The new Dual Clutch Transmission in the Honda VFR1200F may already be headed for the dustbin of history. So may manual transmissions on all motorcycles. A&R reports that British transmission gurus Xtrac have developed something called the Instantaneous Gearchange System (IGS).
IGS works by using a ratchet and pawl mechanism between the gear hubs, the main shaft is able to select and engage two gears simultaneously, with only one set of drive gears. With two years of racing on the Instantaneous Gearchange System already completed, Xtrac believes IGS is ready for prime time, and adoption in OEM automobile and motorcycle solutions.
So, there’s no need for a clutch lever. Simply pop the shifter button and the next set of gears seamlessly engage with no loss of power. As an added plus, it’s not only far less complex than the DCT system, it’s also far lighter.
Yamaha’s Star brand of motorcycles recently joined the Harley-Davidson Rocker C and the Honda Fury in the factory chopper class with the Stryker. In the cruiser world, of course, bikes in the US are pretty much judged on how they stack up against Harley-Davidsons, so Motorcycle USA pitted the Stryker against the Rocker C. The conclusion was fascinating.
For its better handling, smoother ride, more refined gearbox and a responsive engine, we give the 2011 Star Stryker the nod as the better all-around motorcycle. Its MSRP is $8500 less, too, which holds a lot of weight in these challenging economic times. In comparison to the price of the Rocker C, it also will leave you with money in your pocket for customization. Ironically though, both testers agreed that if they could own one of these bikes, they’d take the Harley. We both enjoyed the extra low end grunt and the superior fit and finish. The Rocker C is full of character that other cruiser manufacturers have yet to duplicate, from the pulse of its engine to the sound emanating from its pipes.
In other words, the Stryker is the better all-around bike, but the testers would pay almost twice as much to buy the Harley.
I guess I understand that, but for the same price, why not buy both a Stryker, and a Ninja 650 for those fun Sunday rides?
Motocycle .com lists their ten hottest bikes for 2011. Among them are the new Ducati Diavel, Kawasaki ZX-10, and a bike that practically no one has even seen, the new BMW K1600GT.
I know that I’ll be seeing it as soon as they get one to California.
In addition, Motorcycle USA presents their annual Best of 2010 Awards.
Among other things, they list the BMW S1000RR as the Best Sportbike of the year. I haven’t ridden one yet since a pure sportbike isn’t really my cup of tea, so I see no reason to subject myself to the tortuous ergos. But I note that, while it won all of the MotoUSA shootouts, it hasn’t actually been the top bike on the WSBK circuit.
They also pick the Triumph Thunderbird as the best cruiser. So, go figure.
Well, the holidays are finally over, family obligations have been met,and my schedule is settling back down. I guess it’s back to motorcycle blogging again.