Thursday, July 10, 2008

Honda DN-01: Riding the scooter-motorcycle hybrid


The Honda DN-01. We really do hope this isn't the future of motorcycling...

It barely looks like a motorcycle at all, and while the DN-01 may be Honda’s vision of what motorcycles will become, it most certainly isn’t ours. Still, just how good (or not…) is this scooter-motorcycle hybrid when it comes to the actual riding part? The men at Motociclismo recently had a go, and here’s what they had to say about the Honda DN-01:

A few weeks ago, we said the CB1000R seemed to have been taken from a comic strip. Now, with the DN-01, we have a machine that far exceeds anything that can be said about Honda’s other bikes. The DN-01 is not just different – it’s created an altogether new category of motorcycle.

In theory, it may be easy to mix a scooter with a cruiser-type motorcycle. In practice, it can be difficult. Still, if there’s one company that could have pulled off something like the DN-01, it is Honda. Everyone who sees this bike has something to say about it – beautiful, futuristic, rare or whatever else – but nobody can ignore it.

The DN-01 is fitted with Honda’s 680cc v-twin, which is also used in the Deauville and the XL700V Transalp. But the DN-01 uses a new type of automatic transmission, which Honda have labeled HFT – Human Friendly Transmission. And while the engineering behind this is complex, what really matters is that in the real world, it works perfectly. The steel tube cradle-type chassis is quite conventional and works well, the suspension is an equally conventional fork/monoshock setup and the DN-01 comes with Honda’s latest anti-lock brakes.


If there's one company that could have pulled off something like the DN-01, it's Honda. And they have

With the swept-back handlebars and low seat, the riding position is like that of a normal cruiser. On paper, the DN-01 is a long and heavy bike, but its dynamic qualities are actually very good. The bike is stable at low speeds and remains that way at higher speeds. The only limitation, during high-speed cornering, is that the DN-01 runs out of ground clearance too soon…

The 680cc Honda v-twin is delightful, offering linear power delivery and no vibration. The HFT can be used a full automatic – you can choose the ‘Sports’ mode if you’re so inclined – or it can be used as a six-speed manual, with clutch-less shifting. Either way, it works extremely well.

Motorcycle or scooter? You decide. But there’s no denying the fact that the DN-01 is a revolutionary piece of work from Honda. The bike will be available in Honda showrooms from the first week of August...

Also see:
Bat Pod: Batman rides...!
Piaggio Ape Calessino: His Holiness The Pope rides...!!
Moto Morini Corsaro 1200 Veloce riding impression...
SHARP: Safer helmets for motorcyclists?
Bimota Tesi 3D Carbon riding impression...
Isle of Man to host 'green' GP in 2009...

External links:
Turbine jet-powered electric bike on eBay...!
Bimota DB7 picture gallery...
After X-Bow, KTM is now working on other cars...
15 of the craziest sidecar outfits ever...


No, the DN-01 just doesn't work for us. That CB1100R - now that looks amazing. And the simulated rendering of the VTR SP3 looks quite all right too. These are the kind of bikes Honda need to build...
SP3 pic: PB mag forum

Just bought that new Fireblade, GSX-R1000, ZX-10R or R1? You know you need to work on your physical fitness to be able to really ride any of those bikes. Susana Spears is here to help...!

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