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Discussion Starter #1
I know that most here have the automatic but I thought it would be nice to hear from those who have the Base models without the Automatic or ABS.

From my experience, which granted is limited to one decent ride (65 miles) I thought that this was a great bike. I managed to find a route that included low speed cruising (15 MPH) as well as wide open spaces (65 MPH... Wink Wink Nudge Nudge... 90) I had some straightaways as well as winding elevations. Whatever I threw at the bike it gave me plenty back. I never felt under powered, and the bike was very nimble and responsive. Whenever I needed to go it went also it was very easy to pick up the shift points. The hardest part was to remember that there was a sixth gear. Years of 5 speed car driving is to blame for that though. The bike has plenty of power and comfort to make me happy for quite some time.
 

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I am not sure there are that many more DCT models than manual shift naked CTX's. I have a red one just like yours.
 

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Warning: The following post is just me rambling. I don't really know anything...

For a little perspective, from what I've read, Honda hopes to sell 30-35 percent DCT/ABS in the U.S. That means that even if Honda is as successful as they hope to be with the automatic bikes, they'll still sell 65-70 percent with the standard, traditional transmissions.

I think there are two reasons why it seems like most people already have or are buying these bikes with the automatic option: (1) Honda and all the media are hyping this bike with the DCT/ABS, and if you read the articles/reviews on the bike, about half of each article is dedicated to reviewing the DCT; and (2) Alot of the initial buyers are choosing the DCT/ABS option in the introduction. However, once the initial demand is met, I think the CTX700s will settle in somewhere around what Honda expects.

If Honda is able to meet this target for the DCT/ABS, it will lower the overall cost of the DCT/ABS as compared to the traditional models due to economies of scale. If all this comes to pass, and Honda views the marketing campaign of the DCT as a success, it should mean that Honda will start lowering the price as compared to the same models without DCT, or, if they are currently losing margin on the DCT/ABS, they will keep the prices the same and start achieving the same margin as the traditional models. The only thing that means is that they'll be able to continue the program since they'll not be losing margin on these bikes. Since we don't know their costs, we can't know what the margins are, but I'm sure they've got a standard that they want to make on everything they produce, however, sometimes a company will forgo a little margin in order to generate sales on something they are trying to get us to buy.

It's sort of like hybrid and electric cars in the auto industry. All we know are the prices. We have to assume that a car like the Toyota Prius, which was originally sold at around $23K, was not achieving the same margin per unit as a (say) a Camry but Toyota was willing to forgo margin in order to direct our tastes and buying behavior. I would say that now, due to economies of scale and through more experience in building this product, that Toyota now achieves an acceptable margin on the Prius, even though it's only gone up in price about $2K in ten years. In real dollars, it's probably a little cheaper than it was upon introduction.

The other thing that might happen if Honda is successful with the DCT concept is that they'll offer more models with differing displacement engines with DCT, because, at this point, the technology has been accepted and Honda will have the costs in line where they want it. Personally, I'm rooting for success, because, if they are successful, it will get more folks on bikes, which would be good for us all with regards to safety and after market mod choices.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I decided to let my wife run the bike today. She had never even driven a stick shift car (poor girl) let alone a motorcycle, however she was able to pick up the clutch action relatively quickly. She initially stalled it out 4 or 5 times and then once she got the concept she was good to go. I took her out to a large empty parking lot and let her have at it. She is much more tentative than I am so she started slowly with her laps around the lot and slowly built up speed. Every lap by me I tried to give her tips with the shift points and what to feel for. By the end of it she was looking really confident on the bike. We had to cut it short, because our 3 month old was getting fussy, but she had a blast.
 

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I decided to let my wife run the bike today. She had never even driven a stick shift car (poor girl) let alone a motorcycle, however she was able to pick up the clutch action relatively quickly. She initially stalled it out 4 or 5 times and then once she got the concept she was good to go. I took her out to a large empty parking lot and let her have at it. She is much more tentative than I am so she started slowly with her laps around the lot and slowly built up speed. Every lap by me I tried to give her tips with the shift points and what to feel for. By the end of it she was looking really confident on the bike. We had to cut it short, because our 3 month old was getting fussy, but she had a blast.

Good stuff! Good for her. Sounds like she's a real trooper to hop on the bike and just stick with it until she was doing laps.

Four of five times was better than what I did on an old Yamaha a few weeks ago. I stalled enough times to run the battery down, and I've owned nothing but straight-shift cars. For me, it's all about learning the clutch. The concept of shifting is much easier than getting used to an individual clutch on a specific vehicle.

In fact, I don't think that having experience with a stick car has any advantage whatsoever for me learning a bike. The mechanics are all different and engaging the clutch with one's left foot doesn't do a thing for helping me get used to doing the same thing with my left hand.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I know what you mean with the left hand vs foot thing. But I can say that understanding the friction point concept which is basically the same on a car or motorcycle probably would have been helpful for her.

The other biggest difference is that with a motorcycle clutch you do want to slip the clutch.
 
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