Honda to Market New Automatic Transmission

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Honda last month revealed plans to begin marketing a full-sized motorcycle featuring a newly developed automatic transmission. The DT-01 operates with what Honda calls Human-Friendly Transmission (HFT), which is based on the OEM's infinitely variable hydraulic mechanical transmission.

The bike, first shown in 2005 at the Tokyo Motor Show, is powered by a 680cc liquid-cooled, twin-cylinder four-stroke engine.

Encompassing functions for starting, power transmission and shifting on a single shaft, HFT's basic configuration consists of an oil pump for converting engine power into hydraulic pressure, and an oil motor for converting the hydraulic pressure back into power for output. Both are made up of multiple pistons, a distributor valve and a swash plate for piston operation. The cylinders are integrated into the output shaft, forming the characteristic structure of the HFT.

To accommodate different riding styles, HFT offers two shift modes — "D" for ordinary riding and "S" for sport riding. It also offers a six-speed manual mode. — Guido Ebert