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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Automatic Transmission (Now With Pictures)

A good friend of mine really wants a motorcycle, but I can tell you right now he will only get one with an automatic transmission. He's got a phobia against shifting and nothing I or anyone else says will ever change that.

With that established, I'd like to know if most bikes can have an auto transmission installed. Money is no object for my friend and truth be told, if he could find a custom builder to make one, he probably would. We've checked out the Ridley and it's just to small. My friend stands just a tad bit over 6 feet and weighs a tad bit over 300#. We also checked the Boss Hoss. That's just too much bike...for him or anyone else...LOL.

Any thoughts or ideas? He's really willing to spend a decent amount of money to get a bike. Whether it be an existing bike that can be re-fitted (he's a fatboy/heritage classic fan), or a custom that can be built from the ground up. He really likes the Ridley. It's just too small.

Any help here would be cool.

Cheers,
John
 

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the "fun" guy
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John,

Since you mentioned that money is no object....have you thought about talking with some of the custom bike builders there in Phoenix? I would think with measurements of your friends size and some discussion....he could have a custom made bike with an automatic transmission. Just a thought.

Here are several builders in Phoenix area:

http://www.bourgets.com/pages/home.html

http://www.kennedyschopper.com/

http://www.jimnasicustoms.com/

http://www.rookecustoms.com/

http://www.surgicalsteeds.com/

http://www.paulyaffeoriginals.com/
 

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jroskelley said:
A good friend of mine really wants a motorcycle, but I can tell you right now he will only get one with an automatic transmission. He's got a phobia against shifting and nothing I or anyone else says will ever change that.

With that established, I'd like to know if most bikes can have an auto transmission installed. Money is no object for my friend and truth be told, if he could find a custom builder to make one, he probably would. We've checked out the Ridley and it's just to small. My friend stands just a tad bit over 6 feet and weighs a tad bit over 300#. We also checked the Boss Hoss. That's just too much bike...for him or anyone else...LOL.

Any thoughts or ideas? He's really willing to spend a decent amount of money to get a bike. Whether it be an existing bike that can be re-fitted (he's a fatboy/heritage classic fan), or a custom that can be built from the ground up. He really likes the Ridley. It's just too small.

Any help here would be cool.

Cheers,
John
He has a phobia of shifting gears??? R U KIDDING US? I've never heard anything more rediculas.

If you friend can't handle a manual transmission then he probably doesn't have the necessary skills to operate a motorcycle safely, cuz manual shifting is really not that hard. As his friend you should tell him to get a bicycle since that sounds like what he wants. You need to give your friend some tough love and tell him to either man up or take up knitting as a hobby instead.

I have a friend who has taken the MSF riding class and failed to get his license twice. I have told him that maybe riding a motorcycle isn't his thing. Riding a motorcycle is a serious thing...It ain't for the faint of heart and certainly isn't for people who have a "phobia" of shifting a manual transmission. You need to have a certain amount of confidence and skill to do it properly. Your friend doesn't sound like he wants to aquire either.
 

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I STRONGLY agree with BTREAVES. This guys dosen`t belong on a bike. Moped maybe. :neutral:
 

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I gotta agree too. Shifting a manual transmission is the least of your worries when riding a motorcycle. Maybe he should consider one those 3 wheeled things. Or perhaps he could get him one of those "rascals" they make for old people. :twisted: :twisted:
 

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jroskelley ,
I too think that your friend is a little entranced by some of the current media publicity regarding bikes and not really motivated to become a rider. Half the fun of riding is the feeling of being in charge of the machine instead of the other way around.Selecting the proper gear for the situation or just for the exhilaration of downshifting and getting on the gas is what it is all about. At least that's my opinion and it applies to bikes, quads, or even to my 5 speed Diesel pickup. BTW. I'm 80 and still want to choose my gears. ;-)
 

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the "fun" guy
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This topic sounds like when I worked on the ranch in California. We had stick shift "everything" since ranch work is demanding on vehicles and you need control that stick shifting offers.

Now....that being said....just this Fall I was in a friends ***mins diesel 350 touring his farmland property just ahead of archery deer season. We were going up n down some very steep hills in his mammoth "do it all" utility truck and to my surprise....when I climbed in to go for our ride....I noticed it was an automatic. I have to say I was very impressed with the shift patterns of that rig as it could climb a wall if needed. Still....I thought...how odd....for a heavy duty farming truck to be an automatic but certainly was amazed at it's ability to get the job done.

What does this have to do with automatic motorcycles?

I actually believe that there is a market...probably small....but think that there might be some riders who simply enjoy the design and ease of use that automatics offer.....wether it be a truck...car...or motorcycle. My new truck is an automatic. Why? Because growing up on the ranch and the Army I did enough shifting to last me three life times and now I want to enjoy my coffee while driving and not have to worry about 2nd gear and spilling my coffee in my lap. :)

OK....FIRE AWAY! LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
hot_shoe_cv said:
jroskelley ,
I too think that your friend is a little entranced by some of the current media publicity regarding bikes and not really motivated to become a rider. Half the fun of riding is the feeling of being in charge of the machine instead of the other way around.Selecting the proper gear for the situation or just for the exhilaration of downshifting and getting on the gas is what it is all about. At least that's my opinion and it applies to bikes, quads, or even to my 5 speed Diesel pickup. BTW. I'm 80 and still want to choose my gears. ;-)
Some of this is undoubtedly true. He would be a very casual rider. Weekends. Here and there. Around the block. Doubtful he'd ever be game for a long, serious, bike-loaded-down-with-gear type rides.

I love the thrill of the right gear for the right situation. I'm with ya there. I ride with the ease of a tango. Unfortunately, my friend doesn't. At least at this point. He's had some experience with trikes and ATVs, and has actually done quite well. My hope is that once he actually gets riding, and realizes he is missing a part of the overall experience, he'll work toward learning how to ride a standard transmission.

Appreciate your input. It's all good. I'm just glad he wants to ride.

Cheers,
John
 

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jroskelley said:
Some of this is undoubtedly true. He would be a very casual rider. Weekends. Here and there. Around the block. Doubtful he'd ever be game for a long, serious, bike-loaded-down-with-gear type rides.

I love the thrill of the right gear for the right situation. I'm with ya there. I ride with the ease of a tango. Unfortunately, my friend doesn't. At least at this point. He's had some experience with trikes and ATVs, and has actually done quite well. My hope is that once he actually gets riding, and realizes he is missing a part of the overall experience, he'll work toward learning how to ride a standard transmission.

Appreciate your input. It's all good. I'm just glad he wants to ride.

Cheers,
John

Get your friend to sign up for the MSF class. That way he can learn how to ride the right way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
btreaves said:
Get your friend to sign up for the MSF class. That way he can learn how to ride the right way.
Definitely. In fact we've spoken about this a great deal. He sees the value and will signup as soon as he has something to ride.

Cheers,
John
 

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jroskelley said:
Definitely. In fact we've spoken about this a great deal. He sees the value and will signup as soon as he has something to ride.

Cheers,
John
actually he won't need something to ride if he chooses the right course. Many of them furnish the bikes, usually a smaller size like a 250.
this allows the student to make his mistakes, like dropping the bike, on the loaner and also gives a little input to choosing his own bike later.
 

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hot_shoe_cv said:
actually he won't need something to ride if he chooses the right course. Many of them furnish the bikes, usually a smaller size like a 250.
this allows the student to make his mistakes, like dropping the bike, on the loaner and also gives a little input to choosing his own bike later.
Yea if he signs up for the beginner riders class he can use their bike. You can't beat that!
 

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In fact, in many cases, if he signs up for the beginner class he will HAVE TO ride their bike, because they will want to teach on a bike with attributes they can control (and their insurance might even require it).
 

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re

automatics are for cages :grin:
 

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Scooters are automatic and they're up to 600cc now. Granted he might look like Big Pun sitting on the scooter, but its automatic =P
 

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Come on folks ,,half the fun of riding a bike is going thru the gears,,next thing people will want is a top on the bike so the dont get wet in the rain.With a little help i bet you friend could get over his gear changing phobia and enjoy riding an "Unautomatic " motorcycle
 

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I think Cobra build a custom called the "Strada" which they say had an Auto box, it had a VN1500 motor. I actually think it might be an auto shifter not an Automatic gear box.
 

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Before you sell the Ridley short, they make two sizes - 3/4 and full size. My girlfriend rode a 250 Honda Helix (automatic scooter) for a year and wanted a Ridely in a bad way. I sat one of their full-size models and it felt every bit as big as an Ultra Classic albeit it sat a little lower. You can't beat the great sound either. They sound like an old Shovel. Being a 750 would make it a little light in the pants but if a cruiser looks and sounds that good, you don't have to blow people's doors off to get attention.

If he's still not into a Ridley, I really think he should check out the 450 Suzuki Berghman scooter. 0-40mph, they'll take on any cruiser I ride with if not outright blow them away (I'm eager to run against one to find out.)

Let us know what he decides on...
 
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