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Nothing new. Not even for Honda. As a matter of fact the motorcycle Prince rode in the video Purple Rain had a Hondamatic. The gear shifting was dubbed in from a different motorcycle. And then, of course, there's the Suzuki Burgman with it's faux manual shifting shifting mode and the current Aprilia Mana with three different "shift" modes.

I feel the bikes are boring, but not because of the transmission. It's because I've sat on them and couldn't get over the feeling that I was sitting on an Inchworm.
 

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I agree Bevo, I like shifting but there is a market for everything, just depends if it is a big enough market to justify the cost to Honda and other companies. It might be for borderline riders like my wife, who if she had a bike would not want to shift. Some find it complicated.

We are also now at the cusp of the electric bike which has no gears at all, so I think we are going to see a bit more variety high-bred bikes out there in the future, change is coming and I "hope" it doesn't take away the experience of why I like riding so much and that is to get away from all the clutter and electronics in my life as it is.
I think "we" will always be in the majority, the core riders will always be the most to the industry but we are going to see lots of options for others in the future. ( I think, it may never catch on to be profitable, who knows)
 

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There's obviously a growing market for clutch-less in that scooters are almost all clutch-less and those things seem to be multiplying like rabbits. Internationally Every big city is covered with them and even in the states they cover major metro areas and college campuses.

Clearly, some people like clutch-less .... To each there own.


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When you consider that the average driver in the US has NO IDEA how to drive a stick shift car.... it seems like a logical way for bike companies to go.
 

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When you consider that the average driver in the US has NO IDEA how to drive a stick shift car.... it seems like a logical way for bike companies to go.
using that logic you can deduce that most new bikers do not know how to drive stick shift. so it hasn't really been a deterrent over the past 100 years. i see your point that it could open up the market to potential new riders, but i don't think shifting has ever been a major factor for most people in deciding if they want to get a bike or not.
 

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Actually, that might make an interesting poll... I personally do not know a single motorcycle rider who did not have some experience with stick shift first (unless they started on dirt bikes as a kid).
 

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The very first powered vehicle I drove was a Sears Allstate Super Crusaire (a rebadged Vespa 125). It had the classic left hand clutch and left hand twist grip shifter. This fall I rode my Yamaha 400 Majesty, with the twist-and-go transmission, up Pikes Peak. A couple of weeks later I rode my 250 Star up Pikes Peak. I recall thinking just how much work the Majesty's automatic transmission had done for me, as I was shifting my way up the mountain. Which was more fun? It's a tough call - but the Majesty was NEVER in the wrong gear.
 

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This fall I rode my Yamaha 400 Majesty, with the twist-and-go transmission, up Pikes Peak.
I'd like to do it in a T Max but evidently Yamaha didn't see enough market demand to keep it in the US.
 

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The Ridley has been around a long time too. I can see, especially a new rider with no standard transmission experience wanting to go this route...
 

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I'd be willing to bet that most of the people who take that first ride during the motorcycle safety course are using a clutch for the very first time.
I don't know about "most" but in the MSF class I took a few years ago there were "several". And they all passed the test after 2 days of instruction.


I was 6 years old when I got my first bike, a Honda Z50, and it had a clutchless 3-speed transmission.
 

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Well, I must be wearing orthopedic shoes because I stand corrected. :))
Corrected? I was trying to agree... :eek:

I'm out on the edges of the metro area and we had a large group of riders from DC that wanted their endorsement so they could ride scooters around town. That group plus a handful of women looking to get off the bitch seat made for a class that spent a lot of time on those first few drills that teach how to shift and use the friction zone. I have to admit that after that first hour one or two were still having issues but for the most part you would not have known which ones came into the class knowing how to handle a clutch. The MSF basic rider course does an impressive job of getting people riding.
 

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Aren't most of the spiders auto?
I bought a Honda Rancher utility quad back in '00 and it was an e-shift (a button to upshift, a button to downshift). I think its pretty slick but it is immediate (no "Neutral" in between gears like the z-50 monkey bikes did if you held the shifter up while upshifting or if you held the shifter down when downshifting)... push button and it bangs into gear. I kinda like to regulate how smooth my bike shifts with the clutch.
I am not sure if I could buy an auto or semi-auto unless I had physical limitations requiring such a bike. But, I guess that's why they make chocolate and vanilla... kinda like why we use nuts and bolts, not nuts or bolts
 
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