The New Honda Automatic Motorcycle, the Honda DN-01 – Yahoo Voices – vo…

18 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on The New Honda Automatic Motorcycle, the Honda DN-01 – Yahoo Voices – vo…


Will the New Honda Automatic Motorcycle, the Honda DN-01 Dethrone the Traditional 5-Speed Bike?

Back in the eighties and late seventies, the Honda Motorcycle Company released the Hondamatic transmission which made for the company’s first Honda automatic motorcycle. Not exactly a hit, the Hondamatic did not fare well, but still helped pave the way for Honda’s automatic transmission scooters by providing a ride for those who just couldn’t get comfortable with the mechanicals of shifting a manual transmission.

Fast forward two decades, the Honda automatic motorcycle is back on Honda motorcycles’ drawing board with an automatic transmission motorcycle, the Honda DN-01. The centerpiece of the Honda DN-01 is Honda’s new HFT transmission, essentially a Constant Variable Transmission or CVT which utilizes belts rather than gears.

Available in 2009 for an MSRP of $14,599, the Honda DN-01 features a 680cc V-twin engine running 10.0:1 compression on a single overhead cam engine with four valves per cylinder. Honda really threw all of its technical know-how at this newest iteration of the Honda automatic motorcycle. The transmission, while essentially an automatic, also has a six-speed manual mode, though whether that in itself will be enough to bring buyers from the traditional five-speed cruiser layout is anyone’s guess.

A 595lb curb weight and low seat height mean that there are plenty of folks out there who can handle the Honda DN-01, and a 4 gallon fuel tank with .08 gallon reserve combined with the constant variable transmission means that this Honda automatic motorcycle is going to get fuel economy in the same range as Honda’s line of scooters of equivalent size, such as the Honda Silver wing.

Where the Honda DN-01 departs from both Honda automatic motorcycle styling and Honda scooter styling, is it’s crossover image. The Honda DN-01 has the look of a sport bike, but sits the rider further back and lower, creating something of a cruiser look to the entire bike.

Honda DN-01

The front top fairing looks just a hair clunky, though is obviously derived from the Honda CBR line of motorcycles, while the Honda DN-01 has what is arguably a more comfortable looking seating position, leaning more to the refinement of the Honda ST1300 for rearward styling and Honda shadow Aero ergonomics. Obviously, Honda is trying to create a whole new segment of riders with this new bike.

Though it remains to be seen which segment currently riding will embrace the quirky lines of the Honda DN-01. Sport bike riders already have their ride, and cruiser riders will likely eschew the Honda DN-01 as being little more than a scooter. Perhaps scooter riders will embrace the Honda DN-01.

At the end of the day, they’ve been riding Honda automatic motorcycles all along- just with step-through frames.

I am currently available on a contract basis for freelance projects from technical writing to ghostwriting. My areas of specialty include small business administration, auto repair and auto/motorcycle restor. View profile

Honda DN-01
Honda DN-01
Honda DN-01
Honda DN-01

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