The electronic system combined with the DCT system offers a range of adjustments and settings that radically change the character of the engine, adapting it to one’s riding style as well as to the terrain.
The TBW (Throttle by Wire) gas command, doesn’t use the conventional steel cable system, but electronically commands a control unit where three different Riding Modes have been pre-set in addition to a fully customizable one. Every mapping in turn controls three different parameters: the HSTC Honda Selectable Torque Control System (T), the power (P), and the engine brake (EB).
From the URBAN mode I switch to the TOUR setting and the bike becomes fluid, output is gradual, the engine brake markedly intervenes when slowing down; I look at the gear display and note that the bike downshifted from 6th to 4th gear noiselessly and without shimming. With this smooth control even using brakes becomes almost unnecessary. The DCT is pleasant, I’ll admit it.
I decide to skip the GRAVEL mode that, from what I see, is more suitable on wet terrain and instead use the button that activates the SPORT mode; three more levels to make riding more dynamic and active even on rugged and winding roads. I feel the difference as I have to ride more aggressively. All that remains is to try the MT option, i.e. manual shifting, which can be done via two little levers positioned on left handlebar. To upshift you use the index finger, to downshift you only need your thumb. This mode doesn’t thrill me, so I go back to SPORT, choosing the USER riding mode, the customizable one: maximum power, minimum engine brake and traction and fully open gas. Since I’m riding off-road, I activate the G button another control useful on off-road because it changes the internal centrifugal forces slippage, maximizing wheel traction. I start getting the hang of it, so I deactivate the rear wheel ABS; I like that by downshifting with the lever (manual shifting is still possible even if the DCT active) I can have more directionality when taking on a bend so, go with the thumb! In the end a mix between automatic and manual DCT.