BMW Motorrad Unveils Automated Shift Assistant

BMW Automated Shift Assistant
BMW Automated Shift Assistant

Motorcycles equipped with quickshifters, which allow upshifts and downshifts without using the clutch, have become commonplace in the last few years. The BMW Motorrad Shift Assistant Pro is an optional quickshifter on many BMW models, including the new R 1300 GS, the M 1000 XR, and many others. Even with a quickshifter, riders must use the clutch to pull away from a stop. BMW’s new Automated Shift Assistant eliminates the need to use the clutch at all, and it will be an option on R-series models powered by boxer Twin engines. Read the full press release below.

With the new Automated Shift Assistant (ASA), BMW Motorrad presents an innovative technical solution that makes riding simpler and more comfortable. True to the motto “Simplify your ride,” the riding experience is enhanced by automation of the clutch and gear shifting process, without sacrificing the emotionally important dynamics of shifting.

The Automated Shift Assistant features a clever functional design in which two electromechanical actuators automate the clutch and gearshift of the six-speed transmission, which is the main difference to a conventional shift assistant. There is no need for a hand lever to operate the clutch manually. Starting, stopping, and maneuvering are all made easy with the Automated Shift Assistant.

BMW Automated Shift Assistant
BMW Automated Shift Assistant

Riding with the Automated Shift Assistant becomes more enjoyable thanks to fast, precise, rev- and load-adapted gear changes. The rider’s workload is reduced, which makes riding more enjoyable. In addition, the Automated Shift Assistant creates a more direct connection with the powerful boxer engine, as the precise clutch actuation makes it easier to control the riding experience via the throttle and gearshift lever.

In ‘M’ shift mode, gear changes can still be made by foot control, allowing the rider to decide when to change gears.

In ‘D’ shift mode, the Automatic Shift Assistant really comes into its own. Shift points are automatically selected by the engine control unit. In both “M” and “D” modes, the rider benefits from smooth and perfectly executed gear changes, resulting in efficient motorcycle acceleration and increased riding stability.

BMW Automated Shift Assistant
BMW Automated Shift Assistant

When shifting up, for example, the possible jolt associated with a classic manual transmission with a manual clutch is largely eliminated, as is the risk of helmet-to-helmet contact between rider and passenger.

Downshifts are also designed to be as smooth as possible, minimizing chassis disturbances. Specific characteristics of the automated shift function are assigned to the different riding modes to ensure perfect shift behavior in each riding situation. In combination with Active Cruise Control or front collision warning, the networking of functions brings the future of motorcycling to life.

Automated Shift Assistant: Automated clutch and gear shifting for a new riding experience.

In difficult riding situations, using the clutch and throttle takes a lot of concentration. If you are travelling with luggage and perhaps a passenger, using the clutch and gearshift takes up resources. The rider remains in control and has more freedom in every riding situation with the Automated Shift Assistant. Riding becomes a more relaxed and enjoyable experience.

BMW Automated Shift Assistant
BMW Automated Shift Assistant

The torquey boxer engine enables almost effortless starts on uphill gradients, for example, thanks to automated clutch operation, which also pays dividends in terms of better vehicle control off-road or on difficult surfaces.

Riding pleasure takes on a whole new meaning when you choose the automated D mode. Optimally selected gear changes create a new riding sensation. The right gear is automatically selected according to the rider’s individual riding needs, resulting in a harmonious and extremely smooth driving experience.

Automated Shift Assistant: Electromechanical clutch and gearshift actuators combined with sophisticated electronic controls.

The Automated Shift Assistant is the logical and technical evolution of the BMW Motorrad Shift Assistant Pro. Two electronically controlled electromechanical actuators operate the clutch and gearshift, enabling easy starting and automated gear changes. The rider’s shift request is transmitted to the control unit via a gearshift lever sensor, which is actuated by the conventional foot-operated gearshift lever. Additional sensors determine the revs of the transmission input shaft and the clutch position. These values are transmitted to the

TCU (Transmission Control Unit), which is closely linked to the engine control unit, for control of the clutch and shift actuation.

The clutch is operated by an electro-mechanical actuator combined with a hydraulic system with a direct hydraulic connection between the clutch master and slave cylinders. The actuator regulates the required clutch slip, engages the clutch when changing gear and disengages it when stopping.

In manual shift mode “M”, the rider can move the gearshift lever in the desired direction in the usual way. If the revs in the desired target gear are within the maximum or minimum rev range, the shift is made directly. If the engine revs fall below a gear- dependent minimum speed, downshifts are performed automatically in manual mode. This prevents the engine from stalling.

In shift mode “D” the gears are changed automatically depending on the riding mode, engine revs, throttle position and lean angle parameters. Gears are shifted according to the riding situation and dynamic requirements.

The benefits of the Automatic Shift Assistant (ASA):

  • Completely eliminates the need for the rider to operate the clutch.
  • Dynamic and comfortable gear changes for more riding pleasure.
  • Choice of manual or automatic gear shifting.
  • Automatically adapts gear shifts to the rider’s dynamic preferences in D mode.
  • Eliminates the possibility of engine stalling during gear shifts.

Check out the latest bikes in Rider’s 2024 Motorcycle Buyers Guide


    • I hear ya. I don’t find shifting “inconvenient”. I find shifting, and clutch work in general, both enjoyable and mentally stimulating. They call it stress, I call it engagement

      • Ditto, Joe. And, all this gadgetry is just something else to go wrong and spend a fortune at aBMW dealer to have fixed.

      • It’s funny to me that the older I get, the lighter, shorter, less complicated bikes are my preference and the “joy” is the experience of engagement. Please let me clutch and shift and wheelie and slide and plant both feet on the ground when stopped.

      • I’m with you Joe! One of my favorites bikes was a 1961 Harley FLH with foot clutch and tank shift, you really had to be involved with the bike and that made it fun. Not sure I would have enjoyed in the twisties, but fun for what the bike was.
        What made things really tricky is when you came to a hill, the front brake was worthless (Cable and cam), so you had to find neutral really fast to use your right foot to use the rear (juice) brake while the left was on the clutch. I later installed a safety spring on the rocker clutch to keep it disengaged so you didn’t have to hold it.

  1. “Simplify your ride,”….
    Are you kidding me. Just wait until it F*#K’S up. Taking an already complex and overweight bike to another extreme.

  2. How about low speed handling where one needs throttle,brake and clutch friction zone. Have to have some way to slip that clutch.
    I’m 79 years old,ridden for years with well over 300,000 miles and never once considered a quick shifter. I’ll shift for myself,thank you.

  3. Thank you BMW. My ride on one of your machines is already simple – I own an Airhead. Anything else is just invention being the mother of necessity.

  4. My 2016 BMW 1200 GSA has factory shift assist. It’s not new. I do use it on week long road trips just to change things up (pun not intended).

    • Shift Assist is an up/down quickshifter that requires you to use the shift lever. It does not provide automatic shifting like Automated Shift Assistant does.

  5. 0 for 6 on that one, Beemer. But they’re all Boomers, so there’s that. I, for one, have a DCT VFR, and it’s the bomb, IMHO. But I also have a K6 Gixxer thou, so I get the best of both worlds. Try to find a Gen X or Gen Y, or whatever letter assigned to younger generation, who knows how to use a manual in a modern car. Only those that “drift” or street race know how to shift. On bikes, it just seems like they’re following automobiles’ lead. Heck, most of the bike manufacturers are owned by car companies, so I guess that might have something to do with it. And the bikes, like handguns here in the states, are pretty much “technologied out”. Only so much one can do with a revolver.

  6. Both my wife and I have shifted away from BMWs for which we have had for 25 years+. The new Beeners are not what we are looking for, we don’t need more gimmicks that when break down or need servicing cost a little fortune and if not in a service area good luck. Many BMW component are made in China! (which we avoid). We are very happy with our new bikes made in Japan, that seems to cater better to our needs.

    GMC / CPC

  7. Guys, easy now……. the automatic shift assist may not be for you, or me. Just buy the bike with the regular clutch and shifter. There are plenty of people who this option will appeal to and even some that it will make a difference between riding and not riding due to health or movement or pain issues with their left hand or foot. This provides an another option for those that want or need it; it does not force anything on you or me. 🙂


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here