In India, bikes with gears are the preferred choice as compared to gearless bikes because geared bikes offer a better fuel economy. Some riders say that you can never get bored of a geared bike because you are always busy with the clutch, transmission and accelerator. However, in stop and go traffic and congested roads, automatic transmission bikes can be very convenient and enjoyable.
If you don’t have to worry about constantly changing gears, you can spend more time enjoying the ride. Automatic transmission on bikes also tends to make the ride quality much smoother without any jerks or sudden drops in acceleration.
Gearless bikes are making an impact on the Indian market, because riders are learning about the advantages of automatic transmissions. Ungeared bikes offer a unique experience to the rider, because a smooth ride is provided by the automatic gearbox.
Automatic transmission motorcycles are also popular on the global market. Riding an automatic bike is a fun experience, and for those who are new to biking, it offers a great way to learn the dynamics of a two-wheeler without having to worry about staying in the right gear or operating a clutch.
Read on to learn more about automatic transmission bikes as we list out some of the automatic motorcycles available in India.
Automatic Transmission Bikes
A bike with an automatic transmission is easy to ride, because the rider just has to twist the throttle without using a clutch lever or gear shifter. Automatic transmissions are quite expensive, therefore they are found mostly on premium bikes that come with a host of other features like traction control, and ABS
Here is a list of the coolest automatic transmission bikes that you can buy. They may be expensive, but they are definitely worth it.
Honda VFR 1200 F
The Honda VFR 1200 F was launched in 2009, and comes with stylish looks and an aggressive stance. It has an iconic V shaped headlight that helps the bike stand out in a crowd. The VFR 1200 F is a true sports bike and riders will love its performance and ride handling.
LED lights at the rear and aerodynamic styling of the tank make the bike look sporty and ready to take on anything. The rising position is high but comfortable and both ends get massive disc brakes to ensure the bike stops without any fuss.
Priced at around 17 lakhs, the bike produces 172 bhp of power and 129 Nm of torque from its 1237 cc, liquid cooled engine.
Honda has a great reputation for sports bikes in India and globally. Road testers have vouched for the VFRs smooth ride and effortless power plant.
Honda NC700X DCT
Honda is a coveted brand of motorcycles in India because of their excellent build quality, reliability and all-round performance. This makes Honda bikes very desirable in India. The NC700CX DCT is no exception. It comes with an ultra-refined engine mated to a DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission). You won’t find a clutch lever on this bike because the gearbox is semi-automatic with a shift up and shift down button.
The Honda NC700X DCT comes with a 14-litre fuel tank, and a kerb weight of 219 kg, giving the bike superb handling characteristics. The chassis is sturdy and durable for on and off roading. With around 51 HP pf power and 62 Nm of torque, this 670-cc engine is powerful enough to take you anywhere, considering it has a steel truss frame that can handle all kinds of terrain.
There are multiple driving modes to choose from such as neutral and sport and the bike is priced around 18 lakhs. This motorcycle has incorporated advanced technology which makes it truly an outstanding piece of machinery.
This bike is the epitome of ultra-chiselled, technologically advanced, hyper naked machines. The headlights are a twin pod of LEDs that give the bike a futuristic styling. Sharp winglets along the radiator fins add to that out of this world look and the design definitely turns heads wherever you go.
The short tail imparts a compact yet powerful look. A radical motorcycle indeed, the Yamaha MT-09 sports refined body panels, fully adjustable front suspension forks, an automatic transmission that includes fast shifts and a slipper clutch for precise downshifting from high rpms.
The motorcycle also comes with an advanced traction control system that makes it safe at high speeds and while cornering. The engine is a 3 cylinder fully exposed unit sans fairing.
Harley Davidson LiveWire
The LiveWire is Harley Davidson’s very first electric motorcycle and is truly a sight to behold. It comes with a powerful electric motor sporting 105 HP and 86 ft/lbs of torque mated to a fully automatic transmission.
A departure from their trademark V-Twin engines, the Live Wire is aimed squarely at a different target audience. Harley Davison’s electric motorcycle has a range of 146 miles making the bike very practical and sporty at the same time. It debuted in 2019 and since then has been making waves.
Rapid acceleration from the transmission can be achieved via a belt drive that powers the rear wheel. The Harley Davidson LiveWire has proved itself to be a capable machine just like Tesla has done with the Model S. Also read how to increase bike mileage.
Aprilia Mana 850 GT
This motorcycle sports an automatic transmission consisting of a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) along with manual shifters. The engine is an 839 cc V Twin arranged at 90 degrees.
The engine produces 76 BHP of power and 73 Nm of torque and has three driving modes namely sport, touring and rain. The motorcycle has a 16-litre fuel tank and can reach a top speed of 193 km/h.
The bike is available for 13 lakhs and is one of the best bikes with automatic transmission in the market.
KTM Freeride E
This electric motorcycle from KTM has a “go anywhere” motto. It sports an automatic gearbox and a steel / aluminium composite chassis that extends the “ride anywhere” theme of the bike.
The engine is a brushed DC motor with a 2.1 kWh battery pack that can be charged in just 90 minutes. The KTM Freeride E is a lightweight motorcycle at just 204 lbs so you can take it off roading with ease.
The exact range has not been confirmed, but varies on the riding style and rider.
Honda Africa Twin
The Honda Africa Twin is so called because of its numerous wins in the Dakar Rally, winning the event four times in a row. Right from the beginning with the XRV650 Africa Twin, Honda has relied on its experiences at the rally to further
develop this off roader.
The latest edition of the Africa Twin, the CRF1100L preserves the spirit of Dakar and provides a riding experience like no other, perfected and honed in the deserts of Africa.
Out on the open road, the Honda Africa Twin rides as smooth as silk. You can travel long distances in comfort. It has a massive 24 litre fuel tank that allows you to stay on the road for longer without stopping for fuel.
Massive fairings upfront keep the wind off the rider, and the height adjustable seats and heated handlebar grips keep you comfortable at all times. Even the windscreen is height adjustable to buffet wind over the rider at high speeds.
The Honda Africa Twin is especially durable with a large skid plate and side protection to rule any surface. The headlight cluster consists of LED daytime running lights for added safety and visibility.
The motorcycle comes with a DCT (Dual Clutch
Transmission) with a sequential gearbox making rides extremely convenient and comfortable.
An all-electric motorcycle, the Zero SR/F has an automatic transmission and can reach a top speed of 124 mph. It produces 110 HP pf power and 140 ft/lbs of torque. It sports a futuristic design that is powerful and beautiful.
The bike costs around 15 lakhs but is so technologically advanced, it's worth every penny. The motorcycle has a 14.4 kWh battery pack and is equipped with a steel trellis frame pushing the bike to the peak of all electric bike performance.
The operating system on board the motorcycle is called Cypher III+ which can be upgraded to boost power and torque figures. The stability control is courtesy Bosch and the motorcycle gets turn by turn navigation features.
The bike gets several driving modes to suit the preference of the rider and terrain, which can be controlled via a dash interface to select standard, eco, sport rain and canyon modes.
Although this bike has not been released in India as yet, it is expected to cost 13-14 lakh when launched very soon.
What is the use of automatic transmissions in bikes?
Automatic transmission bikes are growing in popularity not just globally, but in India as well. There is a certain charm to riding a bike with automatic transmission as opposed to a motorcycle with manual transmission.
Automatic transmission is good for experienced bikers as well as new riders. It takes away the effort of constantly shifting gears, especially in stop and go traffic. There is no practise required before riding a bike with an automatic transmission. Just twist the throttle and move forward, then use the brakes to slow down. No clutch or gear mechanisms to bother with.
Why are manual transmission bikes preferred to those with automatic gearboxes?
Manual transmission bikes are more popular than their automatic counterparts for the reason of higher fuel efficiency, they are more reliable, cost less and provide better acceleration.
It is a fact that automatic transmission bikes have a lower fuel economy than manual transmission. In automatic transmission bikes, the gears are changed to keep the ride smooth and not necessarily to make best use of the ratios for fuel economy.
For quicker acceleration, a manual transmission is superior because the low gear ratios can be held for longer making full use of the engine power. In automatic transmissions, the gears are changed according to the ECU that is governed by a slew of parameters that don’t include quick acceleration.
However, there are bikes available with sport mode that can give manual geared bikes a run for their money.
Manual transmission bikes are also a lot cheaper than automatics because the gearboxes are a lot simpler and don’t have complex components that add to the overall cost of the motorcycle.
It has been observed that manual transmission bikes are more reliable than automatics because of their simpler components.
Why do motorcycles come with manual transmissions when there are so many gearless scooters in the market?
Motorcycles are used by enthusiasts, adventurers and for long distance travel whereas scooters are used for city commutes and short drives.
Automatic transmission bikes weigh a lot more than manual transmission bikes and they also cost a lot more. An expensive motorcycle is not a preferred choice by buyers.
Manual motorcycles are more useful especially when going off road, where changing gears and being in the right gear ratio is important to ride safely.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of automatic transmissions?
Some of the advantages are:
· Comfort and convenience in traffic
· Easy to ride even for beginners
· Automatic downshifts lead to better stops
· Sports modes can improve acceleration
Disadvantages of automatic transmission
· Heavy components lead to overall higher weight
· Expensive to buy
· Not many models for the entry level motorcycle
· Less control due to absence of gears
Are automatic bikes more powerful than manual transmission bikes?
Power depends on the type and size of the engine and not the transmission. A more powerful bike whether it is automatic or manual will out perform a less powerful bike.
The only difference is with manual transmissions, you can use all the available power in each gear ratio and upshift only when you decide that the power has been extracted. In automatic bikes, the gear shifts according to various parameters like throttle position, engine rpm, amount of resistance, vehicle speed, etc. The rider is left with less control in an automatic bike. Also read fastest bike in the world.
Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Harley Davidson and Aprilia are the major manufacturers that have motorcycles available with automatic transmissions. They are getting more popular in India due to their convenience and comfort levels, as well as the smooth and effortless riding experience they offer.
The Indian motorcycle market is now demanding more fully automatic motorcycles as the advantages of them become more well known. Just like cars where manual transmission used to be the gearbox of choice in the past, in the bike world, riders are moving away from manual transmission in favour of automatic transmissions.
We hope the list of motorcycles in this article provides a good overview of automatic transmission bikes in India.