Automatic Motorcycles That Are Worth Your Attention & Time

Who Makes Automatic Motorcycles

Shifting can be one of the trickier parts of learning to ride a motorcycle, especially with younger generations in the mix—many of whom are familiar with driving a standard transmission in a car. Even if you know how to drive a stick shift, it’s a bit of a different ball game on a bike.

If shifting on a motorcycle concerns you, you live in a fortunate time. More and more bikes are being released with automatic transmissions. This allows someone to ride a motorbike without having to worry about shifting at all. Around 2006, Yamaha unveiled a semi-auto clutch, and since that time, models have been released with options of a manual shift or automatic mode.

Honda Africa Twin Adventure Touring DCT

Honda is a massive name in the automatic motorcycle market at the moment, with most of the notable options being by their brand. Not to mention, they make some of the more affordable versions of these shift-free powered bikes.

In the adventure touring market, Honda released the Africa twin DCT or dual clutch transmission. This adventure sports bike has 998 ccs and a parallel twin engine. The automatic gear shifting feels relatively seamless on this automatic motorcycle.

As a bonus, if you get more comfortable with manual shifting, you can switch to manual mode with handlebar triggers. The Honda Africa twin DCT runs about $14,000 to $15,900 but can be had for less if you find a used model.

Honda NC750X DCT Dual Sport

The Honda NC 750 X DCT is essentially a crossover in motorcycle form. It has a two cylinder 745 cc engine and both manual and automatic shifting options. This is a bit of a multipurpose bike that can work as a commuter but also deal with slightly more rugged terrain.

It’s sporty and sleek with a low center of gravity and a youthful vibe. Expect price ranges around $8,000 to $9,000 for a 2019 model.

Honda NM4 Touring/Sport Bike

The Honda NM4 is a mean-looking, sleek sports bike, almost reminiscent of a small Batmobile. The NM4 sits closer to the road than the average motorcycle, 25.6 inches from the ground to be precise, giving it a low center of gravity. With a 670-cc parallel twin engine and 46.9 horsepower, it has enough “go” to get you where you need to be, along with its automatic dual clutch transmission (DCT).

There is also a flip down seat for a passenger, technically making it a touring motorcycle with the look of a sports bike. The 2018 models are a bit pricier than some automatic transmission bikes, ranging around $11,000 to $12,000.

KTM Freeride E-XC Dirt Bike

The KTM Freeride E-XC is an electric motorcycle for lovers of dirt bikes who wants an eco-friendly (or just fuel-free) and automatic option. This electric bike has no clutch to worry about, in addition to zero gears and no kickstart. It’s a first of its kind, as electric has been late in getting to the party when it comes to off-road motorcycles.

KTM is among the first major brands to add electric to their dirt bike lineup. It’s designed with a single speed transmission, the idea being of to concentrate on one track rather than worrying about the gear you are currently riding in.

The KTM Freeride is especially ideal for beginning riders who want to get a feel for balancing and steering a motorcycle without worrying about starting or shifting. The 2018 model runs around $8,300. However, add a few more thousand with additional battery power packs.

Energica Ego Electric Sports Bike

Perhaps it is the younger demographic that automatic transmission motorcycles are targeted toward, but many seem to be mixing the auto transmission with electric engines. The Energica Ego is an Italian designed sports bike that is entirely electric and also automatic.

With a top speed of 150 miles per hour, and going zero to 60 in three seconds, this motorcycle competes with gas-powered models for power, acceleration, and performance. It also has a range of about 93 miles per battery charge. The Energica Ego’s sleek styling and the powerful engine come at a price, though, with the Ego retailing at roughly $34,000.

Zero SR/DS/DSR Dual Sport Electric

For those who want a motorcycle that has a bit more of a traditional feel, with a less aggressive design, Zero SR, DS, and DSR are worthy of considering. This is another single speed, electric bike that does not top out with the highest power but is extremely user-friendly for those less comfortable on motorcycles.

The Zero DS & DSR are considered dual sport bikes, again bridging the gap between off-road capability and commuting on the street. With no clutch lever, this is an ideal option not only for beginner motorcyclists but also for those who never want to deal with shifting. Base models and used motorcycle values for the Zero are under $10,000, while DSR with specific features can range up to around $17,000.

Brutus V9 Electric Cruiser

The Brutus V9 is also electric but boasts a more standard, full-sized cruiser street design. If electric-powered concerns you when it comes to distance, bear in mind the Brutus V9 has a single charge range of roughly 280 miles.

The comfortable ride and automatic transmission make this a breeze to enjoy without shifting. It is a sturdy street/freeway motorcycle and unlike some electric models, has acceleration and performance. With a top speed of 115 mph and 125 horsepower, you will not feel like you're puttering around on a scooter. The Brutus V9 is a little pricier, retailing new models at roughly $32,500.

Shift-Free Motorcycles

Prices of motorcycles vary significantly depending on the year, model, and condition, and automatic transmission bikes are no different. For most, you can expect to pay around $10,000, but the options climb a good deal when you factor in extra battery packs for electric or higher-end motorcycles in general.

A couple of things to consider with an automatic transmission motorcycle are how to ride them, and braking. The acceleration is simplified; you twist the throttle to go faster. This takes a lot of beginner headache out of learning to ride a motorcycle, and for those prone to distraction, this can be a significant bonus.

Braking with an automatic transmission bike might be different from a traditional motorcycle. Some models have foot brakes to engage the rear, but some have hand brakes for the back wheel. This is similar to a bicycle, and for someone who has driven a motorcycle before, could take some getting used to.

You also need to consider you will lose a little control when it comes to manual downshifting. Otherwise, the automatic transmission might be the future of motorcycles down the road. It can be worth taking one for a spin to try out the feel.