I was reading through the classifieds for motorcycyles today, as I frequently do. I came upon someone selling a 1977 Honda CB750A(utomatic). In the listing they claimed it was the only automatic motorcycle ever built. I couldn’t resist giving them some additional information.
Just a little information. The CB750A was in fact the first automatic motorcycle built for the street. However it is not the only automatic motorcycle ever built. The first automatic production bike (I believe) was the Rokon 338 which was an off road bike debuted in 1973 and manufactured in America. It used a centrifugal clutch and a single gear. The CB750A was released in 1975. Honda also created Hondamatic motorcycles in 1979 (CM400) and in 1982 (CM450). The 400 was produced for 3 years, and the 450 was produced for 2 years. Other automatic motorcycles have existed with less popularity. Husqvarna produced an automatic motorcycle somewhere around 1984-85.
I’m sure there are many other bikes with automatic transmissions probably dating back as far as the early 20th century.
Some may argue that a centrifugal clutch driven bike is not a true automatic transmission, and to that I would say: The sliding gears inside the automatic Honda street bikes are not true automatic transmissions either. Who cares! If you don’t have to shift or use the clutch, it’s automatic!