You’ve probably heard the automatic vs manual motorcycle debate by now. On one side, we have a group that thinks automatics take away all the fun from riding. The other camp believes manual motorcycles are unnecessarily complicated to ride. This article dives deep into this topic to iron out any doubts you might have.
A Word on Maintenance Costs
Manual motorcycles win when it comes to the cost of maintenance. They come with a tried and proven transmission technology that does not have any fancy systems attached. That makes manual transmissions cheaper to replace and easier to maintain. But the same cannot be said about automatic motorcycles. They will always be more expensive due to the add-on features like the torque converter and planetary gear set. Expect to spend a considerable amount of money if anything goes wrong with your automatic transmission.
Reliability is King
Generally speaking, the transmission is only as good as you treat it. But manual bikes can take more beating than automatic motorcycles. That’s because manual transmissions feature a simple mechanism that comes with fewer parts.
Autos come with sophisticated mechanics that make riding easier but also become possible points of failure. These transmissions are also quite picky with lubrication. Adding the wrong oils might lead to expensive problems down the road.
Fuel Consumption Matters
According to the biking community, manual bikes consume approximately 10% less fuel than automatic bikes. While this might seem negligible, these numbers do add up when heading out for road trips.
However, fuel consumption is highly subjective to the overall riding style. People who don’t know when to shift gears or when the bike is revving high might end up using more fuel than a rider with an automatic motorcycle. So, you will have to learn balancing the clutch and throttle before enjoying low fuel consumption.