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A Look At Honda’s Proposed Clutch-by-Wire System

By General Posts

by Graeme Jones from https://www.rideapart.com

Computer-assisted clutch would open up new possibilities.

Recent filings with the US Patent Office reveal that Honda is working on a clutch-by-wire system that has the potential to bring some pretty noteworthy tech advances to motorcycles. Patent filings aren’t very easy to understand nor digest, so here’s a Clutch-by-Wire For Dummies version of the basics.

Think about it like a ride-by-wire throttle system, which replaced the age-old throttle cable with an electronic setup. Ride-by-wire, or throttle-by-wire, uses sensors and actuators that control the fuel injectors rather than a cable controlling carbs. Similarly, Honda’s clutch-by-wire system would eliminate the use of a clutch cable or conventional hydraulic setup entirely. Instead, the clutch lever’s position would be monitored electronically, and that data would be fed to the clutch, telling it what to do without any physical connection between the lever and the clutch itself.

Sounds simple, and yet… whoa.

The patent drawings show a hydraulic pressure control unit, which would serve as the heart of this system. In addition to gear lever position, this unit would be fed instantaneous data from the ride-by-wire system like rpm, throttle position, and vehicle speed. The most obvious result would be improved shifting and smoother clutch operation at slower speeds, great for newer riders and possibly something that could bring new blood into the sport.

For experienced riders that still want the usual lever feel, Honda’s got a “reactive force generation device” to replicate the feel of a conventional clutch lever.

According to the patent drawings, this system will employ a traditional clutch lever setup on the handlebar. Hydraulic pressure would still be used to engage the clutch, albeit via an electric motor rather than any direct physical connection from your hand. Neat, huh?

What’s the point, you ask? Well, in theory, this type of setup opens up many possibilities. Like ride-by-wire—which has brought us things like riding modes, traction control and launch control—Honda’s clutch-by-wire will be able to recognize when the clutch lever position isn’t optimal compared to wheel speed, rpm, etc. Smoother, more precise shifts are an obvious reward to this setup, but think about launch control: the motorcycle can now incorporate clutch lever position in addition to existing data like rpm, speed and even wheelie height to further optimize acceleration.

Given Honda’s success with the Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) setup, we see no reason why this technology won’t become reality in the near future.

Yamaha announce MSRP for Ténéré

By General Posts

The Ténéré 700 could be the most important new adventure bike of 2019. It isn’t as advanced, powerful, sexy or sophisticated as the many Japanese super bikes, but it is capable more accessible to the masses. It is desirable and affordable.

Yamaha Ténéré 700 has a launch date for the online ordering system. The first bikes will be delivered to customers in Europe on July 2019 at a special introductory price of €9,299 / £8399 – the normal price will be £8699. The online only price will be available between March 27 and July 31, when the ordering system closes.

No information about an early ordering system has been given for the U.S.A. at this time. Due to differing government regulatory standards and factory production line schedules, the Tenere 700 is scheduled to arrive at U.S. dealerships a year later in the second half of 2020. Europe receives three color options, so far, but Ceramic Ice will be the only color available for the U.S.A. market.

The T7 concept bikes and two years of Ténéré 700 waiting might suggested it started as an MT-07 ‘soft-roader’.

The power in the package comes from the MT-07’s CP2 689cc parallel-twin, wrapped in an all-new chassis, and rolling on proper off-road rim sizes (21-in. front, 18-in. rear). The engine guarantees off-road success with dedicated fuel maps for its new dual-purpose life which means a broad spread of torque, and plenty of power for the road. There’s also gearbox tweaks to suit the new purpose.

Yamaha claims that the combination of good fuel economy and a 16-litre tank capacity will give a real-world 215-mile+ range between fuel stops.

The all-new frame is a tubular steel double cradle, designed just for the Ténéré offers flexibility and finds traction in the rough stuff.

Quad-LED headlamps nestling behind the tall screen presents a new aesthetic face protecting the new all-LCD dash tower  that shows speed, rpm, fuel level and range, trips and more. Above this sits a very useful bar for bolting all your navigational needs.

There’s a 43mm inverted fork up front which offers complete damping adjustment and 210mm of travel. The rear has a remote preload-adjustable link-type monoshock providing 200mm of travel for its aluminium swingarm. Brembo brakes with 282mm discs up front, and a 245mm one at the rear is equipped with switchable ABS  that can be disabled for off-roading adventures.

• High-torque 689cc four-stroke CP2 parallel twin-cylinder engine

• 72.4 HP (54 kW) @ 9000 rpm

• Adjustable 43mm upside down coil-spring forks with long-travel (210mm)

• Remotely adjustable link-type rear suspension with 200mm of travel

• Compact rally-style cockpit with tapered handlebars

• 452 lbs (205 kg) wet weight

• 21-inch/18-inch lightweight spoked wheels with adventure tires

• Average 358+km (217 mile) fuel range

• Switchable ABS option

• 880mm seat height

Yamaha will release a wide range of Genuine Accessories for the Tenere 700. The line-up will include luggage options and several other items to enable riders to travel further in comfort and convenience. Yamaha will also offer several Rally-oriented items to further sharpen the bike’s off-road capability.