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Discussion Starter #1
We all know how great the CVT is, and its revolutionizing scooters and motorcycles too. Yes, motorcycles!

Ridley offers the CVT on their motorcycles!

And if I were going to buy a motorcycle, I'd get a Ridley just because of the CVT - not to mention that their bikes look great too - but their prices are a bit steep. But they're also boasting how it has CVT transmissions.

So... my question is... if both Suzuki and Ridley are offering CVT's, who came up with it? Is this a general term that both are using and both CVT's are different? Or is CVT a patented thing that one came up with and the other is using too? Either way... after riding the Burgy with CVT I'd have no hesitation also getting a Ridley with a CVT (... but coming up with the funds... that's a whole different story).
 

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I don't know how long Ridley has been in business. My 1985 Honda Elite 250 scooter had a CVT. I doubt Suzuki invented it. One way to tell would be to go to the patent and trademark website and search for who patented the idea/design.

I suspect they showed up first on scooters because the early designs couldn't handle alot of horsepower.

Dave B.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ridley has been in business for 10 years (started in '95).

I was unaware that CVT was available way back in '85!! For some reason I thought it was a relatively new concept. Shows how much (little) I know about it. Thanks for the reply!
 

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Mechanical CVT transmissions have been in use on scooters for at least 20 years. My Honda Elite 250 (which preceeded the Helix) had one. I think it was a 1985 model. The ECVT used on the Burgman 650 may be the first use of that technology on 2 wheeled vehicles. With the ECVT, the pully ratios are changed electronically, rather than by means of sliding weights (variator technology). From looking at Ridley's website, they refer to their transmission as a CVT. I suspect that it is based on the older technology.
 

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CVT's go back a long way. My dad had a 1966 snowmobile and it had a cvt. To my knowledge, all snowmobiles ever made have had cvt's in them. As for bikes, not quite sure when they started. Polaris started the trend in ATVs (quads) and has now grown onto all the manufacturers except for Honda. Ford has just built a new plant in the US where they will be building CVTs which are supposed to show up in several models in 2006. Yep, they are becoming quite common and rightfully so.
 

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CVT's have been in widespread use on snowmobiles since at least the 1950s. Polaris also uses them on their ATVs. DAF (Holland) used them on their cars since the 60s and were bought out by Volvo. Ford acquired Volvo and the current CVTs on their cars are derived from the original DAF. Subaru has used the system and Honda does now, as well.
Newer materials and computer technology has allowed the system to withstand greater loads and divorced the gearing changes from mechanical control. The 650 Burgman is a modern example of this, while the 400 still uses the older mechanical variator, as is the case with most other scooters.
The CVT system has all the advantages of an automatic transmission without the weight and fluid losses. They will only get better.
 

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CVT's are like quite a few other things...the functionality was worked out long ago but they have benefited from newer, more reliable materials like Kevlar, and more accurate mass production machinery. These items have combined to allow mass production of higher capacity, reliable CVT's. The same applies to other drivetrain technologies.
 

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As far as I know, (limited knowledge here), only the 650 Burgman has "ECVT" or Electronically-Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission, (computer controlled), as opposed to what's commonly known as a "CVT" (the mechanical, or variator version) (centrifugal force)

Way ahead of it's time. :)

Don't know the details about the Cage versions.

I'm hoping/assuming that due to the fact that it is computer controlled, it should be simple to modify the chips involved for simple improvements/upgrades like gas mileage, hop ups, and "overdrive" etc.
 

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CVT is sort of a "new" term for the old "variator" mechanics. I remember it as, basically, a "centrifical clutch" - and docta beat me to it... DAF, I believe, was one of the first automobile to use that sort technology. My 8 horse Briggs an Stratton "Tote Gote" had a centrifical clutch "automatic." The 650 has an ECVT - electronically controlled continuously variable transmission which affords way more mechanical economy (mechanical economy? - what the hell am I talking about? :shock: :roll: )
 

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CVT already show up in cars. The new Mini from BMW and the New Ford 500 also has a CVT, I am sure there are other but I only know of these two.
 

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High HP

It seems that the big change in CVT's came in the early 80's when (I think subaru) developed the metal belt which is pushed rather than is pulled. The little metal pieces pile up on each other and it is a solid push rather than a stretching pull on the belt. I think this is how we are seeing more higher horse power applications
 

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A CVT driven motorcycle of the mid-70s was called a Rokon 340 and was similar in operation to a snowmobile clutch (drive) and torque converter (driven) of that time period. It was an off road motorcycle used in enduro races and if I remember correctly 'was more difficult to ride' compared to a typical motorcycle with a gearbox.
 

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If I remember correctly, the Rokon 340 was also two-wheel drive.

Steve
 

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It sure was 2wd Wasions! I was keenly aware of that baby when I had my "Tote Gote" you talkabouta "deer draggin outta the woods with two full size hunters on it with all the equipment packed on it" MULE (talking of my Tote Goat...) I can only IMAGINE what that Rokon could do!
 

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Not unlike the proliferation of CVT spurred by new technologies and materials, the old Rokon two-wheel drive is about to proliferate and we should see several production dirt bikes with it soon. There are already a number of developmental prototypes.
 
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