With the introduction of its new Honda E-Clutch technology as an option on the CBR650R and CB650R for 24 year model, Honda will open up a whole new aspect of the motorcycling experience for riders of every type and experience level.
Honda E-Clutch takes elements of the technology and performance of quickshifters, manually-operated clutches and Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission technology to create a unique blend of these well-proven approaches. The ultra-compact system weighs only 2 kilograms and the clutch and transmission hardware themselves are no different from a conventional motorcycle, which aids the feasibility of future applications.
In operation, Honda E-clutch is simplicity itself, taking away the need to use the clutch lever to make a shift either up or down the gearbox. The rider simply has to operate the shift pedal for ultra-fast, consistent gear changes, bringing extra enjoyment to sporty riding. The clutch lever is also not needed when pulling away or coming to a stop. Becoming active as soon as the engine is switched on, the system manages both scenarios smoothly, while taking away the possibility of the engine stalling when in operation, providing extra convenience and peace of mind to town riding involving frequent starts and stops.
In addition to enjoyment and convenience, Honda E-Clutch brings ultimate flexibility. Should the rider wish, they are able to operate the clutch lever as normal at any time. When the clutch lever is used, the Honda E-clutch system will re-activate after less than a second above a certain engine rpm; after 5 seconds at lower engine speeds. Should the rider wish to turn off the system for a particular ride, this is also possible via the switchgear on the left handlebar. The change to manual operation is indicated by a letter ‘M’ on the instrument panel.
The Honda E-Clutch also allows the rider to select an ‘operation feel’ to set the strength of the force required on the shift pedal to make a gear change. Three settings are available: HARD, MEDIUM, and SOFT, each of which can be chosen independently for upshifting and downshifting. The technology will also advise the rider to shift down - via a symbol on the instrument panel - if it detects the motorcycle is in a high gear at a certain speed.
The Honda E-Clutch manages clutch engagement and disengagement based on its reading of parameters including vehicle speed, throttle opening angle, engine rpm, pressure on the shift pedal, clutch motor reduction gear angle, engine countershaft speed and gear position. The clutch is operated through an actuator unit with two motors situated inside the right hand engine cover. As the clutch is engaged or disengaged, the engine’s ignition timing and fuel injection are also controlled, resulting in smooth, shock-free shifting in any situation.
The new Honda E-clutch system is set to offer riders across Europe a ‘next level’ riding experience, and is another symbol that Honda, 75 years since its foundation, is committed to building on its rich history of rider-focussed innovation.
Junya Ono, Large Project Leader, Honda E-Clutch: “Our Honda E-Clutch is designed to offer motorcyclists a new kind of experience that can make their riding even more fun and exciting. It also adds peace of mind and comfort to town riding or the daily commute. We hope that many riders will try our new system to enjoy the unique mix of sportiness and flexibility it offers.”