TVS was the first motorcycle manufacturer in the country to introduce clutchless gear changes in the form of the Jive. This simple bare bones commuter gave riders the freedom to change gears without constantly pressing the clutch lever. The folks just had to change the gears using the left foot. However, TVS is not happy with just that.
In fact, as per a report in Business Standard, they have recently received a patent for a gear shift assembly for semi-automated manual transmission (SMT). So what’s this all about? Instead of a toe-heel shifter, the rider will have to shift using a button on the handlebar. The clutch of course will not be present.
Yes, that’s like the Jive without the foot shifter. The report adds that the patent application had been filed back in February 2009, which is a few months before the launch of the Jive and was granted the rights only this year. Here’s what the company has talked about in the patent filing:
“In operation, when a rider wants to shift a gear, the rider can operate a switch provided on a handlebar of the SMT vehicle. The switch may be electronically coupled to the motor, thereby activating the motor when the switch is operated. In one implementation, there may be two switches coupled to the motor to select a direction of rotation of the motor.”
They even claim an increase in fuel efficiency by at least 2 per cent. While enthusiasts will cringe on hearing about SMT in motorcycles, this technology can be a boon for handicaps, giving them access to motorcycles which previously they could not ride.