Honda To Market New Automatic Transmission for Motorcycles

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Honda revealed plans to market a full-size motorcycle featuring a newly developed automatic transmission.

The DN-01 motorcycle operates with what Honda calls the "Human-Friendly Transmission (HFT)," a system based on the manufacturer's infinitely variable hydraulic mechanical transmission. The bike, first shown at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2005, is powered by a 680cc liquid-cooled, twin-cylinder four-stroke.

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, while the cylinders are integrated into the output shaft, forming the characteristic structure of the HFT.

To meet with different riding styles, HFT offers a selection of two shift modes: D mode for ordinary riding and S mode for a sporty riding experience, or a 6-speed manual mode, which gives riders the option of riding with a manual transmission feel.

"The DN-01 is being developed in the concept of a comfortable sports cruiser, with the goal of creating new value for the customer by proposing a new level of riding pleasure," Honda said during the bike's initial introduction.