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Aprilia RSV4 to go seamless? | NEWS

Seamless gearboxes, like slick tyres or launch control they’re things that anyone who watches MotoGP knows about but is unlikely to have first-hand experience of. But while slicks will never make sense on the road seamless transmissions are very likely to make the leap from racetrack to showroom in the near future. Who will be first to offer a superbike with a GP-style seamless shift? There’s got to be strong money on Aprilia. The firm might be still feeling its way into the top ranks of MotoGP but it’s had a seamless shift transmission since last year thanks to a licensing deal from British engineering firm Zeroshift.

Importantly, as well as permitting Aprilia to build Zeroshift seamless gearboxes for its GP bikes, the deal includes an option for the firm to put the transmissions into mass-production. If it takes up that option, the RSV4 – surely due for an update next year – is likely to be the recipient.

While Honda’s MotoGP seamless transmission is famously expensive, leading the firm to use dual-clutch gearboxes instead as the next-best-thing for road bikes, the Zeroshift transmission isn’t much more complex than a conventional gearbox. It only has a handful of extra components and the design is close enough to a conventional bike box that it shouldn’t require extensive reengineering of the engine and transmission cases.

With every firm currently racing in MotoGP using seamless transmissions on its factory bikes, and a clear benefit in terms of lap times, there’s no doubt they’ll all be examining how to transpose the technology to production models. As well as being a great selling point, they’ll offer performance benefits on the road and potentially an advantage in production-based race championships.

Zeroshift motorcycle box copy