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Author Topic: CRF1100 Africa Twin - Welcome back Honda!  (Read 5185 times)

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Offline Beserker

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Re: CRF1100 Africa Twin - Welcome back Honda!
« Reply #80 on: October 24, 2019, 03:27:49 pm »
Ons is van plan om die 18. Okt daar by Hobas te kamp, ry jy saam?

Skip Hobas..was there about a month ago.

The bar did not even have beers for the 2 nights that we were there - rode through to Canyon Roadhouse for dinner.
The Credit Card machine did not work, had to drive through to the roadhouse to draw cash.

Very clean place, convenient to the Fish River Canyon though.
My Ride  :ricky:  Angola   Namibia  Northern Cape  Kids
 
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Offline Beserker

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Re: CRF1100 Africa Twin - Welcome back Honda!
« Reply #81 on: October 24, 2019, 03:31:05 pm »
That being said the original argument remains the same.  DCT is not too novice friendly when it comes to technical terrain

Beg to differ...the DCT is much better, especially for the more novice rider.

Did route where I nearly burnt the clutch on an HP2, the DCT never missed a beat...it is seriously impressive.
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Offline Bwana

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Re: CRF1100 Africa Twin - Welcome back Honda!
« Reply #82 on: October 24, 2019, 04:12:09 pm »
the DCT is the only seamless gearbox currently available to the public

Eh no, there's no seamless 'boxes commercially available at all, but perhaps you mean DCT-box.
Seamless boxes are currently being experimented with in MotoGP, and if anything they're super finicky and need very regular maintenace..... hardly promising for us public  ;)

The DCT is a type of seamless gear box but totally different to the one used in Moto GP as dual clutch gearboxes were banned in both F1 and moto GP.
 

Offline BuRP

Re: CRF1100 Africa Twin - Welcome back Honda!
« Reply #83 on: October 24, 2019, 06:23:46 pm »
The DCT is a type of seamless gear box but totally different to the one used in Moto GP as dual clutch gearboxes were banned in both F1 and moto GP.

Eh... no, it really isn't seamless, it is just that it feels lightning quick.
A DCT's gearbox is always - really - in 2 gears, the active one decided by one of the two clutches.
To 'change gear' the clutch trows the other one active, a minute distance moved hence seriously quick.... but not quite seamless like a real seamless box which has none (read: absolute zero) of that.
The latter bit makes it a box of tricks, and as said we're a long way off yet to see a seamless box for the public.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2019, 06:27:35 pm by BuRP »
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Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: CRF1100 Africa Twin - Welcome back Honda!
« Reply #84 on: October 24, 2019, 06:30:48 pm »
The word "seamless" is simply a collective name describing the quickness of shifting from one gear to another.

The MotoGP technology is one type in a range of seamless boxes.

Sometimes an engine with very linear power output is also described as seamless.
 

Offline BuRP

Re: CRF1100 Africa Twin - Welcome back Honda!
« Reply #85 on: October 24, 2019, 07:46:21 pm »
Let's ask Google "definition of seamless gearbox"
It responds with a plethora as usual but the first hit is this:

A seamless gearbox is one that does not go into a neutral between disengaging the first gear pair and engaging the next pair. ... When the seamless gearbox first appeared in 2011 on the factory Hondas, we all reflexively first thought of the time saved by eliminating the neutral between gears.

That's a unique gearbox then, called 'seamless'!  ;)
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Offline Bwana

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Re: CRF1100 Africa Twin - Welcome back Honda!
« Reply #86 on: October 25, 2019, 09:55:55 am »
From my understanding a Dual Clutch Transmission DCT also eliminates neutral between gears that would then make it seamless.
 

Offline BuRP

Re: CRF1100 Africa Twin - Welcome back Honda!
« Reply #87 on: October 25, 2019, 12:27:25 pm »
Sorry Bwana, but there is a HUGE difference between a gearbox that seems seamless (like a DCT) and a Seamless gearbox, the latter being a rather special type of gearbox, fairly new and still experimental also.

Let's start with the DCT.
In principle a DCT is a dual gearbox with each a clutch, and when changing gear the drive force is switched between the clutches hence gearboxes hence gears. Note that clever packaging makes it look like one unit but mechanically it is two.
During gearshifts one clutch is released first, then next the other clutch engages.
This does happen very quick though, imperceptible for us giving a seamless impression - but it is not!
Firstly, during clutch-switching (which in fact is switching into another gear) there is a definite un-engaged transition (call it a neutral).
And secondly, during landing of the second clutch the differential energy between rotational masses is absorbed, the clutch slips a bit hence becomes warm - which is a loss of energy.
Mind, dependent on the dynamics of the vehicle this may also be the case when the first clutch opens, some energy may be lost here too, but let's leave this aside.
Let's say the box very quickly changes at 10,000rpm to the next gear which corresponds to 8,000rpm - which means the kinetic energy differential of the too-high spinning crankshaft must go somewhere!
Let's assume the throttle is held WO so the engine's power during that short-lived neutral also has to go somewhere ... it is partly absorbed in the clutch as friction plus stored as rotational energy in the clutch's rotating mass itself, and this provides an amount of drive (like a flywheel).
If the above scenario would actually happen (throttle WO!) then we would notice a big jolt, but with a DCT the ECU intervenes here making for smooth changes (and yes, the ECU also controls the clutch-engage periods) - whilst you hold it at WO yes, the ECU simply overrides you here.
Sure, we perceive all this as smooth if not seamless, but it definitely ain't the latter.
Bottom line is though, a DCT wastes a bit of energy during gear transitions!

A Seamless gearbox does not!
Also, the nomer 'seamless' is a bit of a misnomer, as transitions are instantaneous therefore producing large jolts hence big strains of all the mechanics, the poor crank is literally forced into submission (and my hunch is that some form of elastic couplings absorb the kinetic differences during gearchanges after which they will release this as drive (kinda cushdrives)).
They basically work on the principle of 'zero play' which is mechanical utopia, and therefore they actually cannot function - but do in F1 & MotoGP. Know that they are stripped after each outing and fully rebuilt.
Also know that if something is not perfect they can lock into two gears simultaneously, instantly locking the drivetrain hence wreaking all kinds of havoc, they can be downright dangerous!
But, and the main reason for their existence is, they do not waste energy during gear changes like any other type of gearbox does, making for quicker acceleration times!


The reason why I commented was that you said the DCT was the first seamless box in production - and it really is not, I even doubt it if ever we will see one.
But I agree with you that the DCT AT feels super seamless shifting wise, it's an awesome piece of kit!  :thumleft:



Added later:
Perhaps worth knowing is that any DCT is less efficient than a normal gearbox (including a seamless one) making for a slightly higher consumption.
This is due to the fact that the idle clutch (the open one) produces some friction. It spins the whole time (in fact it is always engaged to a gear) and the coolant (oil when wet, air when dry) causes friction. It follows that the losses of a wet clutch are typically higher than a dry one.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2019, 12:56:16 pm by BuRP »
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Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: CRF1100 Africa Twin - Welcome back Honda!
« Reply #88 on: October 25, 2019, 01:40:59 pm »
Let's ask Google "definition of seamless gearbox"
It responds with a plethora as usual but the first hit is this:

A seamless gearbox is one that does not go into a neutral between disengaging the first gear pair and engaging the next pair. ... When the seamless gearbox first appeared in 2011 on the factory Hondas, we all reflexively first thought of the time saved by eliminating the neutral between gears.

That's a unique gearbox then, called 'seamless'!  ;)

No auto box goes into neutral between gears. They are all seamless to an extent.
 
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Offline Bwana

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Re: CRF1100 Africa Twin - Welcome back Honda!
« Reply #89 on: October 28, 2019, 08:42:13 am »
Old auto and even most modern gearboxes worked on a Fluid Coupling or torque converter (no Clutch). These were and are sluggish and definatley not seamless as there was a jerk as they changed.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2019, 07:31:16 pm by Bwana »
 

Offline Kobus Myburgh

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Re: CRF1100 Africa Twin - Welcome back Honda!
« Reply #90 on: October 30, 2019, 05:33:46 am »
Here’s a nice write up by Steve Rose in line with the recent gearbox discussions:

Honda DCT; Biking’s biggest (and most misunderstood) step forward.



Imagine if someone made a motorcycle quick shifter that really worked as well as you hoped in every situation? Accurate, seamless gear shifts with the just the slightest tap on the controls. Imagine also if the controls were on the handlebar and so changing up or down, even at full lean angle could be done without fuss or worrying about getting your boot stuck between lever and tarmac?

Imagine also that the same gearbox did away with the need for a clutch lever and, at the lowest of low revs was unable to stall? How cool would it be to filter through slow moving traffic without needing to constantly feather the clutch? How amazing would it be when riding off road to be able to descend a near-vertical muddy slope and just change down a gear without needing to shut the throttle or risk breaking traction by pulling in the clutch lever. And, how good would it be on a big touring motorcycle to change gears up-and-down without your pillion head-butting the back of your helmet?

So, here’s a thing. Honda’s Dual-Clutch-Transmission (DCT) does all of the above and it does them in the most subtly engineered way. DCT is as big a revolution in motorcycle control as it must have been in the early 20th century when gear-changing went from hand controls to feet and clutch control went from foot to hand.



Discrete grey paddles on the lhs switch gear control the quickest quick shifter you’ll ever use

DCT, when used in ‘manual’ mode – changing gears with a couple of small paddles on the left-hand switchgear – is just brilliant. Hard on the gas it makes every (and I mean every) other quick shifter on the planet feel clumsy and a waste of money. It’s ability to run at low revs and swap between smooth drive and no drive, without needing a clutch lever is a revelation in heavy traffic. Every set of traffic lights becomes a drag race you know you could win, and two-up riding is a pleasure. DCT should be the device that every single rider has at the top of their options list.

So why do so many riders (and especially so many bike reviewers) hate it?



RHS switchgear selects auto modes (ignore these) and manual option (on the rear of switch cluster)

 

The answer is simple. The system is built to be an automatic gearbox, not a manual one. Developed by the car industry, the manual shift facility is a sideshow in cars, but absolutely the reason it works so well in bikes. And, sadly, the auto function on Honda’s DCT takes a long time to get used to. It works much better on some bikes than others and, even once you’ve forgotten about it and just get on with riding, there will still be the odd occasion when it is in absolutely the wrong gear at a moment when it really matters.

If Honda had launched DCT as a handlebar-controlled manual quick shifter and not built the auto-function into it, we would have all been raving about it, other manufacturers would have been compelled to build their own version and foot-change gearshifts would already be a thing of the past. Sadly, because it defaults to auto-mode when you engage it, most riders come away confused at best, and usually much worse than that.

 

How does DCT work?

In essence, there are two gear shafts. One containing gears 1,3 and 5 and the other with 2,4 and 6. Each shaft has its own clutch and the next gear is pre-selected while the previous one is running. This takes the split-second moment of transition out of every gearchange and also makes it much smoother. And because it’s controlled electronically, not physically, there are no microswitches or clunky engineering to cut the throttle etc. Even when you try and fool DCT by manually changing down while still accelerating, the shift is still almost instantaneous and still as smooth as you like.

For a more detailed description of DCT’s operation click here.



2010 VFR1200 was the first Honda to get DCT

 

DCT model history

The first generation DCT launched on the 2010 VFR1200F was awful in auto mode – changing up far too early in the ‘D’ setting and not much better in Sport mode. Honda didn’t help matters by launching DCT on a typical launch-type twisty German mountain route. We were going into tight, slippery (it was raining) second-gear corners with the bike still in fifth gear, only for it to change down to fourth or third right at the wrong moment, leant over, when you’d least expect it.

In manual mode it was brilliant, and I came away converted in part.

By the time the VFR1200 motor arrived in the Crosstourer a couple of years later Honda had sorted out the algorithm and the auto gearchanges were more considered. Because the VFR motor has so much torque it didn’t really matter if you were cornering in fourth because there was enough drive to pull you round.

2016’s reborn Africa Twin seemed a weird choice of bike for DCT, but it turned out to be a stroke of genius. With even better-developed algorithms, the system worked well off-road, even in auto-mode because while navigating bumps, boulders and muddy trenches it turns out that not also having to worry about changing gear is a very good thing.

And by the time DCT hit the 2018 Gold Wing (where it is also linked to the riding modes), Honda had got the system pretty-much perfect.



DCT works really well on the Gold Wing, where it is also linked to the riding modes.

 

The only fly-in-the-ointment is on the NC700/750 range, where it works brilliantly in manual mode for all the reasons mentioned above but is awful in auto-mode. It’s the same issues as the early VFR1200; changing up far too early and holding onto gears for too long when slowing down. One simple example happened to me the other day on an X-ADV adventure scooter (which uses the NC750 driveline). Going into a mini-roundabout in the right-hand-lane, at 20mph it had only dropped down to fourth gear. As the road opened-up, the car alongside me needed to overtake a dawdler in front of him and so started to pull out into my lane, having failed to spot the world’s brashest super-scooter alongside.  No worries. I cracked open the throttle, but because the DCT had already changed up to fifth gear (at less than 30mph) the not-really-torquey-enough NC V-twin motor just bogged down, accelerating even more slowly than the car alongside.

Without the low-rev drive in high gears that the bigger DCT motors have, the X-ADV was vulnerable.

I could (and should) have just tapped the manual downshift button a couple of times to engage third gear for some brisker acceleration, but I’d slipped into auto-mode and was lucky to get away with it.

 

Other automatic bikes we ignored

Honda has history with automatic gearboxes. In the late-1970s they built a CB750 and CB400 with proper automatic gears including a car-type torque convertor. Aimed mostly at the American market they were heavier, slower and less economical than the standard manual bikes and more expensive too.

Moto Guzzi also built a car-type auto version of their V1000 in the mid-1970s. it was equally slow, thirsty and uninspiring to ride and also consigned to the quirky side of motorcycling’s historic garage.



Yamaha’s first-generation of semi-automatic FJRs too k a bit of getting used to

 

Yamaha FJR1300AS

This was an interesting one. The semi-automatic FJR1300 arrived in 2006 and was essentially a standard FJR with a fancy automatic clutch. The rider had to change gear with either a foot lever or hand paddles, but there was no clutch lever and it didn’t stall when you came to a stop.

It also didn’t automatically drop down to first gear at a standstill either, so you had to be careful not to try setting off in third gear.

Once moving the FJR’s system worked well, but at low speeds (filtering through traffic for example) it could be clumsy and clunky. Plus, setting off from rest – getting a heavy 140bhp sports tourer off the line took some practice and U-turns were pretty-much impossible.

The problem was that the -just-off-the-throttle response on a bike is critical and until you don’t have a clutch you don’t realise how much you rely on it. Honda’s DCT is almost perfect in this crucial area.



Aprilia’s Mana 850 had a scooter-style CVT with a chain final drive

 

Aprilia Mana 850

Like an enormous twist and go, Aprilia’s 2007 Mana had a belt-drive, scooter-style CVT (continually variable transmission), which could either be used as a full automatic or a pseudo-seven-speed-manual using pre-set positions on the drive cones. The system worked really well and deserved to be more successful than it was. Sadly, the Mana didn’t find a huge audience in the UK.



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Offline Kobus Myburgh

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Re: CRF1100 Africa Twin - Welcome back Honda!
« Reply #91 on: October 30, 2019, 08:08:31 am »
How it works: Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT)



Above: The two clutches are to the far right, each driving the appropriate coloured gears. The red and blue tubes at the back of the engine are the electro-hydraulic actuators

 

Honda is quietly fitting its DCT to more and more bikes that started with the VFR1200 in 2010. It’s now an option on everything from the NC700 commuter to the latest Gold Wing and Honda even adapted it so that it works off road on the Africa Twin. A DCT for the Fireblade can’t be far away and you can bet other companies (especially BMW which has experience of DCT from its car division) are working on them too.

 

What is DCT?

Think of it as a manual gearbox controlled by a very slick robot. In manual mode you can tell it when to change up and down and you’ll get a very slick, fast change. In auto mode, the bike decides when to change (you can alter its aggression depending if you’re in Rain or Sport mode, for example).

 

What are the advantages of DCT?

There are two biggies. Firstly a DCT is more efficient than a manual because there’s less of a gap between gear changes which means less time spent with no power going to the rear wheel. So you go marginally faster, or get marginally better fuel economy. Secondly, even in manual mode, the rider has one less job to do because there’s no clutch to worry about, so riding is slightly less taxing. And of course DCT can be set in an automatic mode where all gear changing duties are taken care of.



VFR1200 was the first production bike with DCT in 2010

 

But what are the disadvantages of DCT?

Cost and weight. A DCT usually adds around £1000 and 10kg. Plus there’s extra complication and the associated potential for things to go wrong.

 

So what is it? An auto box, like in a car?

If you mean a traditional car auto that slushes from gear to gear with all the aggression of a cabbage, then no, a DCT is not like that. But if you’re talking about the latest generation of dual clutch autos that are fitted to almost every performance car these days then yes, the system is similar, though not exactly the same. Incidentally, Honda’s ’seamless shift’ system on its MotoGP bikes is something else again - that’s not a DCT.

 

So, how does DCT work?

The system has two clutches, one controlling the even gears, the other doing the odds. By swapping drive from one clutch to the other, and changing which gears they pass the drive to, the system can smoothly shift up or down extremely quickly. For example, to change down a gear without DCT, you’d pull the clutch in, knock the gear lever down one gear while perhaps blipping the throttle to match the revs of the new gear, then let the clutch out. A DCT will just pull one clutch in as it lets the other out because the lower gear has already been selected and is ready waiting. It’s the same deal on upshifts, where a DCT can shift fast and imperceptibly – it’s that good.

 

This is a cross-section through a first generation DCT. Honda’s next gen one has the clutches either side of the crank input gear 

 

That sounds remarkably easy. Are you over-simplifying the mechanism?

Yes, a lot. Getting all this to work in the compact space available of a motorcycle is a technological feat. Honda’s system has the two clutch packs side by side (in cars they’re usually concentric, one round the edge of the other), with the pack nearest the gearbox driving a shaft that connects to 2nd, 4th and 6th. The outside clutch drive a shaft that runs within the other shaft (which is effectively a tube) and connects to 1st, 3rd and 5th (and 7th on the latest Wing). The two clutches are controlled by an electro-hydraulic system, which is itself controlled by the bike’s central computer (or ECU). So if you’re in Sport mode, the clutches will engage more aggressively for a faster, though slightly harsher change.

 

And how does it know which gear to engage next?

That’s the clever bit. The ECU knows whether you’re accelerating or decelerating, how much throttle you’ve got on (or how much brake) and what the load on the engine is. From this lot, and various other sensor inputs, it can make an accurate guess whether you will want a higher or lower gear next. You can fool it occasionally, but it’s rare – rolling towards traffic lights with the auto engaged for example, it will be changing down, expecting you to stop. But if the lights change and you gas it, it’ll have the wrong next gear engaged and there’ll be an electro-hydraulic panic which can result in a slight delay then a lurch as it eventually changes up. But that’s a rarity. Most riders with DCT keep it in auto all the time for good reason – it’s supremely effective.


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Offline Roadhawg

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Re: CRF1100 Africa Twin - Welcome back Honda!
« Reply #92 on: October 30, 2019, 08:34:47 am »
So are these new Africa Twins going to be all hype and no show like the previous one?
 

Offline Kobus Myburgh

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Re: CRF1100 Africa Twin - Welcome back Honda!
« Reply #93 on: October 30, 2019, 08:39:32 am »
So are these new Africa Twins going to be all hype and no show like the previous one?

Meaning?
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Offline Mpandla

Re: CRF1100 Africa Twin - Welcome back Honda!
« Reply #94 on: October 30, 2019, 09:09:36 am »
So are these new Africa Twins going to be all hype and no show like the previous one?

What was wrong with the previous one?
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Re: CRF1100 Africa Twin - Welcome back Honda!
« Reply #95 on: October 30, 2019, 09:47:16 am »
So are these new Africa Twins going to be all hype and no show like the previous one?

Honda never claimed they were going to build the fastest Adventure bike. No need to worry even with the new 1100 AT your 1290 will still be way faster  ;)
 
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Re: CRF1100 Africa Twin - Welcome back Honda!
« Reply #96 on: October 30, 2019, 10:26:28 am »
So are these new Africa Twins going to be all hype and no show like the previous one?

Honda never claimed they were going to build the fastest Adventure bike. No need to worry even with the new 1100 AT your 1290 will still be way faster  ;)

 ::) ::) ::) ::) ::)
If i had to explain you would not understand anyway......
 

Offline Willem-Ben

Re: CRF1100 Africa Twin - Welcome back Honda!
« Reply #97 on: October 30, 2019, 10:46:16 am »
Kobus,

Dit lyk my die honde kan nie jou taal verstaan nie - solank dit net start en raas of vinnig is dit verstaan hulle wel.
Dankie vir jou moeite ek verstaan ook nou beter.

Sommige mense kan net nie dankie se nie.
Cheers
 
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Re: CRF1100 Africa Twin - Welcome back Honda!
« Reply #98 on: October 30, 2019, 10:49:05 am »
Kobus,

Dit lyk my die honde kan nie jou taal verstaan nie - solank dit net start en raas of vinnig is dit verstaan hulle wel.
Dankie vir jou moeite ek verstaan ook nou beter.

Sommige mense kan net nie dankie se nie.
Cheers
Dankie vir die verduideliking. Indien ek in die mark was vir n ander bike sou die DCT heel bo aan my lys gewees het. :deal: :thumleft:
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Re: CRF1100 Africa Twin - Welcome back Honda!
« Reply #99 on: October 30, 2019, 10:51:56 am »
That stuff on the DCT was very interesting .............. a good read, tx  :thumleft:

However , being the 'fix my own bike' type of guy, that lot is a bit intimidating. Not the gear changing bit, that's simple mechanics, but I'm thinking a bit ahead when a clutch starts slipping, maybe wrong oil, etc, a sensor gets a bit iffy.

Even in manual mode, there's not much clutch there, just a few plates.

As great as it is, I see massive bills when it doesn't work well.

Would you buy a 2nd hand one with 100k on the clock?
Don't let fear hold you back ..... take it with you!