This tranny has twice the clutch

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Double-clutch fun on the run

Honda has developed a "world’s first" dual clutch transmission for big sport bikes. Honda says the new VFR, which will be sold in North America as a 2010 model, will use the transmission.

The dual clutch transmission is electronically controlled and works in three operating modes: D (regular) and S (sporty) in automatic, and a six-speed manual operation, "which delivers the same shift feel as a manual transmission," according to Honda’s press release.

The transmission will be put into other motorcycles, "particularly sports models destined for use in developed countries," as time goes by.

The dual clutch transmission uses one independent clutch for odd gears (1st, 3rd, 5th) and the other for even gears (2nd, 4th, 6th). Here’s how Honda describes it:

"The two clutches operate alternately to effect gear changes. For example, when changing from 1st to 2nd gear, the computer detects the up-shift and engages 2nd gear, then releases the 1st-gear clutch while engaging the 2nd-gear clutch to achieve a seamless gear change. While some dual-clutch transmissions tend to be bulky, the new system employs original technologies such as dual input shafts, exclusive in-line clutch design, and concentration of hydraulic circuitry beneath the engine cover to achieve a compact design. Compactness and lightness is further enhanced through the use of a simple shift mechanism design based on that of a conventional motorcycle shift drum. Optimized shift scheduling achieves fuel economy equal to or better than that of a fully manual transmission, enabling Dual Clutch Transmission to deliver both sporty riding and environmental performance combined."

Use the link above to see more pictures on Honda’s site.

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