Monday, March 2, 2009

Why Automatic Clutch?

Nearly every time a fellow motorcyclist finds out that I just purchased a brand new FJR-1300AE, the very next question is: "Why did you buy the automatic clutch version?" There are a few basic reasons for this:

Convenience. I live in Southern California; Los Angeles, to be clear. Land of millions of people traversing a finite and aging road system with limited public transport. Traffic. I like being able to control exactly what gear my bike is in at any given moment. I love not having to pull in a clutch to do it.

Perks. By choosing the "AE" model, I also gained heated grips and what is without a doubt the most gorgeous color combination Yamaha has produced for the FJR's. Critical? No. Cool? Yes.

Non-traditionalist. Coming from a cutting-edge scooter background (a later post will cover my past history of bikes), I am very much a non-traditionalist when it comes to two-wheeled transport. I like technology -- I've ridden numerous full-auto bikes, bikes with two wheels up front, bikes with storage where the tank usually is. I am not concerned with being different, and don't mind taking advantage of the latest developments.

To be clear, I would not have chosen the automatic clutch version of the FJR if it was associated with a torque-robbing CVT transmission or other performance hinderance. The FJR has five very real gears and never shifts for me. Just the way I like it.

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