Driving report Yamaha FJR 1300 AS
The one with without
Shifting and moving off without using the clutch. Already a part of everyday life in the sporty four-wheel guild, Yamaha is now sending the FJR 1300 AS with an electronically controlled transmission onto the market. Not for more sportiness, but for even more relaxed touring.
The first grip goes nowhere. Guaranteed. You can’t get rid of this reflex-like grip on the clutch before the gearshift foot steps into action. Only: there is no clutch lever. Before starting the first exit with the FJR 1300 AS, you have to force yourself to keep your left hand still when stepping on the gearshift lever.
Tschack, the first gear is audible, the feared leap forward does not occur, the engine is still running. The electronically controlled transmission, named YCC-S, completely relieves the pilot of the clutch work. From now on he only takes care of the gear selection and the throttle. Electronic helpers take care of the rest.
Well then. Slowly step on the gas, the speed slowly increases and it rolls at just under 1800 revs Yamaha on. Anyone who tears open the gas too vigorously will reap a jagged grip on the clutch and research forwards accordingly.
The FJR has two options for switching work: as usual, using the gearshift lever, which is not connected to the gearbox. Or at the touch of a finger via a rocker switch attached to the left handlebar fitting, which must be activated separately. Jumping back and forth between hand and foot control while driving is no problem. In both cases, the gear lever goes to an electronic control unit which commands two servomotors. One operates the clutch via the hydraulic clutch cylinder, the other the gearshift.
Sounds more complicated than it is in practice. Even if the first starting, turning and shifting maneuvers are still timid and not very smooth. Has a bit of a first driving lesson. Because it takes a few minutes until the usual movement sequences are faded out and the play of the throttle hand with the clutch and shift processes runs synchronously. From then on, gear changes are at least as smooth as with conventional transmissions. According to Yamaha in 0.2 seconds. It runs most smoothly when the gas is closed as usual. If you leave the throttle valve open, the speed increases briefly while the clutch is being disengaged.
Stopping is similarly unspectacular. You roll to the traffic light with a gear engaged, the electronics compare the crankshaft and wheel speed with each other and actuate the clutch shortly before stopping. If you stay in third gear, it is still possible to shift into neutral.
Nobody needs to fear that electronics will turn downshifts before bends into an incalculable event. The clutch is engaged extremely smoothly, which even makes it possible to change gear without any problems in an inclined position. The electronics also prevent the driver from shifting down too far and over-revving the engine. Knocking the first one in 150 items is not possible. However, the electronics need some time to shift down. Each switching process is carried out separately. Stepped down two or three gears in one go, that works faster with a normal manual transmission.
Above all, however, the delicate interplay of clutch and throttle hand, which allows the 300 kilogram FJR 1300 to be maneuvered with precision to the centimeter when turning on a slope or in tight spaces, is not yet achieved by the YCC-S system. Turning maneuvers will only be as smooth as possible with a little practice.
On the other hand, it is quite a dressing-up affair to change gears with a casual finger pressure or a step on the gear lever on smoothly curved streets and otherwise let your left rest. Whereby this gain in comfort with an extra charge of 2000 euros compared to the FJR 1300 A – including heated grips – is not exactly cheap. If you want to try it out yourself: Yamaha offers interested parties three test drive appointments with the AS.
Automatic systems in motorcycle construction – the master gearshifts
The chapter on automatic motorcycles has more flops than tops in store. However, that could change in the future.
So far, the topic of automatic has been rather a shadowy existence among motorcycle developers. To this day, no well-known manufacturer has consistently addressed this topic. In the seventies, who were keen to experiment, several motorcycles appeared on the market that wanted to save their driver from having to switch gear.
Moto GuzziV 1000 i-Convert
In 1975 the V 1000 I-Convert rolled off the assembly line at Moto Guzzi. Strictly speaking, the Convert did not have an automatic transmission at all. A torque converter from Fichtel & Sachs established the connection between the longitudinally installed V2 engine and the two-speed transmission. Its speed levels were selected conventionally using the gearshift lever. Nevertheless, the Convert had a completely normal clutch. She served
but only to switch back and forth between the two speed levels while driving. The torque converter, on the other hand, was responsible for engaging the vehicle when moving off.
Honda CB 400 A
Honda tried its luck on the German market in 1978 with a similar concept. The 750 Four has been running in the USA since 1976
with a semi-automatic without problems. So the decision was made to offer the CB 400 A with hydraulic torque converter and two-speed transmission in Germany. As with the Moto Guzzi, the driver could choose between two gears using the gear lever, of which the
first reached up to about 110 km / h. In contrast to the Convert, the Hondamatic of the CB 400 A enabled gear changes without the aid of a clutch. What both had in common, however, was the somewhat getting used to driving behavior, especially when taking off the gas. And the unfounded optimism of its makers about the market opportunities. Both models found, unlike the Honda Dax, with a three-speed half-car-
matic, few lovers.
Automatic transmissions have also been experimented with off paved roads. At Husqvarna in Sweden, Enduros with centrifugal clutches and three-speed automatic were produced in the early 1980s. And although the system showed weaknesses in practice, especially when jumping, Bo Edberg finished eighth with the Husqvarna 430 in the 500cc Motocross World Championship in the mid-eighties.
Suzuki Burgman 650
In the present, the most famous form in scooters and scooters is dashing around under the name Variomatik. A centrifugal clutch creates the frictional connection between the engine and the transmission. The gear ratio change is done by two variable pulleys that are connected to one another via a drive belt. The Suzuki Burgman 650 has the most highly developed form of this type of construction. Its electronically controlled transmission makes it possible to choose between automatic, normal and power mode by means of a rocker switch on the handlebars, or even to select five fixed gear steps in shift mode.
Otherwise, the principle of the torque converter with two-speed gearbox has only survived in an exotic version. The Boss Hoss torque strolls through the country with a Chevy V8 and 8.2 liter displacement.
In the off-road scene, mechanical centrifugal clutches from Revloc or Rekluse are increasingly appearing for retrofitting. They make the clutch lever unnecessary when starting off and are intended to ensure perfect acceleration and the crucial meters before the first corner, especially at the start of the race. But something is happening again in the development departments of large manufacturers. At BMW, an electrically operated circuit is evidently being considered. Honda even presented the DN-01 study with a fully automatic transmission at the Tokyo Motor Show and the Milan trade fair. And promptly received such positive reactions from the audience that the implementation of the concept is now being tackled. The topic of automation seems to have a future more than ever.
Four-cylinder, four-stroke in-line engine, two overhead camshafts, four valves, displacement 1298 cm3, 105.5 kW (144 PS) at 8000 rpm, 134 Nm at 7000 rpm, electronically controlled oil bath clutch and five-
gearbox, cardan. Bridge frame made of aluminum, telescopic fork Ø 48 mm, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, ABS. wheelbase
1515 mm, steering head angle 64 degrees, caster 109 mm, spring travel f / h 135/125 mm, dry weight 268 kg. Colors: blue / white, silver metallic, gold-silver metallic.
Price including utilities 17,495 euros
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