Honda Motorcycles

Honda Announced Its New E-Clutch System for Motorcycles

Honda Announced Its New E-Clutch System for Motorcycles

One of the biggest ongoing debates that have divided people into two groups is the automatic vs manual transmission systems. When it comes to motorcycles, there is a lot of polarization among the masses with young riders siding with the latest automatic technology and older more experienced riders coming in favor of the original feel of manual motorcycles. Being the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer with one of the best tech and R&D departments and a team of highly qualified engineers, Honda has been working to produce hybrid motorcycles, which include both automatic and manual transmission technologies, known as the dual-clutch transmission (DCT), since 2010. Apart from their numerous advantages, the Honda DCT models like the Honda Gold Wing and the Honda Rebel DCT trim have a more complicated system with a separate automatic and manual transmission mechanism, making these models difficult to operate, work on, maintain, and repair. However, this time, Honda has come up with a more brilliant idea to keep the transmission system as simple and the same as it is already but eliminate the need to engage and disengage the clutch every time while starting, shifting gears, and stopping.

Photo Credit: Honda

The recently announced E-clutch system by Honda may not be a revolutionary and the most innovative engineering idea, but it has the potential to solve one of the biggest problems faced by sports and dirt bike riders. Almost every rider has to go through the effort of engaging and disengaging the clutch while riding in stop-and-go traffic. This is why the automobile industry is shifting towards automatic transmission technology. However, the pace of adopting automatic transmission technology in motorcycles is slow compared to cars. This is because riders do not want to make a simple and easy-to-maintain machine more complex and less reliable. The new E-clutch system ensures the same command and control of riders over their motorcycles without the need to pull and release the clutch lever manually. The rider just needs to turn on the E-clutch system on their motorcycles which will automatically take control of the clutch operation.

The hybrid nature of the E-clutch makes it more acceptable to all riders, including old and young, as it lets them easily switch between automatic and manual clutch control options. However, Honda claims that the E-clutch operates more effectively, ensuring better control, and smooth gear shifting, and prevents the motorcycle from jerking and stalling.

In its official press release, Honda says:

“The E-clutch uses electronic-control technology to provide instantaneous, fine-tuned clutch control for optimum performance in situations where the driving force changes, such as starting, shifting gears, and stopping, to achieve smooth starting, shifting gears, and stopping more natural than a rider’s manual clutch operation. To meet a wide range of rider demands, the clutch can be operated like a normal manual motorcycle gripping the clutch lever, even when the clutch is controlled electronically.”

There is nothing complicated about the E-clutch technology as it only involves a small E-clutch box installed near the gearbox. Only a few glimpses of the box with the Honda E-clutch engraved on a metal plate are released by the company. It seems that the upgraded Honda CB650R will be the first-ever Honda motorbike to receive the E-clutch technology. Although the design and aesthetic look of the new model is similar to the Honda CB650R, the promo also includes a TFT color display screen, more hand control options, and handlebars-mounted side mirrors, along with the E-clutch, which hints towards a completely new and upgraded Honda CB650R trim.

Only a little is known regarding which Honda models will receive the E-clutch technology and what it will cost. Meanwhile, the company has also added to the confusion of riders by its statement:

“The company plans to apply Honda E-clutch to its ‘fun’ motorcycle models over time.”

Honda has been working on this project for a long time and the company has ensured that the riders love it. There are mixed opinions and reviews of Honda’s new E-clutch after its announcement; however, most experienced riders find this technology useful and completely relevant. Some say that Honda’s new E-clutch system will solve the most common and biggest problem that almost every rider has been facing for a very long time, which is determining the right transmission system for themselves.

What makes the motorcyclist more excited about the new release is its compatibility with old motorcycles. In its press release, the company also added:

“The lightweight compact system (E-clutch) can be installed without major changes to existing engine layouts…”

Honda has disclosed several noticeable things regarding the E-clutch system in the patent, such as the ability of the ride-by-wire throttle technology to provide multiple riding modes and the alteration of the E-clutch involvement with several models/options. You will be able to switch between the rates of involvement and how fast or slow the clutch must be engaged or disengaged to ensure a customized riding experience.

The E-clutch system also carries an anti-stall system , making it extremely helpful in situations where your motorcycle can stall. This feature allows the intervention of the new E-clutch system, even if it is switched off, to prevent engine stalling in events when the manual clutch operation has failed to keep the motorbike running smoothly.

Another dominant feature of Honda’s new E-clutch system is its capability to ensure better fuel economy. As suggested by the patent, the E-clutch will intervene by engaging the clutch to completely cut down the engine power and turn it off when the motorcycle is moving down a hill, i.e., coasting.

These upgrades are yet to be confirmed by Honda, whether they will appear on the very first model E-clutch-equipped model or if it will take time. That being said, the E-clutch system is a crucial step taken in the right direction.

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