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TVS bikes to get clutchless semi automatic gears thanks to a new patent

TVS bikes will soon feature a revolutionary semi-automatic manual transmission (SMT) which can be a huge game-changer in making bikes easier to ride. After applying for a patent on this new technology back in 2009, it was finally granted to TVS in May of this year.

TVS Jive - TVS bikes may soon come with a semi automatic gear system

TVS was the first company to bring a clutchless bike to India in the form of the TVS Jive, but it still required the rider to operate the gear-shifter mounted on the foot peg. Since the clutch was engaged every time the rider operated the shifter, more effort was required to change gears. This problem is also compounded for the rider in heavy traffic where shifting gears frequently becomes a pain and the tendency to rest their leg on the shifter causes the bike to operate in half-clutch which reduces fuel economy.

But with the new SMT technology, TVS are aiming to improve the rider’s convenience and make it much easier to change gears by automating the process. The conventional foot peg-mounted gear-shifter is replaced by an electromechanical actuator that is operated with buttons mounted on the handlebar.

“In operation, when a rider wants to shift a gear, the rider can operate a switch provided on a handlebar of the SMT vehicle. The switch may be electronically coupled to the motor, thereby activating the motor when the switch is operated. In one implementation, there may be two switches coupled to the motor to select a direction of rotation of the motor,” says the company.
The company further adds, “The gearshift assembly as described herein provides convenience in gear shifting as the rider does not have to apply much force nor make foot movements. Further, due to the absence of a foot operated gearshift lever, accidental incidents of partial disengagement of clutch leading to clutch slips are avoided. Hence, there would be no fuel wastage resulting due to clutch slips. This can provide 2-5% of fuel efficiency in city driving conditions as now there is uniformity in gear shifting”.
TVS Apache RTR 200 4V - TVS bikes may soon come with a semi automatic gear system
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TVS have stated that this new technology of semi automatic transmission is not limited to two-wheelers and can be incorporated in three-wheelers as well. Another good news is that the fuel economy remains the same as with vehicles having manual transmission since the basic working principle is not changed.

There has no stipulation from the company about how soon we’ll be able to this SMT technology on TVS bikes but hopefully they won’t keep us waiting for too long. Would you ride a bike where you have to change gears with buttons on the handlebar?

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