Clutch Ado About Nothing: 10 Years of Honda’s DCT

It’s officially been 10 years since Honda rolled out their Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) technology. Having first appeared in the U.S. on the VFR1200F sport tourer, the technology crept into adventure riding with the 2016 debut of the CRF1000L Africa Twin. 

For some reason, the Africa Twin enjoyed a warm reception from folks who appreciated the model’s ability to perform capably while touring and rugged off-road conditions. Could it be that the DCT is actually more capable than what naysayers such as myself want to believe?

20 Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports SE_action 05-source.jpg

According to DCT Chief Engineer, Dai Arai, “the biggest thing for me is how much brain ‘bandwidth’ it frees up to use on what is most enjoyable about riding: cornering, looking for the right lines, timing your braking and acceleration. The other thing is that it is both easy and direct — ‘easy’ meaning no need to use a clutch in slow traffic, no chance of stalling, no bashing helmets with a pillion; ‘direct’ being the speed of the gear change, the ability to use the triggers, and, as I mentioned, to concentrate purely on your riding.”

I’d be hard-pressed to give up the tactile experience and control of the clutch lever, but I’ve come across dozens of other riders singing the DCT’s praise. When Mr. Arai was asked about what applications he’d like to see the DCT in he said, “personally, I’d love to see DCT on our Dakar Rally bike. That kind of riding—where fatigue is possible, and concentration so important — means the system has a big benefit.” 

Photo Credit: Honda

Motorcycle Industry News by Eva Rupert. Follow Eva @augusteva.

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