If you’ve ever been curious about a motorcycle with a Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) or an auto clutch, have we dug up the video for you.
This video is from MotoTrek, and he brings up a ton of great points about riding off road with a DCT like you find in some Honda Africa Twin motorcycles, or an aftermarket auto, or centrifugal clutch.
Lots of people think that, like cars, an automatic clutch or DCT will make the bike easier to ride, especially off road. This is actually the opposite of the truth! As our host points out, if you do any dirt riding, think about the times when you get into hairy situations. Your first (at least, my first) reaction is to pull the clutch in and disengage the engine from the rear wheel, and manage forward motion by feathering the clutch. With a DCT, that option isn’t available to you.
Also, when you get up a too-steep hill and perhaps fall, my first and best way to manage the weight of the bike on a hill (especially if I want to get it back down and try again) is to leave the bike in gear and manage rearward motion with the clutch (that is, stopping motion of the rear wheel) instead of the front brake, while the bike is not running. On a super loose, steep, hinky hill, your front brake is not going to provide any traction.
I was under the impression that these bikes would go into something akin to “park,” but no, according to MotoTrek, the bikes, when they’re not running, will roll on the rear wheel. Yipes.
The other problem is wrist position; new riders don’t have the solid habit of keeping their right wrist low really drummed in, and especially when dirt riding going from standing to sitting, it’s easy for a newbie to grab a whole fistful of throttle without meaning to, and the DCT offers no clutch to get you out of that situation.
The rest of the video points out all the advantages of a DCT and auto-clutch. The big disadvantage of a traditional clutch, especially when you’re riding in low- or no-traction environments, is heavy clutch use. All that clutch use leads to hand fatigue. I don’t know about you, but I have not-great memories of riding in high-clutch-use situations when I thought my left hand would just give up on me. A bike with DCT would certainly solve that particular problem.
Another big advantage to a DCT is that the bike will not stall when it’s put into a situation where it can’t roll forward. The transmission just handles it. That’s pretty nice.
What do you think, friends? Do you have a bike with a DCT? What have you noticed about that transmission that you didn’t expect? Do you like it better than a traditional clutch?