Coming to America- Honda Introduces New Motorcycle Models

23 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Coming to America- Honda Introduces New Motorcycle Models
Honda DN-01 Concept

Coming to America Big Red crosses over with the DN-01.


Honda Motors announced it will sell the new-for-the-USA “crossover,” the DN-01, in 2009; it’s a motorcycle that looks a little like a scooter, a bit like a sportbike and has the flash and laid-back seating position of a cruiser.

Honda Motors announced it will sell the new-for-the-USA “crossover,” the DN-01, in 2009; it’s a motorcycle that looks a little like a scooter, a bit like a sportbike and has the flash and laid-back seating position of a cruiser.

First revealed as a concept at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show, the DN-01 gets its moniker from Honda’s “Dream New, Concept 1″ mission and defies traditional categorization. Honda pitches it as a dream machine and a futuristic vision of what non-motorcyclists think a two-wheeler should be, hence the scooter/cruiser/sportbike styling.

The DN-01 has been for sale in Japan and Europe for the past year. Now American Honda is taking a crack at an untapped segment of the U.S. market—largely but not only Baby Boomers—with potential buyers already looking at alternatives such as Piaggio’s MP3 and Can-Am’s Spyder three-wheelers, in addition to other interpretations of the big-wheel scooter.

“There’s a new group of riders,” says Ray Blank, Senior VP for Motorcycles at American Honda. “They don’t want a scooter; they want something with the size and look of a motorcycle, but they want distinctive styling, they want a low seat height and they don’t want to shift.”

Honda’s solution is to mate the four-valve, liquid-cooled, 680cc V-Twin from the Euro-market Deauville commuter (itself derived from the Honda Hawk GT) with something called the Human Friendly Transmission (HFT) developed for big quads like the Foreman. A complex design, the HFT is a continuously variable hydromechanical system that uses a hydraulic pump and motor to provide a near-infinite range of gear ratios.

It’s compact and has no scheduled maintenance requirements, whereas Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) systems in some cars need periodic replacement of belts and other parts. HFT features two automatic shifting settings, Drive or Sport, as well as a push-button, six-speed Manual mode. Brakes are linked from front to rear and equipped with ABS.

A 41mm fork, a single-sided swingarm and 17-inch radial tires point at sporty intentions.

Honda DN-01 Concept
Honda DN-01 Concept

The bike’s flowing bodywork, upright riding position and floorboards evoke the legacy of models such as the Ariel Leader, the Vincent Black Knight, the “bathtub” Triumph Speed Twin and more recently the ill-fated Honda PC800 Pacific Coast, a fully faired sport-tourer with an 800cc V-Twin, tall windscreen and immense trunk that Blank himself green-lighted. Never a sales success, the PC still has great cult appeal; “The PC was too early…though you should see what they’re going for on eBay these days,” says Blank.

He also maintains that the DN-01 is “different from the Pacific Coast,” but they will doubtlessly be compared. At $14,599, the price point is a concern, he acknowledges, especially in today’s rollercoaster economy. Even Piaggio’s biggest three-wheeled scooter doesn’t exceed $10,000, and the Can-Am Spyder SE5 is only $1000 more than the DN-01.

Blank hopes the machine’s “breakthrough” nature will help, but he still admits the bike is a gamble. “That’s the exciting part,” he offered.

Even if the DN-01 doesn’t lead America into an age of “crossover” motorcycles, expect to see the HFT in future Honda streetbikes. Blank hinted of possible applications, like the Gold Wing or even something sportier. “We are looking at a lot of applications for automatic transmissions,” he says.

However the new model is perceived, Honda is gamely pursuing it, once again taking a risk to gain a bigger slice of the shrinking streetbike pie. Says Blank, “Let’s give it a try…it’s just that simple and just that complicated.”

Honda DN-01 Concept
Honda DN-01 Concept

Interesting articles

Other articles of the category "Honda":

Translation
Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

dima911@gmail.com

Born in the USSR

423360519

About this site

For all questions about advertising, please contact listed on the site.


Motorcycles catalog with specifications, pictures, ratings, reviews and discusssions about Motorcycles.