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.

Latest Stories

New BMW R1300 GS Adventure Bikes Get Optional Automatic Transmission

New BMW R1300 GS Adventure Bikes Get Optional Automatic Transmission

BMW has revised its iconic and popular big adventure bike, and it now sports a 1.3-liter boxer twin, a boxy…
Gear Showcase: Hygiene, Safety, and Water Storage

Gear Showcase: Hygiene, Safety, and Water Storage

While the flashy and expensive gear like roof top tents may get all the attention, there are few things that…
The Best Toyotas of Overland Expo PNW

The Best Toyotas of Overland Expo PNW

Last week at Overland Expo PNW, there was no shortage of great builds, and amongst them, I found some truly…

Photo by Brett Willhelm


We keep our fingers on the pulse of the Overlanding world. Join the Overland News community and get our email on all things overland—including Overland Expo show updates, offers, and overland-specific articles.