Yamaha AMT Announced: Automatic-Gearbox Motorcycles to Follow

Yamaha has developed its own motorcycle automatic gearbox, the Yamaha Automated Manual Transmission or AMT

Yamaha AMT Announced: Automatic-Gearbox Motorcycles to Follow

Hot on the heels of BMW and KTM, Yamaha has today announced it has developed its own type of automatic gearbox specifically for use on a motorcycle.

The system, named Yamaha Automated Manual Transmission or Y-AMT, is said to allow the rider to “fully focus on enjoying the sports performance offered by their motorcycle,” possibly hinting that the Yamaha system could be heading to one of the brand's higher performance nakeds, sports tourer and commuter machines.

Like some of the other gearbox options available for bikes, the Yamaha system either allows the rider to move through the gearbox via buttons on the handlebar or by utilising one of two automatic shifting schedules. Shifting manually (via the buttons on the bars) is done via the rider's index finger and thumb which press upon a see-saw rockers switch. Like on Honda’s DCT models, this negates the need for a footpeg-mounted gear lever and as with the DCT bikes even in automatic mode, the rider can override the shifts via the buttons on the bar.

Shifting at the business end of the system is allowed by two electric actuators to take on the functions normally carried out by the rider’s left hand and foot. Yamaha claims the system weighs 2.8kg and has been designed to allow for a slim and lightweight installation meaning it can be snuggly installed within the frame without considerably increasing the bike’s width.

A further nod to where the system will be ending up is given further down the press release, with Yamaha advising the system will maximise the “power characteristics of Yamaha’s crossplane engine” designs, going on to name the MT model range as targeted bikes.

This isn’t the first time Yamaha has looked at automatic transmissions for motorcycles, as nearly twenty years ago the YCC-S (Yamaha Chip Controlled Shift) system for the FJR1300 sports tourer was developed. That system featured an automatic hydraulic clutch actuation system allowing the rider to manually change gear using a finger-operated gear lever.