me a while to catch up with tech changing. I still ride with two fingers covering the clutch from starting on two strokes, old habits and all that..... I'll see how it goes and not do anything rash.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It is a brand new generation of DCT though (3rd gen?). But DCT has been around for 6 years on a production Honda, and has proven incredibly robust

Little update:

Honda Assist arrived at lunchtime - and then left again as the vehicle they sent wasn't capable of carrying the AT. Haha - you couldn't make it up! Bigger truck came a couple of hours later and just before loading it I started the bike up. Interestingly it wouldn't engage drive and wouldn't show neutral on the gear indicator (green N light was displayed on the side segment)

It seems to have gone into some sort of failsafe mode and just had a flashing "-" where it would normally show, "N"

None the wiser yet as to what happened yesterday, but it's now at the dealers and am expecting a new left hand switch set to be fitted on Monday morning. I really need them to conduct a thorough test as my confidence in what was becoming a brilliant machine, up until it went wild on me, has taken a bit of a knock :)

Honda have called me a few times wanting details and have committed to working closely and supporting the dealer in investigating what went on

Thanks for finding that post marekm. That's the first I've seen of anybody else having any form of DCT trouble. I've been riding it in the wet since I picked it up, including through some pretty big floods on Wednesday. I did a lot of research before deciding on the DCT over the manual, and it's still the version that fits my needs

 

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Guessing here but once water gets into electronic circuits and connections it can be totally unpredictable. Especially as the switches on the left side control both TC and the gear changing. What's a little more mystifying is the revving of the engine but as that's no doubt handled via the same CPU it might just be all the confusing signals from the left control that are outside normal parameters and then all bets are off... Or that the right unit has problems!! Strange that Honda didn't test this too well - or maybe production units differ slightly from test units.

There was another owner who reported a startup issue on this forum - it crunched slightly and then wouldn't engage a gear until it was restarted. So maybe the various manifestations are out there.

So Honda has a problem - well, we DCT owners have a problem anyway. Not only will we not trust the bikes but we won't be able to flog 'em! Who'll buy one if this starts happening more often?

Given that even the manual units are getting switchgear problems the owners of those bikes might want to lean less on the TC...

B*gger.
 

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Glad you are ok!

It seems to have gone into some sort of failsafe mode and just had a flashing "-" where it would normally show, "N"
This is mentioned in the owners manual, page 134. See attachment.

What about your service, did they do something to the switchgear? At least they must have opened it, if they found water inside. Maybe they did something wrong when they put it back together? Cable under the screw? This is just a speculation...

.
 

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Sounds like a nightmare. One thing I can't get my head around is why it revved open with a manual throttle. I could understand if it was a fly by wire, anyhow I'll be taking it easy in the wet from now on, only done 100 miles so far so good
 
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