BDC Announces the ShiftFX Electronic Shift Transmission for OEM Applications

Biperformance Development Corporation (BDC) finalized its top-shelf transmission control system for OEM motorcycles, called the ShiftFX Electronic Shift Transmission (EST). This system opens a whole new horizon of applicability for the modern gearboxes, but the biggest step forward is that it can be used with many (most) OEM motorcycles.
ShiftFX Electronic Shift Transmission 11 photos
Photo: BDC
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The ShiftFX Electronic Shift Transmission offers dual operation modes, the fully-automatic and the button-actuated shifting, both accessible via a simple, intuitive and easy-to-use interface.

New riders might find the fully-automatic shifting more to their liking because it allows them to focus on steering, throttle, and braking, body weight shifting and getting acquainted with reading the traffic. On the other hand, the semi-automatic mode delivers smooth, precise and quick shifting at a press of a button.

With the ShiftFX shifts taking 50 milliseconds, we're not yet in MotoGP territory, but the transitions between the gears are definitely much faster than what a traditional gearbox can deliver.

The clutch lever is retained as it serves as an override system, plus offers better control during emergency braking, aggressive launches, or in poor traction scenarios. And because the shifting is so quick and precise, the wear of the gearbox, clutch and engine is reduced, too.

Integrating the ShiftFX Electronic Shift Transmission with modern bikes is easy, because the brain of the ShiftFX communicates with the bike's ECU using the CAN bus, so rpm matching, engine braking, and adaptability to the various riding modes are assured.

The entire system is fully programmable, with multiple variables easy to set up according to each rider's preferences. As we already mentioned, the BDC ShiftFX will fit almost any motorbike, including electric ones that have a gearbox.

Requires no changes in the architecture of the bike

Another cool thing about this system is that it can be implemented without changing the architecture of a motorcycle's engine. It uses only standard components and only adds 2 kg (4.4 lb).

The BDC system employs a patented Active Clutch with electrohydraulic control, and it represents the debut of this technology in a mass-production trim designed for motorcycles. A special gear control system eliminates the foot shifter axle and all the ratcheting, replacing everything with a high-speed DC motor that actuates the very shift drum directly.

Everything is "supervised" by the Transmission Control Unit (TCU), another part with a small footprint that comes with the system. It interfaces with the ECU and the rest of the electronic systems on the bike, including the ABS and IMU.

With the ShiftFX development reaching its final phase, the next step is establishing partnerships with OEMs and taking over the industry. "We have developed this technology over several years and feel it's superior to any automatic or semi-automatic transmission system currently available. The system is compact, lightweight, and doesn't take power away from the engine. Our demonstrator unit is a production motorcycle with ShiftFX EST added on, and it required no major modifications or engine block machining for the components to be integrated," Biperformance Development Corporation President Dean Pick says.

"I'm confident that the system will appeal to new riders that want the convenience of an automatic transmission as well as experienced riders looking for the performance and fun of a semi-automatic system. Now that the system has been fully developed on our demonstrator models and our patents have been granted, we are ready to bring the technology to market in partnership with an OE manufacturer," he added.

Check out BDC's website for more info on the ShiftFX and see a prototype in action on the track in the video after the jump.

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