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BMW’s new Automated Shift Assistant uses two electromechanical actuators to operate the clutch and gearshift of the six-speed transmission for a clutchless experience.
BMW’s new Automated Shift Assistant uses two electromechanical actuators to operate the clutch and gearshift of the six-speed transmission for a clutchless experience. (BMW/)

Not to sound paranoid, but are motorcycle clutches becoming obsolete? With BMW Motorrad’s announcement of its new Automated Shift Assistant, the Bavarian brand is the latest manufacturer to gently suggest that maybe we humans don’t have the best control over the gearboxes of our rapidly moving vehicles. Honda’s been pushing its no-shift dual-clutch transmission for a while now, and as you’ll recall, recently rolled out its simpler e-clutch for the CB650R in Europe, which, while not quite as complex, seeks to smooth out shift efforts and mitigate “shift shock.” Kawasaki’s new hybrid bikes also sport an automatic transmission, and then there’s the entire shift-free electric motorcycle category, so we probably should’ve seen the Automated Shift Assistant (ASA) coming a mile away.

BMW Motorrad says it’s “an innovative technical solution” that enhances the riding experience by automating the process of working the clutch and shifting gears. The release says it accomplishes this without “sacrificing the emotionally important dynamics of shifting,” so we’ll give props to BMW for acknowledging the psychological significance of one-down-and-five-up.

Related: Say What? Honda Shows Off Its E-Clutch for Motorcycles

The bar-mounted button offers two mode options: M or D; in M, you can still shift with your foot, while in D mode, gears are changed automatically.
The bar-mounted button offers two mode options: M or D; in M, you can still shift with your foot, while in D mode, gears are changed automatically. (BMW/)

But seriously, although BMW says the Automated Shift Assistant is the logical evolution of the firm’s Shift Assistant Pro, it’s a bit more involved than Honda’s e-idea, using two electromechanical actuators to automate the clutch and gearshift of the six-speed transmission, thus eliminating the need for a hand lever to operate the clutch.

Like other systems, BMW’s ASA utilizes a gearshift lever sensor to transmit the rider’s shift request to the ECU, while additional sensors determine the revs of the transmission input shaft and the clutch position. These are then transmitted to the TCU (Transmission Control Unit), which is linked to the engine control unit, for modeling and control of the clutch, shift actuation, and status.

The clutch itself is operated by an electromechanical actuator combined with a hydraulic system with a direct hydraulic connection between the clutch master and slave cylinders. The actuator regulates the required clutch slip, engages the clutch when changing gears, and disengages it when stopping. That means starts, stops, and maneuvers are all made easier with the tech onboard, and says BMW, it also reduces the rider’s “workload,” for a more enjoyable ride with fast, rev- and load-adapted shift sequences, and more precise gear changes. Additionally, the Automated Shift Assistant creates a more direct connection with the boxer engine, with the precise clutch actuation making it easier to control.

The Automated Shift Assistant in mode D automatically chooses the right gear after processing clutch, gear, and engine rev data from sensors.
The Automated Shift Assistant in mode D automatically chooses the right gear after processing clutch, gear, and engine rev data from sensors. (BMW/)

As you’d expect, there are a couple of modes behind the scenes here; in the manual M mode, gear changes can still be made with your foot in the usual way, and you still decide when to change. If the engine revs for the desired target gear are within a certain rev range, the shift is made directly, but if the revs fall below a gear-dependent minimum speed, downshifts are also performed automatically in manual mode to prevent the engine from stalling.

In shift mode D, the Automatic Shift Assistant steps in to select shift points and gears are changed automatically, depending on the riding mode, engine revs, throttle

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By: Andrew Cherney
Title: Does BMW Motorrad Want to Kill the Clutch Lever?
Sourced From: www.motorcyclistonline.com/news/bmw-automated-shift-assistant-may-eliminate-clutch-lever/
Published Date: Fri, 10 May 2024 10:00:00 +0000

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2024 Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance Preview

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The 29th annual Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance, powered by O’Gara Coach, will bring a full day of free family fun to Beverly Hills on Sunday, June 16. This year’s Father’s Day car show will feature 100 rare and iconic vehicles, great food and plenty of entertainment. The Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance, which will take place between Wilshire Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., is one of the area’s most beloved annual events. Here’s a glimpse at what you can expect to see on California’s most iconic street:

 Ted Seven aka Ted7

Show-stopping cars

This year’s event will host a special celebration of hypercars, supercars, race cars, classics and custom-built showstoppers. Provided by exclusive private collections, passionate car enthusiasts and even some of the world’s most recognized manufacturers, this has become one of the country’s preeminent luxury car shows.

 FRANCO GUTIERREZ

Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance Chairman Bruce Meyer, Beverly Hills Mayor Lester Friedman, Rodeo Drive Committee President Kay Monica Rose and renowned car buff Jay Leno will present trophies to 12 award-winning entrants—from “Most Elegant” to “Best in Show”—on the main stage starting at noon.

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By: Rex McAfee
Title: 2024 Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance Preview
Sourced From: sportscardigest.com/2024-rodeo-drive-concours-delegance-preview/
Published Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2024 17:10:18 +0000

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Speed Read: A garage-built Ducati 996 café racer and more

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The latest café racers, flat trackers, and electric scooters.
We kick things off with a feel-good story of a botched Ducati 996 custom job, rescued by a talented garage builder. Then we look at a dazzling Yamaha SR500 flat tracker from 20-year-old Moritz Bree, a dustbin-faired Honda Dax from K-Speed, and a BMW CE 04 scooter from Deus ex Machina.

Ducati 996 café racer by Jaron Hall
Ducati 996 by Jaron Hall Most people would balk at the idea of customizing a Ducati 996, but Utah-based garage builder Jaron Hall’s work on this 996 is nothing short of noble. That’s because when Jaron got his hands on the 996, it was in dire need of saving.

The Ducati’s previous owner had tried to turn it into a scrambler, so it came to Jaron with no fairings, a hacked subframe, and a smorgasbord of sketchy parts. Working after hours (he has a marketing day job), and taking on the entire build solo, Jaron turned the mongrel 996 into a high-class Italian café racer.

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By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Speed Read: A garage-built Ducati 996 café racer and more
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/custom-motorcycle-news-june-16-2024
Published Date: Sun, 16 Jun 2024 20:50:06 +0000

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Rolls-Royce ‘Models of the Marque’: the 1910s

Rolls Royce Silver Ghost 04

Of all the famous nameplates borne by Rolls-Royce motor cars since 1904, few are as celebrated, significant, evocative and enduring as the ‘Silver Ghost’. Formally launched in 1906 as the 40/50 H.P., it was the first model to be awarded the soubriquet of ‘the best car in the world’ that Rolls-Royce retains to this day, setting unmatchable standards for performance and reliability, proven in the era’s toughest road trials. It was also a stupendous commercial success, with almost 8,000 examples built in the UK and US over an 18-year period – an unimaginable product lifespan in the modern age. That so many Silver Ghosts still survive in full working order – and, indeed, regularly perform the same feats they achieved more than a century ago – is a lasting monument to Henry Royce’s engineering genius.

Early beginnings

By 1906, just three years after its foundation, Rolls-Royce was already something of a victim of its own success. Demand for its motor cars was such that its line-up had quickly expanded from the original twin-cylinder 10 H.P. to include three-cylinder 15 H.P., four-cylinder 20 H.P. and six-cylinder 30 H.P. models. Henry Royce had even produced the first ever V8 passenger motor car, known as the ‘Lega limit’ since the 3.5-litre engine was governed to keep it below the 20mph speed limit then in force in Britain – only three of these were ever made, and it remains the only Rolls-Royce model of which no examples survive. This proliferation of models reflected a trend across the luxury automotive sector, as competing manufacturers chased an ever more finely segmented client base.

However, for Rolls-Royce, it caused major manufacturing headaches, since many parts were not interchangeable between models. The problem was compounded by Henry Royce’s entirely laudable policy of continuous improvement; his constant adjustments and refinements went all the way down to the smallest components. This created variations between – and even within – production series, to the extent that often only a handful of individual motor cars would be entirely identical.

Simplify Production

As with almost any manufacturing process, more complexity and variability meant increased costs. This was anathema to the highly astute, commercially driven Managing Director, Claude Johnson. Having decided radical change was needed, he proposed the marque should focus all its energies on producing just one model. Charles Rolls enthusiastically agreed, but insisted it should be positioned at the top end of the market, where Rolls-Royce was already gaining a reputation as the very best motor car available. Though a ruthless perfectionist and tireless innovator, Royce was also a pragmatist. He saw the logic of his colleagues’ single-model approach and duly produced a completely new motor car, the 40/50 H.P.

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By: Rex McAfee
Title: Rolls-Royce ‘Models of the Marque’: the 1910s
Sourced From: sportscardigest.com/rolls-royce-silver-ghost/
Published Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2024 23:23:29 +0000

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