Features/ Tg-explains/ Yamaha Bikes Automatic Transmission

Yamaha Bikes Automatic Transmission

Automatic transmissions are not new, and they are also not new on motorcycles. However, the technology is typically reserved for scooters or high-end motorcycles. Until now, Yamaha has not ventured into the automatic motorcycle segment. But that's about to change. Yamaha has just teased the introduction of Yamaha Automated Transmission (Y-AMT) for their upcoming motorcycles, sparking a wave of anticipation and excitement among enthusiasts. Let's delve into its details and join in the buzz. 

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How Y-AMT Operates 

Similarly to Honda Africa Twin, Yamaha’s AMT has no clutch levers and allows you to take over the control with a switch lever operated by the fingers on both sides of the handlebar. A plus switch gear is used on the right upshifts, and a minus switch gear is used on the left downshifts. However, when pushing the motorcycle aggressively to avoid reducing the rider's grip, the “see-saw” switch on the right is designed to be pulled to shift gear up and pushed to shift gear down. 

The brand claims this alone is quicker and requires less thinking time, allowing you to hyper-focus on throttle and brake application, lean angle, body position and tyre grip levels to intensify the ride instead of a foot-and-hand combination. With Y-AMT, you don’t have to move your left foot from the footpeg, which ensures better control and grip over the motorcycle, especially during cornering, giving you a sense of security and command over your ride. 

Y-AMT Riding Modes

The Y-AMT-equipped motorcycles will have a dedicated switch to change the transmission mode on the right side. M, D, and D+ are the three ride modes made available on Y-AMT. These are very similar to the driving modes of an AMT car. M is for manual, and it lets the rider take over the control, as explained above. D is for drive, and it allows the motorcycle to upshift the gear at the lowest possible rpm for a relaxed ride.  D+ is for sportier driving, which holds the gear longer and shifts at a higher rpm. 

How Is It Y-AMT Different

Yamaha’s automatic transmission is basically a conventional transmission modified with an automatic actuator that operates the clutch and shifts gears. In four-wheelers, the system is widely popularised and was first introduced to India by Maruti Suzuki. Generally, AMT technology is cheaper to produce and easier to maintain. In the worldwide motorcycle scene, Honda has been the dominant motorcycle manufacturer with automatic transmissions for over a decade. They have made sophisticated dual-clutch transmissions (DCT) for premium offerings like Goldwing and Africa Twin. Recently, BMW and KTM have also teased launches with automatic transmissions for their ADV models, and we expect the first Yamaha bike to come with automatic transmission will also be some sort of adventure bike.  

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TopGear Magazine July 2024