It’s fair to say Honda is probably the most conservative of the major manufacturers - technology is introduced very slowly, designs are far from radical and quality and reliability rule the roost. So what the hell is the DN-01 doing in its product lineup? The category-busting cruisy sports maxi-scooter is set to launch August 1 in the UK, at which point we’ll learn if the market’s ready for a bike so outlandish.
The DN-01 is the first bike to feature Honda’s new infinitely variable “Human-Friendly Transmission” (HFT) which is capable of operating in full automatic ‘drive’ mode or a manual shift 6-speed ’sports’ mode that locks the variable transmission to a set of common ratios that mimic the feel of a tiptronic car system. The HFT is expected to show up on a range of future models from Honda.
The styling of the bike is absolutely outrageous for Honda - it combines the flat underslung exhaust of the new Hornet 600 with the rear end and storage of a maxi-scooter, a 680cc v-twin engine with fat header pipes on display cruiser-style, maxiscooter raised handlebars, cruiser-style footboards, a single-sided swingarm, shaft drive, ABS and a front-end somewhere in between a sports tourer, a Deauville, a Transalp and… Who knows?
It certainly looks like a comfortable ride, a more laid-back version of a maxi-scooter that can be as comfortable 2-up on the open road exploring a genuine performance potential as commuting in town. The UK pricing of £9200 translates to around US$18,200 - which is a big ask for what will likely be an extremely practical bike - but given its head-spinning looks it may just find itself a niche. Press release follows.
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For release: Monday 7 July 2008
Honda’s Unique and Futuristic DN-01 On Sale From 1 August
Honda’s unique DN-01 motorcycle goes on sale on Friday 1 August from Honda Motorcycle dealers across the UK .
Available in two sleek colours of graphite black and pearl amethyst purple and priced at £9200*, the DN-01 - dream concept turned production reality motorcycle - with fully automatic transmission, is a truly unique machine in the world of motorcycling and defies being categorised.
Honda’s team of engineers set out to create an entirely new category of motorcycle and sought to combine elements of swift superbike performance, relaxed custom cruiser riding comfort, operating ease of a big scooter, attention grabbing and futuristic styling with unparalleled technological advancements.
It’s not a sportsbike, a cruiser, a scooter, a naked bike, adventure bike or a sports-tourer: it’s a new-breed of machine which couples performance, poise, comfort and practicality, all wrapped up in futuristic and radical styling whilst boasting some of the latest Honda technology.
The DN-01 introduces to motorcycling the most advanced fully automatic transmission ever developed for any two-wheeled vehicle – with HFT ‘human-friendly transmission’. Power comes from the proven and punchy Transalp 680cc V-twin, feeding through the HFT system, which offers auto, sports-auto or thumb-operated six-speed manual transmission modes, all providing smooth drive to the rear tyre without the lag of some traditional automatic transmission systems.
The low-slung chassis keeps the rider in total comfort and control, while Honda’s superb Combined ABS Braking System keeps braking distances to a minimum in all conditions as well as enhancing safety. And to minimise environmental impact, the oxygen-sensing catalyser system manages the air/fuel mixture to reduce emissions to well below EURO-3 regulations.
Like most of Honda’s larger displacement motorcycles, the new DN-01 also comes fully equipped with the highly capable Honda Ignition Security System (HISS) to protect against ride-away theft.
Whilst the DN-01 looks stunning as standard, it can be further enhanced with a range of Honda Genuine Accessories designed specifically for this model, to include: a custom styled backrest for extra pillion comfort, heated grips with adjustable temperature, Honda Motorcycle Navigation Kit, speakers for a rider’s MP3 player, Bluetooth connection for a mobile phone, a motion and vibration sensitive anti-theft AVERTO alarm system, sturdy U-lock and a rugged, full bike cover.
This new breed of machine made its debut in the UK at the International Scooter and Motorcycle Show at Birmingham ’s NEC in December last year, before its world media launch at Lake Como in April. Having inspired a ‘wow’ factor for many, coupled with limited availability in the UK this year, orders have already been received for the DN-01 as many motorcyclists have stared in awe at the machine’s futuristic looks and the user-friendly nature of the new HFT system.
Honda Motorcycle dealers across the country will be unveiling the DN-01 on Friday 1 August so to see this unique machine in the flesh, or to book at test ride, contact your local dealer.
Honda Motorcycle dealers can be located by calling Honda on 0845 200 8000, or by using the ‘Dealer Search’ facility within the Motorcycles area of www.honda.co.uk, where you can also find all the latest news and information about the full Honda motorcycle range, offers, genuine parts, accessories and forthcoming events.