Honda marks a decade since first introducing its Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) technology in its powersports product lineup. Having first appeared in the VFR1200F sport tourer, DCT is now offered on Honda adventure bikes, touring bikes, ATVs and side-by-sides.
DCT is an automated, electro-hydraulic clutch and shift operation gearbox, comprising a pair of independent clutch packs housed in one unit, each of which are connected to separate gearsets; one clutch works with startup, first, third and fifth gears, the other with second, fourth and sixth gears. Gear changes are made either in Manual mode by using the paddle-shifters or triggers; or in Automatic mode according to shifting schedules dictated by constantly monitored parameters including vehicle speed, engine rpm and throttle opening angle. During a gear change, as one clutch disengages, the other simultaneously engages the target gear to ensure a consistent, ultra-fast and seamless shift, with no loss of drive to the rear wheel.
In addition to the natural advantages for sporty riding that this brings, DCT also allows the rider to focus more on their riding line, braking points, cornering and acceleration. Further benefits include reduced rider fatigue, low stress urban riding, the impossibility of stalling and greatly reduced pitching of the motorcycle during gear changes.
Its success has been in large part due to a constant evolution of the technology, with refinements to the smoothness and timing of the gear shifts, and adaptations to match the riding characteristics required of a broad range of models. Examples include an off-road-focused G switch addition for the Africa Twin, and synchronization with Hill Start Assist, Walking Mode and Idling Stop on the flagship GL1800 Gold Wing luxury tourer.