Honda’s new E-Clutch tech offers manual control with digital convenience

ECU-controlled system (

Honda’s E-Clutch adds digital convenience to traditional motorcycles, allowing riders to choose between manual and automated clutch control.

The introduction of new technology in motorcycles often stirs debate among riders. Honda’s upcoming E-Clutch system aims to strike a balance by offering clutch automation without altering conventional mechanical components. This technology can be toggled on or off, leaving control in the hands of the rider. The E-Clutch provides numerous possibilities, including semi-automatic operation and advanced features like launch control and anti-stall capabilities.

While Honda has yet to reveal the exact working of the E-Clutch or the models it will be implemented in, it promises precise electronic control for smooth operation. The company plans to gradually apply the E-Clutch to its “fun” motorcycle models. In practice, the E-Clutch utilizes electronic control to optimize clutch operation during dynamic situations like starting, gear-shifting, and stopping, offering a natural feel. Riders can also use it manually, just like a standard motorcycle clutch.

While official model details are limited, images hint that the updated CB650R may be among the first to feature the E-Clutch. Patents indicate that the system could be adapted to most bikes with traditional cable or hydraulic clutches with minimal modifications, such as a new clutch cover and an ECU for electronic integration. Mechanically, the E-Clutch employs two electric motors connected to a set of reduction gears. These gears transmit motion to sector gears, which, in turn, engage the clutch release shaft that the manual clutch lever controls.

The E-Clutch offers various functions, such as automatic clutch disengagement when stopping and re-engagement when accelerating, smooth gear shifts without clutch lever input, and adjustable clutch behavior. It also features an anti-stall system that intervenes to prevent engine stalling. Furthermore, there’s potential for launch control and an engine-stop system to improve fuel efficiency. However, the production version may not include all these features initially. Despite the added complexity, riders have the option to disable the E-Clutch and use the manual clutch lever.