Say the words “automatic transmission” around some riders, and you’ll get an instant sharp intake of breath. There may even be audible hissing to accompany it. While there’s often more than a little snobbery behind those reactions, there may also be more practical concerns. After all, for years, attempts at automatic motorcycles (or lots of twist ‘n go scooters) were disappointingly sluggish when you’d twist the throttle. Regardless of your transmission choice, who wants that?
That’s not even mentioning the significant pride riders feel at nailing every single control input, and then popping off with just the right combination at just the right time. If you grew up playing video games like I did, there is no serotonin boost quite like cracking that code. Thing is, times and technology change. Electric motorcycles certainly don’t need to mess with the added complications of gearboxes—so most of them don’t. With their instant power, you probably won’t find too many riders who mind.
At the end of the day, we all enjoy different bikes for different reasons. As technologies like Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) and MV Agusta’s Smart Clutch System (SCS) have advanced, some riders found that bikes so equipped were exactly what they wanted. Motorcycling is a big tent, full of lots of bikes to make a wide variety of riders happy. Isn’t that what we all want?
With that in mind, let’s take a look at a handful of automatic transmission bikes for sale in 2022. Prices listed are for the American market, but may vary in other markets, so check with your local dealers for the most accurate information. Additionally, manufacturer stats are provided where available, but some OEMs prefer not to list certain information publicly.
Indian eFTR Jr. and eFTR Mini
One evergreen motorcycle industry goal is getting new riders into the sport, and why wouldn’t it be? Everyone gets older, interests change, and you always want more people getting into your particular niche than are leaving it. Thus, we have Indian Motorcycle’s first two forays into the realm of electric bikes, and they’re both aimed squarely at kids aged 8 and up.
As we all know, miniature versions of things are almost universally cool, simply by virtue of their tiny size. We all know dirt bikes are rad, but who doesn’t love the idea of seeing the youth zoom around on tiny flat-trackers? That’s right, no one.
|Top Speed||eFTR Junior: 15mph||eFTR Mini: 14mph|
|Price||eFTR Junior: $824.99||eFTR Mini: $514.99|
Striking a balance between a small commuter motorbike and a scooter isn’t easy, but it makes a certain kind of sense. Scooters may be eminently practical, but plenty of people simply don’t care for a step-through design. A small-displacement, unintimidating, and downright friendly little motorbike sounds like a good way to get new riders into the saddle though, doesn’t it? Truly, what could be friendlier than giving it twist n’ go scooter simplicity paired with a more motorcycle-esque silhouette—especially when it’s also priced incredibly well?
While we’re pretty sure that Honda didn’t consult famed Canadian film director James Cameron about creating the Navi, we can say that we definitely spent more than two hours and 42 minutes riding it. It’s a simple and unpretentious little 109cc air-cooled, single-cylinder-engined runabout. Furthermore, the Navi has a single, tiny carburetor, drum brakes, a little storage box to stash a moderate amount of stuff, and an aesthetic that makes it awfully hard to have a bad day on it.
If you’re too old and cranky to appreciate this bike for what it is, then very simply, it’s probably not for you. For everyone else, you can choose to have fun with it as a basic transport device, or you can go to town customizing the plastic panels off this thing—much like Grom and Ruckus enthusiasts already do. At the almost ludicrously low new bike price of $1,807, chances are excellent that you’ll have more money in your pocket for all the bolt-on parts and custom graphics you’ve dreamed of experimenting with.
|Curb Weight||236 pounds|
|Price||Starting at $1,807|
Honda NC750X DCT
Honda wants to make a variety of bikes that appeals to a wide range of riders. If you’re someone who both loves to commute on your bike, but also wants to go out and have fun on the weekend, the NC750X aims to make it a little easier. Unlike most motorcycles, it boasts that funky 23-liter front storage area (or frunk) in front of the seat, which can come in pretty handy if you need to carry stuff on your ride (and you hate backpacks).
It’s powered by a 745cc, liquid-cooled parallel twin engine, keeping it narrow and nimble. If you like a little bit of adventure bike styling, but you’re not ready to go full Africa Twin just yet, this could be a good compromise.
|Curb Weight||472 pounds|
|Price||Starting at $9,299|
Honda Rebel 1100 DCT
Since its introduction, the Honda Rebel 1100 has been turning heads. It offers a sleek and modern take on a cruiser aesthetic, rather than endless chrome and nods to the past that tend to dominate the genre. (That’s not a knock on that stuff, by the way—but, I mean, it’s called a Rebel for a reason, right?)
It’s powered by a 1,084cc, liquid-cooled parallel twin engine. Suspension consists of a 43mm fork offering 4.8 inches of travel up front, and dual Showa rear shocks with adjustable preload and 3.7 inches of travel in the rear. Stopping is accomplished via a single radial-mounted four-piston caliper and full-floating 330mm brake disc setup up front, along with a single 256mm disc in the rear. ABS comes standard, but a tired clutch hand doesn’t.
|Curb Weight||487 pounds|
|Price||Starting at $9,999|
Zero collaborated with award-winning design firm Huge Design to craft the look of the FXE, and it shows. This isn’t the aesthetic of the future, or of yesterday—it’s the look of right here, right now. It’s powered by a 34kW motor (or 46 horsepower) at 4,300 rpm, and offers peak torque of 78 ft-lbs. Claimed city range is 100 miles on a single charge, though that will of course vary based on factors including how aggressively you ride, battery age and health, and so on.
This is, of course, not the only Zero that comes with an automatic transmission—electric motorbikes are a law unto themselves, and where they’re going, they don’t need the petty shifters of the past. (Some still choose to have them, but most don’t.)
|Curb Weight||135 kilograms or 298 pounds|
Honda Africa Twin DCT
Honda’s stalwart adventure tourer puts a more rugged spin on the “touring” designation. Powered by a 1,084cc parallel twin, it combines the best of both worlds for on- and off-road types of touring. Want to do both? That’s cool, it has a long-travel suspension. Want to munch miles on the highway? That’s cool, too, because it has cruise control.
|Curb Weight||505 pounds|
|Price||Starting at $15,299|
Prior to the 2021 release of the Pan America, the all-electric Harley-Davidson LiveWire was easily the most recent example of the Motor Company stepping outside its well-established comfort zone. For that, we applauded it—that, and the fact that it’s also a lot of fun to ride.
It’s powered by Harley’s Revelation powertrain, which outputs a claimed 105 horsepower and 86 ft-lbs of torque. Combined range is 95 miles, and using the DC fast charger will get you to 80 percent of a full charge in 40 minutes, or 100 percent in one hour. Pricing starts at $21,999.
|0 – 60 time||3 seconds|
|Curb Weight||562 pounds|
|Price||Starting at $21,999|
MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso and RC SCS
If your fondest wish is to tour on an MV Agusta 798cc triple, then the Turismo Veloce is for you. For the redesign, MV went hard on making long hours in the saddle more comfortable, both for rider and passenger. Ergonomics are more conducive to spending tons of time astride your MV, and 34 liters of storage space inside each pannier also makes trip-planning easier.
The Euro 5-compliant revision makes a claimed 110 horsepower at 10,150 rpm, along with 62 lb-ft of torque at 7,100 rpm. The Turismo Veloce comes in three variants: the Rosso, the Lusso, and the RC, with the Lusso and RC models offering available SCS as an add-on. MV really leaned into the Rekluse-designed SCS unit as a beautiful feature, choosing to show it off proudly with a clear case. For 2021, it comes with a stronger machined billet hub, so you can literally tour for days.
The SCS unit is a semi-automatic one rather than fully automatic, but maybe that middle ground is what you’re looking for. The top-of-the-line Turismo Veloce RC SCS will run you about $28,400.
|Top Speed||230 km/h or 142.9 mph|
|0 – 60 time||3.75 seconds|
|Curb Weight||192 kilograms or 423 pounds|
|Price||Starting at $22,500|
Energica Eva Ribelle
With stunning streetfighter looks, the Eva Ribelle makes a claimed 145 horsepower and 159 lb-ft of torque. Top speed is limited to 125 mph, and claimed 0 to 60 time is 2.8 seconds, dropping to 2.6 seconds if you choose the RS version. Energica’s range testing resulted in a claimed 143-mile combined range rating, and its DC fast charge mode can supposedly get you to 80 percent of a full charge in just 40 minutes, which makes it perfect to charge during your lunch break. Base price starts at $23,800, but think of all the money you’ll save on gas while you’re out having ridiculous amounts of fun.
Prefer something faired? That’s cool, Energica does offer other options in a range of markets around the world, and they don’t require shifters, either.
|Top Speed||Limited to 125mph|
|0 – 60 time||2.8 seconds|
|Curb Weight||573 pounds|
|Price||Starting at $23,800|
Honda Gold Wing Automatic DCT
Some say the Gold Wing is the ultimate touring comfort standard-bearer, particularly if you like to do long journeys with a passenger on board. It’s powered by an 1,833cc liquid-cooled, flat six-cylinder engine, and has a shaft final drive for total ease of maintenance. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard, and other touring enticements like heated seats are available options.
If you want to make those long-haul trips even easier, you can add on Honda’s automatic dual-clutch transmission. The base GWADCT starts at $25,300.
|Curb Weight||804 pounds|
|Price||Starting at $25,300|