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Removed the battery while waiting for a harness. Hooked up a spare board to drive around with. The CVT seems to drive much better without a battery than a 5-speed with it's tall first speed. This CVT is nearly tolerable in this condition.
 

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The thing in the middle with the circuit breaker on top that's usually attached to the battery.
 

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I always called the board the black thing that hangs off the side of the battery and has the on/off switch on top that resembles a circuit breaker. It's the part in the middle of the picture with the two orange cables attached to it.
 

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"board" = junction board - that's what Honda calls it. It has the master switch. It resembles and feels a circuit breaker, but it does not function as one.

The CVT is generally better than MT at IMA-less operation due to rpm/power optimization. With a MT, you have to power through the gutless low rpm. With the CVT, it will hit higher rpms at launch to optimize what little power remains.
 

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I drove an IMA-less CVT quite a bit a few weeks ago. I kind of had the same impression, too - that it handled the IMA-less condition a bit better than I recalled my MT did when it was IMA-less... I also want to point out that physically removing the battery pack seemed to make a noticeable, positive difference when I went IMA-less in my MT - removing that extra ~75 lbs seemed to turn a not-so-tolerable condition into something pretty much tolerable...
 
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