I disagree with the notion that an automatic with an 'economy mode' can get better mileage than a smart rider/driver can with a manual. I believe this is true with cages too.
A smartly programmed auto may test better than a careless manual driver on the EPA loop. But we all know the EPA test is not indicative of real life, right? I know I for one consistently beat the EPA guestimates by a healthy margin with my MT equipped vehicles.
As for drive-by-wire. The idea is that the ECU can set the throttle position better than you can. In a car, it sometimes simplifies the pedal to throttle body connection (no cables to run, etc, just wires). Also it enables implementation of technology like traction and stability control which cut power when wheel slip is detected. IE the driver can stand on the accelerator in the snow, but the wheels don't slip because the ECU only gives ~10% throttle. Effectively the driver is ignored because the ECU knows better.
I see drive-by-wire as inevitable. I have it on my cage and find it unobtrusive.
Traction control is probably inevitable too. I only hope to retain the option to disable it.
Automatics I'll fight with every motorcycle purchase I ever make though. No thanks. (Actually, every motor vehicle purchase; I won't buy a cage with an auto either!)
Sorry to hear about the arthritis there OP. Unfortunately I'm not with you on the interest in the auto-tragic trans option. DIY shifting is a big part of the appeal of motorcycling.
I expect an automatic motorcycle would flop, just as it has every other time it has been offered. Motorcycle buyers are not your typical, get me from A-to-B appliance shoppers.
[CENTER][SIZE="1"]2011 V-Strom DL650 ABS - Black[/SIZE][/CENTER]
Last edited by nhbubba; 08-09-2011 at 11:05 AM.