Is seamless shift about to land in production motorcycles?

Seamless shift gearboxes have been around in MotoGP for over a decade now, and it could be about to hit production motorcycles

Seamless Shift Ducati

FIRST introduced during the 2010 MotoGP season, seamless shift quickly became the must-have technology for the sub-1,000cc era. Honda was the first to introduce the tech, borrowing much of the design from its F1 programme, and the rest of the paddock quickly followed suit.

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The idea is to eliminate some of the instability that comes from shifting up the gearbox while the bike is cornering, and the engine is under load. Quickshifters upset the balance of the bike, felt on the road as a twitch that runs through the bike when you change gear.

With the tech being around in MotoGP for so long, it’s actually quite surprising that the technology hasn’t already trickled down to the road bike we can buy – although that time might be about to come.

Yamaha already patented a seamless shift transmission for an R1 way back in 2018, although the Japanese giant might not be the first to bring the system to the public roads. Rumour has it that Ducati is working on a seamless shift system for the flagship Panigale, with patents seeming to back up the theory.

The images do indeed show a seamless shift gearbox, and not one for MotoGP either. The packaging of the system and the size and design of the clutch used clearly point to it slotting into a road bike, not a race-only machine.

If indeed Ducati does launch the new gearbox on the market, we don’t think it’ll take the other manufacturers long to launch their own versions. Could seamless shift be the next big battleground in the sports bike war?

To find out how a seamless shift gearbox works, click here.

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