Riding from Southern Thailand to Penang and fully enjoying the Honda DCT suite in Day 2 of the Honda Asian Journey 2016.
Day 2 of the Honda Asian Journey 2016 ride commenced today where participants got to clock in some proper touring miles crossing borders into Malaysia and practising all the learning from yesterday’s safety riding course.
Our ride began just outside the Sadao border station where we all geared up to ride the 50 bikes prepared by AP Honda Thailand. Today’s destination was Penang Island – approximately 170km of riding in total.
Much to our surprise and excitement, we found ourselves experiencing the Honda DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) system in its full prime whilst riding towards Penang. The machine we were assigned with was the seemingly controversial Honda NM4.
Honda DCT – True riding freedom?
The Honda DCT suite is a huge deal for the marque. It plans to implement the tech across a wide variety of bikes in the near future including its MotoGP racer. Honda believes that attaining “true riding freedom” comes from liberating the rider’s left hand and leg of the clutch lever and gear selector.
FACT: Honda is the first to implement DCT in production motorcycles, and it began with the VFR1200F sport tourer back in 2009. Since then, the Honda DCT has been primed in notable models such as the NM4, both the NC700 and CTX series models, and more recently the new CRF1000L Africa Twin adventure bike.
Benefits of DCT
The Honda DCT works just like any other rivalling twin-clutch automatic transmission systems. Having two separate clutches – one for odd and the other for even gear sets – grants quicker and smoother gear changes. This then improves both performance to a certain degree and fuel efficiency.
For the rider, it also means one less (critical) thing to worry about, which results in improved riding comfort and more time to enjoy what’s important – the ride of course! That’s exactly what we felt whilst riding the NM4 to from Thailand to Penang today – it really felt like a cinch.
And the Honda DCT suite’s benefits aren’t just limited to touring. For commuters and adventure riders, the added versatility from having no clutch lever to feather or gear selector to manage is a huge plus. Though it isn’t perfect, we reckon it is a matter of time before Honda refines it.
For now though, the existing system has made a number of Honda’s big bikes a whole lot easier to ride and much more appealing to the masses. Perhaps spreading the knowledge of this engineering marvel is one of the core parts of the Honda Asian Journey 2016 and its mission for the region.
Buzzing in Penang
Back to the ride and hosts Boon Siew Honda Sdn Bhd went the extra mile at hosting the Malaysian leg of the ride. The assembler and distributor organised a special evening soiree in the swanky Gurney Paragon Mall complete with a roadshow for the mass public.
While the core mission of the Honda Asian Journey 2016 lies its big bikes, it didn’t stop Boon Siew Honda from teasing a small yet hugely fun addition into its line up, the Honda MSX 125 (aka Grom).
The firm’s top-level executives have confirmed that the MSX 125 will be introduced ‘very soon’, with the display this evening suggesting its arrival before the year ends. You can check it out in the flesh and catch live telecasts of the MotoGP race at the roadshow as it lasts throughout the entire weekend in Gurney Paragon Mall.
Other highlights of the roadshow include games and a special display of Honda race bikes from a variety of series like the Malaysian Cub Prix and Moto3. Certainly, this display has fuelled further excitement for participants to reach the ride’s main destination – the 2016 Shell Malaysian MotoGP weekend.
Day 3 – KL bound
Stay tuned for more updates as we ride down towards Kuala Lumpur to join in on the pre-race festivities planned exclusively for the Honda Asian Journey 2016.
In the mean time, check out more pictures from today’s leg of the ride in the gallery we’ve prepared below.
Additional images credit: Gregsvideo.com / Boon Siew Honda