All new Honda Goldwing will get Human Friendly Transmission

Apr 30, 2009 Full story: Motorcycle News 41

A Honda insider has hinted that the new Honda Goldwing will have a long list of rider aids including airbags, ABS, a version of the Human-Friendly Transmission or a motorcycle-specific twin-clutch gearbox, a new near-2000cc flat six engine, variable cylinder management and built in sat nav.

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Mark Bayer

Kansas City, MO

#1 Jul 2, 2009
I'm a Honda enthusiast, but please, please don't put the "automatic" in the Gold Wing (the HFT)! If they do, riders won't buy many of them. Honda executive, if you are planning to do so, make sure and offer a 6 speed as well so those of us who like the Wing could still buy one! The automatic failed in the 750, the 400, the DN-1, and it will fail big time in the Wing. As a friend must confront a friend when they see them making a big mistake, "just don't do it, turn around and walk away slowly so no one get's hurt"!!!
mmmmmarc

Belgium

#2 Jul 24, 2009
I don't agree. I have a Honda Silverwing (automatic transmission) and it is a terrific machine. I would not exchange it for anything, except a magnificent Goldwing with automatic transmission.

An automatic transmission in a sport bike is probably likely to fail. But what is a cruiser if there is no automatic transmission? I frankly don't understand why Honda has not yet introduced an automatic transmission on the Goldwing for many years.

Marc
Mark Bayer

Kansas City, MO

#3 Jul 28, 2009
The Silverwing is a great machine. Honda makes great motorcycles, but in the US there is the same as "no" demand for an "automatic" in a motorcycle! A scooter is a different machine. My comment was that when automatics have been introduced in the US, they have been a total market failure. Even the older automatics are not collected by the collectors. Put a 1970's CB750 for sale along with a CB750A and no one will want the automatic. One of the complaints made of many modern motorcycles is that they are so smooth that much of the fun is gone, an automatic reduces the experience even more. Honda is an innovative company and makes great bikes. They have been a tremendous engineering company! An automatic in a motorcycle which truly works well takes great engineering prowess, but at the end of the day, almost none will be purchased. The new DN-1 is a great bike in looks, design, engineering, and usability, but it's not selling "at all" in the US. great idea, great mechanics, just no demand here.
Kris

Woodbury, NJ

#4 Sep 6, 2009
Mark, where did you get the statistic that there is no demand. I think you speak for your self. A statistic of one!!! So far it's two against one. By the way, I've have owned eight motorcycles (mostly Harley-Davidson) and I would not miss the manual transmission. I guess by fun you mean getting hand cramps in stop and go traffic! By the way, the DN-1 is not selling due to price. The same as the goldwing. Honda needs to understand that bike should not cost more than 15K. They are following the lead of HD and look where that is leading them. HD is out to steal what they can from the consumer due to greed and the union labor agreement. In the end, they will figure out that only a select few will pay for motorcycles that cost more then cars! It time for the consumers to unite and stop buying bikes until the price drops by at least 30%. As I said earlier, I now own my last harley and it's up for sale.
James Thompson

Georgetown, KY

#5 Sep 29, 2009
I own a 2002 GL 1800, and I would like an automatic tranny as long as I don't have to give up performance. If this means less performance then I am in favor of a 6 speed. I am waiting for a new Goldwing to come out that is really different than my 02 and then I will make a purchase.
Jeff

Longwood, FL

#6 Oct 6, 2009
I love riding bikes i have down sizes from wings to a hondamatic broblems with my hands . Gold Wings with automatic would be a blssing.
Mark Bayer

Kearney, MO

#7 Oct 8, 2009
In all honesty, I have not done any serious research on the topic of automatic VS manual transmissions in motorcycles. I do a lot of riding with a wide variety of groups (and have done so for over 40 years), I am also involved in motorcycle events, and I talk about motorcycles at several levels with numerous serious motorcyclists, and I have "never" heard a call for automatics. It could certainly be the crowd that I am involved with but with those I converse with "automatics" are usually made fun of (like a guy buying a pink and white scooter with flowers on it rather than a black one with racing stripes). I want to make it clear, I have two friends who are crippled and ride, and they do need automatics. I really respect them for continuing to ride and would never see that situation as anything but heroic and to be greatly respected! Furthermore, I am not criticising the idea of automatics for motorcycles or scooters! I actually like Cushman's and the 1948 to 1962 Mustang's very much! Ive just never heard "any" cry at all for automatics. If you want one, buy one. My gut feeling is that those wanting motorcycles with automatics are in the vast minority. Cagiva has an automatic, Ridley has an automatic, Honda has the DN-1, and I know of some European bikes with semi-automatic transmissions. Perhaps as automatic transmissions are improved, they will catch on, but I doub't it. I didn't mean to offend or challenge anyone, It just seemed like a foreign topic in that it never comes up. On my news site: www.markbayersmotorcyclenews.9f.com
I have links to every major web-based motorcycle news site as well as nearly 40 other worthy motorcycle sites. I study the industry and am certainly willing to see things differently. If I am found to be wrong, I will acknowledge it, but as for me, I want a 6 speed and another 30 horse power in my Wing!
Mark Bayer

Kearney, MO

#8 Oct 8, 2009
I just wanted to add, the new 2010 Honda VFR 1200 will have a semi-automatic. Perhaps there is a change coming. Time and experience with this bike and transmission will tell. Honda has changed the world of motorcycling numerous times, perhaps this innovative transmission (the engine also includes some very high-tech developments)will usher in a new interst in automatics. I still doub't it, but Honda may prove me wrong! I certainly have a great deal of respect for Honda engineering, they are possibly the best in the world!
Brad Fordyce

Mora, MN

#10 Nov 17, 2009
When I hear people saying a bike with a automatic transmission is NOT a REAL motorcycle, reminds me of years ago when people said the same thing about a bike with an ELECTIC STARTER. I will never buy another manual transmission bike anymore than I would buy a pure, manual starting bike. I believe there is going to be a huge increase of bike riders BECASUE of new automatic bikes.

Since: Oct 09

Location hidden

#11 Nov 17, 2009
I suspect that automatics will get more and more popular like trikes have, I personally have neither, but with many new riders and kids who've never driven a stick shift, and older riders and some women who are interested but over whelmed by trying to manage the clutch (I'm a woman but I have driven a stick and can handle a clutch fine) and also the increased interest in cross country biking-anything that makes people more comfortable and last longer on the road-ease of use will become popular. That is true especially these days as priorities are shifting (kind of a pun-eh?) toward easy and efficient-meaning more miles a day and less effort. This is not a bad thing in itself-more riders=more tolerance and visibility for all riders.
Mark Bayer

United States

#12 Nov 17, 2009
Before 1905, many felt like the motorcycle would never last. By the 1920's, many in the US (not so in Europe) felt like the car would make the motorcycle obsolete. After WWII, motorcycles were limited to the rebel crowd (again in the US only), and many felt that motorcycles would have only a very marginal market. When gear shifting went from tank shifters to foot shifters (late 1940's and British bikes in the mid 1930's), the purists said this was a bad thing! They also said that the Japaneese would never be able to sell large "cc" bikes. At one time, the British felt like 650cc was the largest an in line twin could be. Electric starting was also seen as a "modern invention" not wanted by the purist (as mentioned above)as was water cooling. Who would have thought of a motorcycle with a GPS system on board, a motorcycle with an air bag safety system, a street motorcycle which can top nearly 200mph, or a motorcycle with a diesel, Wankel, or electric motor! We could only guess about the bikes of the future, and I'm sure if the new "twin clutch automatic" is as good as Honda says it is (and they have been right many more times than wrong), it may be the trend of the future. As for me, I get a serious thrill from the old British bikes and any vintage bike from the 1960's and earlier! Nothing is more beautiful than a late 1960's Matchless G85CS! Check out another site I maintain: www.vcme.9f.com
Mike Brown

Irving, TX

#13 Nov 19, 2009
Mark, I'm with you 100% on the "no automatic Gold Wings" thing. I'd also heard of the possiblity of Honda putting an automatic in the GW. And, for this reason, among others, I opted to purchase a new '09 'Wing six weeks ago. I knew I liked the GL 1800 as it is currently and was not willing to take the chance of disliking (read: not purchasing) the new automatic Wing. Several of my long time Gold Wing-riding friends and I have discussed the possible offing of an automatic GW, and all are rather putoff by the idea. If a motorcycle (Gold Wing) does not manually shift, then it is of little interest to us. Incidentally, this most recent purchase is my third Gold Wing in five years, and my sixth motorcycle since 1970...manual shifters all. Should Honda add the automatic as an optional purchase, in addition to the manual shifting Wing, then we would say nothing further; however, if the automatic is the only option, then my vocabulary is indadequate to express my feelings!

Since: Oct 09

Location hidden

#14 Nov 19, 2009
The concern for me about an automatic, especially for a heavier, larger motorcycle would be the lessened ability to deal with problems that arise that a manual is ideal for. Very steep hills for one, engine problems that can be compensated for by transmission/clutch manipulation for another. If there is a problem with idle or loss of power, you can crank and slip the clutch and at least get home. I have heard that they can be made to have a manual over-ride. This may make both camps happy.
liner

Hicksville, NY

#15 Nov 19, 2009
Mark Bayer wrote:
Before 1905, many felt like the motorcycle would never last. By the 1920's, many in the US (not so in Europe) felt like the car would make the motorcycle obsolete. After WWII, motorcycles were limited to the rebel crowd (again in the US only), and many felt that motorcycles would have only a very marginal market. When gear shifting went from tank shifters to foot shifters (late 1940's and British bikes in the mid 1930's), the purists said this was a bad thing! They also said that the Japaneese would never be able to sell large "cc" bikes. At one time, the British felt like 650cc was the largest an in line twin could be. Electric starting was also seen as a "modern invention" not wanted by the purist (as mentioned above)as was water cooling. Who would have thought of a motorcycle with a GPS system on board, a motorcycle with an air bag safety system, a street motorcycle which can top nearly 200mph, or a motorcycle with a diesel, Wankel, or electric motor! We could only guess about the bikes of the future, and I'm sure if the new "twin clutch automatic" is as good as Honda says it is (and they have been right many more times than wrong), it may be the trend of the future. As for me, I get a serious thrill from the old British bikes and any vintage bike from the 1960's and earlier! Nothing is more beautiful than a late 1960's Matchless G85CS! Check out another site I maintain: www.vcme.9f.com
Mark! You struck a nerve with the old Brits! Back in the late 60s, I had a friend with a 66 Triumph single carb 650 (Tr6 I think it was called). He let me ride it often. Got very good at riding it home without benefit of a clutch cable, which broke often. Not to mention numerous fuses. Great fun though!
Randy

Prescott, AZ

#16 Dec 15, 2009
I just sold my Valkyrie, PC-800 and Kawasaki Versys. Rode the Versys to Alaska and back from Prescott last summer. I got a wild hair and sold all three of those bikes and bought a Honda DN-01.
I absolutely love the bike. I ordered a pair of Give Side Cases and also a Vi top case so I can carry the gear.I love this bike. What's not too like
Mark Bayer

United States

#17 Dec 19, 2009
Randy, I would love to hear about your experience with the DN-1. Here are my questions: 1. does it have sufficient power? 2.does it cruise at highway speeds with out being pushed? 3. what speed can you cruise at and feel comfortable (you and the bike)? 4. does it handle well on the highway? 5. is it heavy for the street? 6. compare the auto vs manual over ride systems, 6. is passing vehicles on the highway an issue? 7. what kind of gas millage do you get (auto vs over ride)? 8. does it have power for "two up" cruising? 9. has the ability to not have to shift gears manually become enjoyable! I am really interested in your insights! I have a section on my vintage Honda site for Honda "automatics"; www.markbayersvintagehonda.9f.com
Automatic on a Goldwing

Medford, OR

#19 Feb 14, 2010
I hope Honda does a CVT full auto trans. that also has a manual mode with a push button. I would definitely buy that. I currently have three Goldwings, a 1200cc 4cyl., a 1500cc 6cyl., & a GL 1800cc 6cyl. I would much rather be seeing the sights, then shifting the stinking trans.

I have been riding a motorcycle for 30years, I wish technology would finally catch up. I am also glad they came up with indoor plumbing, oh yea! and indoor toilets it make life nice.
Hollis Yates

Henderson, TX

#20 Apr 21, 2010
I am so to be 53 and have done it all on nearly every bike built. Started racing Moto-Cross then Flat Tracked and even Trials. Enduros and the big road bikes when I was not off road. I am a GM Auto Dealer and I have to laugh to my self when I hear people talk about the good old days of one car or another. The best is now not back then. No air conditioning, rough suspensions or sluggish supensions. Undependable and the list could go on and on. My point is I am a everyday rider and why would anybody not want more power and an Automatic transmission. Every year the bikes get greater and more fun. The same goes for cars. Bring on the Automatics!!!
Jerry Dallas

Waxahachie, TX

#21 Apr 23, 2010
I am 61 and still like a 4 speed or more in a car. However in heavy traffic which I am in often the auto is best. On a motorcycle I like the manual. In heavy traffic which I do not ride in much I am sure an auto would be great for a motorcycle. Also it is great for some people who can't ride because they can no longer shift. On the open road shifting is part of the experience to help enjoy twisties. I go with not only one but why not do like Corvette? Offer a choice!!

Since: Jan 10

Cary NC

#22 Apr 25, 2010
I hear the automatic GW will come with a maxipad dispenser...standard.

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