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BMW brings push-button shifting to motorcycles

With the new Automated Shift Assistant (ASA), BMW Motorrad presents an innovative technical solution that makes riding simpler and more comfortable. True to the motto “Simplify your ride”, the riding experience is enhanced by automation of the clutch and gear shifting process, without sacrificing the emotionally important dynamics of shifting.

The Automated Shift Assistant features a clever functional design in which two electromechanical actuators automate the clutch and gearshift of the six-speed transmission, which is the main difference to a conventional shift assistant. There is no need for a hand lever to operate the clutch manually. Starting, stopping, and maneuvering are all made easy with the Automated Shift Assistant.

Riding with the Automated Shift Assistant becomes more enjoyable thanks to fast, precise, rev- and load-adapted gear changes. The rider’s workload is reduced, which makes riding more enjoyable. In addition, the Automated Shift Assistant creates a more direct connection with the powerful boxer engine, as the precise clutch actuation makes it easier to control the riding experience via the throttle and gearshift lever.

In ‘M’ shift mode, gear changes can still be made by foot control, allowing the rider to decide when to change gears. In ‘D’ shift mode, the Automatic Shift Assistant really comes into its own. Shift points are automatically selected by the engine control unit. In both “M” and “D” modes, the rider benefits from smooth and perfectly executed gear changes, resulting in efficient motorcycle acceleration and increased riding stability.

When shifting up, for example, the possible jolt associated with a classic manual transmission with a manual clutch is largely eliminated, as is the risk of helmet to helmet contact between rider and passenger. Downshifts are also designed to be as smooth as possible, minimizing chassis disturbances. Specific characteristics of the automated shift function are assigned to the different riding modes to ensure perfect shift behavior in each riding situation. In combination with Active Cruise Control or front collision warning, the networking of functions brings the future of motorcycling to life.

Automated clutch and gear shifting for a new riding experience.

In difficult riding situations, using the clutch and throttle takes a lot of concentration. If you are travelling with luggage and perhaps a passenger, using the clutch and gearshift takes up resources. The rider remains in control and has more freedom in every riding situation with the Automated Shift Assistant. Riding becomes a more relaxed and enjoyable experience.

The torquey boxer engine enables almost effortless starts on uphill gradients, for example, thanks to automated clutch operation, which also pays dividends in terms of better vehicle control off-road or on difficult surfaces.

Riding pleasure takes on a whole new meaning when you choose the automated D mode. Optimally selected gear changes create a new riding sensation. The right gear is automatically selected according to the rider’s individual riding needs, resulting in a harmonious and extremely smooth driving experience.

Electromechanical clutch and gearshift actuators combined with sophisticated electronic controls.

The Automated Shift Assistant is the logical and technical evolution of the BMW Motorrad Shift Assistant Pro. Two electronically controlled electromechanical actuators operate the clutch and gearshift, enabling easy starting and automated gear changes. The rider’s shift request is transmitted to the control unit via a gearshift lever sensor, which is actuated by the conventional foot-operated gearshift lever. Additional sensors determine the revs of the transmission input shaft and the clutch position. These values are transmitted to the TCU (Transmission Control Unit), which is closely linked to the engine control unit, for control of the clutch and shift actuation.

The clutch is operated by an electro-mechanical 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 gear
and disengages it when stopping.

In manual shift mode “M”, the rider can move the gearshift lever in the desired direction in the usual way. If the revs in the desired target gear are within the maximum or minimum rev range, the shift is made directly. If the engine revs fall below a gear-dependent minimum speed, downshifts are performed automatically in manual mode. This prevents the engine from stalling.

In shift mode “D” the gears are changed automatically depending on the riding mode, engine revs, throttle position and lean angle parameters. Gears are shifted according to the riding situation and dynamic requirements.

The benefits of the Automatic Shift Assistant (ASA):

  • Completely eliminates the need for the rider to operate the clutch.
  • Dynamic and comfortable gear changes for more riding pleasure.
  • Choice of manual or automatic gear shifting.
  • Automatically adapts gear shifts to the rider’s dynamic preferences in D mode.
  • Eliminates the possibility of engine stalling during gear shifts.