Motorcycles now have both automatic and manual versions. An automatic bike, what the name suggests, requires no involvement in terms of gear shifting. Its gearbox automatically changes the gears and makes it a breeze to ride a bike for a newbie. In contrast, the manual motorcycle needs your direct involvement for gear shifting.
Besides, there are differences in other areas like controllability, fuel economy, ease of ride, speed, and weight. In this guide on automatic vs. manual motorcycle, we will break down every distinction between these two types of motorcycles. Without further ado, let’s dive in.
Automatic Vs. Manual Motorcycle: The Differences
Automatic bikes allow you to focus on the ride, but they feel a bit robotic as it just requires you to use the throttle. On the other hand, manual motorcycles require your pinpoint attention and efforts to shift the gears, which gives you the feel & fun of riding.
Like this, there are other differences between an automatic bike and a manual motorcycle. And this chapter will depict all the distinctions between auto and manual motorcycles. So, keep scrolling.
01. Better Control Over Yet More Fun
Control over! This is what makes the manual motorcycle apart from the automatic one. On a manual bike, you get better control over acceleration and engine braking. You can decide at what speed you ride the bike. Indeed, the control of the bike will be in your hand, which makes riding more enjoyable and safer.
However, automatic motorcycles attract newbies and older people over 45. It’s because they don’t need to hassle to shift the gear (though it’s not that difficult). So, they can focus on riding.
02. The Feel of Riding A Bike
You all agree with me when I say ‘most folks get a manual motorcycle to experience the thrill of riding a bike’. A regular bike needs your engagement to shift the gears. Pull the gear up or down with your left foot and engage or disengage the clutch lever, and engage with throttle… All of these add up to your riding experience. It makes a connection between you and your bike.
But on an automatic bike, you don’t get the opportunity to make a real engagement or connection. You will miss all the workloads of shifting gears, engaging engine brakes, or playing with the clutch lever if you get an automatic bike. It’s just using the throttle and the machine tells you how fast you are going, nothing more than that.
03. Fuel Economy
Manual motorcycles always take the lead over automatic bikes in terms of fuel economy. In a regular bike, you have the control to shift the gears in which the motorcycle runs. It means at what speed you will ride the bike is in your hands.
On the other hand, you have no control over the engine speed at which you ride the automatic bike. For example, let’s assume the RPM of the automatic bike is 5000. It means your bike will run at 5000 RPM, no matter if you ride at 2o mph or 60.
But this is not going to happen with a regular bike. You have the opportunity to ride the bike in the city at 20kmph at 2000 RPM or go over 60kmph at 5000 RPM. Indeed, you will get better fuel economy or mileage in a manual motorcycle.
04. Safe To Ride In Traffic
If you live in a high-traffic city, an automatic motorcycle with DCT offers some benefits over manual bikes. The DCT has an advantage when you ride in low-speed modes like starting from a stop or stop-and-go traffic. You don’t need to worry about popping the clutch or shifting the wrong gears. Also, it requires you to not up-shift and downshifts constantly. And the best part is- you will never experience a stall in an automatic bike, no matter if you are a newbie or an experienced rider.
In short, an automatic bike is convenient and safe to ride in traffic situations. Just move the throttle and the bike will run. However, it doesn’t mean a manual bike is inconvenient to ride in traffic. The experienced rider faces no problems handling a manual bike in traffic.
05. Ease Of Ride
There is no or little learning curve when it comes to riding an automatic motorcycle. What you need to do is- push and hold down the throttle and the bike starts moving. There is no pain to engage or disengage the clutch or shifting gears.
But riding a geared or manual bike has a learning curve. You need to go through some trial and error to learn how to ride a bike. In the beginning, you will experience a stall or the engine will turn off immediately once you release the clutch. After practice, it will be easier.
An automatic bike has a bulky automatic transmission gearbox that adds weight to its structure. As a result, it’s a bit challenging for a rider to handle the weight. Besides, its extra weight affects acceleration, braking, balance, and speed.
On the other hand, manual motorcycles come with a lightweight frame with a few components. So, they are easy to maneuver and offer you the speed you need for enjoying a quick ride.
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Read the FAQ section below and get some answers to the most frequently asked questions about automatic vs. manual motorcycle.
Why does every motorcyclist doesn’t go for automatic motorcycles?
Most people don’t have automatic motorcycles or are less willing to buy one because of their high price tag. Automatic bikes use advanced technology for their automatic transmission which increases the manufacturing costs. That’s why automatic bike manufacturers sell automatic bikes at a higher price, which is beyond the reach of customers’ budgets.
Is a manual motorcycle faster than an automatic?
Yes, a manual motorcycle is faster than an automatic bike. The manual transmission has a speed advantage over the auto. People love manual bikes because of their high-speed and quick acceleration.
Is it hard to shift gears on a motorcycle?
No, it’s not hard at all to shift gears on a motorcycle, though the beginner finds it difficult. To shift gear what you need to do is- just place your left foot under the gear shift lever and lift it upward. Ensure you hold the clutch toward you when shifting gear and release it gradually after making a shifting.
Is an automatic bike better than a manual?
Though a manual bike outperforms the automatic one in terms of controllability, speed, and enjoyment, automatic bikes also have some advantages. Automatic motorcycles gain a huge leap for their ease of use. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about stalling redlining associated with manual motorcycles.
Both automatic and manual motorcycles have advantages and disadvantages.
Automatic bikes gain popularity because of their ease of use. They don’t require you to shift gears as the automatic transmission gearbox does it for you. So, you can focus on the ride more rather than shifting gears. Besides, you will no longer experience any stalling or redlining with an automatic motorcycle.
However, automatic bikes are weighty, and they can’t beat manual motorcycles in terms of acceleration, balance, and controllability. On top of this, they are pricey.
On the other hand, manual motorcycles are easy to handle and offer quick acceleration. It requires your engagement to shift the gears, which makes a connection between you and your bike. So, it’s fun to ride a manual bike.
But you need to go through the learning curve to know how to shift gears. Once you get used to it, you can enjoy the thrill of riding a bike. And of course, you will get better control over the bike, which makes the ride safer and enjoyable.
Personally, I recommend the manual motorcycle over automatic bikes. Anyway, I don’t mind if you choose the automatic one. It will be safer and more convenient to ride an automatic bike in high-traffic areas.