Semi-automatic transmissions are not new in the world of motorcycles but are definitely not common. As far as we know, only Honda fields semi-automatic transmissions on their mass-produced units like the CRF 1100L Africa Twin, Goldwing, X-ADV 750, and just recently, the Rebel 1100.
KTM, on the other hand, could be developing its own version of the semi-auto transmission for future 1290 Super Adventure use. This new transmission by KTM may also see action on 1290 Super Duke R since it shares the same LC8 engine as the Super Adventure.
In a recent patent filing by the Austrian motorcycle maker, KTM’s semi-automatic transmission design will use rocker arms, a centrifugal clutch, and a separate gear control unit to move the shift cylinder – which in turn will move the gear selector forks into position to engage the next cog.
Interestingly, unlike Honda’s semi-automatic transmission which uses a second rear brake to “park” the bike, KTM’s design involves an L-shaped lever that when engaged, will physically lock the transmission in gear which will essentially put the bike on “park” mode, similar to cars.
While the patent filed by KTM gives us a glimpse of how their future transmission would work, it, unfortunately, does not tell us how the rider would operate it – will the rider push levers on the handlebar similar to Honda’s? Or would it be pedal-controlled similar to underbones?
Whatever the case may be, a clutchless 1290 Super Adventure sounds pretty good.