Shiftless on a Motorcycle

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Bill B
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Shiftless on a Motorcycle

Postby Bill B » Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 am

Was reading an article about how motorcycle manufacturers are looking to reach out to the manual impaired riders with new motorcycles not requiring the annoying clutch. Article here. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/07/autom ... TLESS.html
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Re: Shiftless on a Motorcycle

Postby Bawked » Mon Dec 22, 2008 2:52 pm

that is actually horrible. motobikes are crude speed machines. 2 wheels, engine, manual gearbox and capable of insane speeds. an auto motorbike is not a motorbike, its aids.

also i hope this doesn't leave touring bikes. sports bikes need to stay manual transmission, or atleast keep it the norm.
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Re: Shiftless on a Motorcycle

Postby padauk_dust » Tue Dec 23, 2008 1:39 am

I don't know about Goldwings, but Yamaha makes a supersport touring bike (fjr1300 I think) with an option to eliminate the clutch and gear selector and put in a thumb-operated gear selector instead. Like paddle shifters in cars. I haven't ridden one but I was sad when i first saw it in the showroom last year.

Although, they've been making fully automatic bikes since the 80's. Take the Honda CM450 for example. While available with standard clutch/gearshift setup, the "higher" trim level comes with a fully automatic gearbox.



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Re: Shiftless on a Motorcycle

Postby scionkid » Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:15 am

There was a girl in my motorcycle class who had never driven a car with a manual. And yet, she did just fine on the bike.

I find this quite irresponsible for a manufacturer to put an automatic in a bike with a 850cc engine. It ensures that people will ride it without proper training.

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Re: Shiftless on a Motorcycle

Postby scionkid » Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:12 am

Yeah, I really don't understand all the squids out there. Learning how to shift alone is not going to improve safety. What I meant was that riders should take a class in motorcycle safety before gettin a license. It wasn't that expensive. For $250, I got 10 hours of training on turning, braking, shifting, and classroom time.

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Re: Shiftless on a Motorcycle

Postby theholycow » Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:38 am

paul34 wrote:Don't some of those stupid Honda Goldwings come with slushies?
I've always thought if I got a motorcycle, it would be a quiet BMW-style commuter, a cheap neon-colored plastic-bodied crotch rocket, or a comfortable-looking well equipped Gold Wing.

Also, I thought that motorcycles with automated transmissions are not slushies, but rather use SMTs.

scionkid wrote:Yeah, I really don't understand all the squids out there. Learning how to shift alone is not going to improve safety. What I meant was that riders should take a class in motorcycle safety before gettin a license. It wasn't that expensive. For $250, I got 10 hours of training on turning, braking, shifting, and classroom time.
I thought that was standard everywhere, but according to http://www.dmv.state.ri.us/licenses/motorcycles.php
Rhode Island requires a special license to operate a motorcycle and is currently the only state to offer a motorcycle safety course.
They say "offer" but they mean "require"; you cannot get the license without taking the course which involves classroom time (I don't know how many hours) and practice time on a motorcycle. Once you've completed that, you get a temporary permit; only after having the permit for 30 days you are eligible to be licensed for motorcycles. That's all on top of requiring a valid normal drivers license. I wonder how our motorcycle safety statistics compare to other states...
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Re: Shiftless on a Motorcycle

Postby watkins » Tue Dec 23, 2008 1:35 pm

Probably better. I have never once seen someone on a motorcycle in RI.
Image

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Re: Shiftless on a Motorcycle

Postby theholycow » Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:41 pm

paul34 wrote:To me, a Goldwing is like a yacht on two wheels, its basically like your grandma's Cadillac. Huge, boat like, and ridiculous huge - did I say that already? Plus with all the amenities it has, why not just get a 90's Cadillac?
I like 90s Cadillacs. Different priorities, I guess. Ridiculously huge, boatlike, yacht...all describe things that I like.

I've never seen a young or cool looking person on a Goldwing. Generally its the type who wear denim shorts with a golf polo, and white sneakers (or those black airwalk old people shoes) with white socks that go above the ankle.
For me, comfort is far more important than image -- and even then, the image I want to project is never young or particularly cool. My favorite image to project is invisible, where I just blend in and nobody notices (especially traffic cops); failing that, I wouldn't mind looking professional and/or slightly dignified. In reality, I actually tend to look disheveled and shabby, though my VW looks new and about as cool as a hatchback econobox can look (perhaps why I recently got a ticket that I don't think I would have gotten in my less visible truck).

I would definitely wear denim shorts and a golf polo (not tucked into the shorts), but I'd wear them with sandals and no socks.
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watkins wrote:Humans have rear-biased AWD. Cows have 4WD

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Re: Shiftless on a Motorcycle

Postby theholycow » Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:53 pm

I wear those too, and cargo shorts...and if I'm not going to be gone for long, I sometimes wear shorts that would probably be described as gym shorts.
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Re: Shiftless on a Motorcycle

Postby IMBoring25 » Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:52 pm

theholycow wrote:
paul34 wrote:Don't some of those stupid Honda Goldwings come with slushies?
I've always thought if I got a motorcycle, it would be a quiet BMW-style commuter, a cheap neon-colored plastic-bodied crotch rocket, or a comfortable-looking well equipped Gold Wing.

Also, I thought that motorcycles with automated transmissions are not slushies, but rather use SMTs.

scionkid wrote:Yeah, I really don't understand all the squids out there. Learning how to shift alone is not going to improve safety. What I meant was that riders should take a class in motorcycle safety before gettin a license. It wasn't that expensive. For $250, I got 10 hours of training on turning, braking, shifting, and classroom time.
I thought that was standard everywhere, but according to http://www.dmv.state.ri.us/licenses/motorcycles.php
Rhode Island requires a special license to operate a motorcycle and is currently the only state to offer a motorcycle safety course.
They say "offer" but they mean "require"; you cannot get the license without taking the course which involves classroom time (I don't know how many hours) and practice time on a motorcycle. Once you've completed that, you get a temporary permit; only after having the permit for 30 days you are eligible to be licensed for motorcycles. That's all on top of requiring a valid normal drivers license. I wonder how our motorcycle safety statistics compare to other states...


Oklahoma requires a written and a road test, unless you take an MSF course. The one I'm looking at is $150.

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Re: Shiftless on a Motorcycle

Postby nothfx » Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:44 am

NB (Canada) doesn't require a motorcycle safety course... but there are courses available pretty much everywhere. The one I took was $400, and it was Friday night, and all day saturday and sunday on the bikes about 20ish hours I think. I would highly recommend anyone getting a bike to take a course... there are certain things that are extremely difficult to learn on your own!

The real nice thing about it though, was that they let you use the bikes from the course (that you've been riding on all weekend) to take the test on (plus the examiners are a lot more lenient with the test, because they've taken the course themselves, and they know you can ride by that point). That alone was worth it 3 times over for me.
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Re: Shiftless on a Motorcycle

Postby kamesama980 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:11 pm

Illinois requires you to pass a written and driving test. the written test I passed the day after I downloaded and skimmed the study guide. the driving test is just low speed maneuvers in the parking lot and from the half dozen or so people I know that have taken it, mostly based on the testers mood rather than motorcycle ability. I opted for the MSF course offered for free through a program with several state universities. it involved 8 hours in classroom and 10 or 12 on the bikes. passing the MSF course got me a card that let me bypass the DMV tests.

As for the (normal manual) transmissions in bikes, they're almost SMTs. I think the old autos were manual clutch with automatic shifters on the SMT or torque converter with a 2 or 3 speed planetary. now they're probably more like that (normal auto box) and more speeds on them.
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Re: Shiftless on a Motorcycle

Postby Bawked » Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:15 pm

my mate got a bike (ninja 250 36hp) a few weeks ago and already crashed it... :roll: atleast hes ok, the bike just needs new fairings mostly. I want a i-4 21000rpm revving 45hp zxr-250c, need to do a basic handling cert and then a written test to get a learners permit in nz, and hope that i can resist the 21000rpm scream :x
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Re: Shiftless on a Motorcycle

Postby IMBoring25 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:58 pm

Did he do something clearly against his better judgement or run wide in a turn?


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