When the General Dynamics F-16 was introduced in the mid-1970s, it was the first production application of the so-called “fly-by-wire” flight control system, replacing conventional cables and hydraulics with electronics. The 2006 Yamaha YZF R6 was the first production motorcycle with an electrically controlled throttle. These electronic systems allow the pilot’s (or rider’s) commands to be reinterpreted by the machine’s computers to optimize the desired results. The aerodynamics of some modern aircraft are such that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to fly if the pilot’s actions were translated directly into the control surfaces without computer intervention. Now Honda is set to develop an electrically operated clutch system, advancing motorcycle technology to improve performance, handling and safety.
Honda’s electronic clutch still maintains a hydraulic circuit to control the engagement and disengagement of the clutch discs, but electronically controls the hydraulic pressure based on not only lever pressure, but many other data streams coming from it. various sensors and the IMU. This helps to optimize performance, eliminate stalling, reduce clutch and transmission wear, as well as aid in the operation of quick shift levers, wheel control, launch control. and any number of other existing systems.
The configuration is designed by default for clutch disengagement, a good safety feature in the event of a system failure. Another aspect of the patent deals with feedback at the lever, using a device that provides a reactive force that simulates the feel of a conventional clutch.
With the advent of quick shifters, dual clutch transmissions, and electronic control of all of the different engine functions, it is quite possible for the motorcycle’s clutch lever to follow the path of the pedal. clutch in automobiles in the North American market, making these patents a minor workaround that will quickly become obsolete. However, since motorcyclists are motorcyclists, the disappearance of the clutch lever will be resisted with every turn.