• Mar 3, 2008


Click image for a hi-res gallery of the Honda DN-01

Back in October of last year, Honda announced that the DN-01 automatic motorcycle would enter production. Starting on March 7th, it will officially be on sale in Japan. When we first heard about the concept, we wondered how it would perform with its 680 cc V-Twin and new hydraulic transmission design. Since then, we've heard that the engine will make 61 horsepower, so think of this machine as a bridge between large maxi-scooters and entry-level sportbikes like the Ninja 500 or GS500. We expect that the DN-01 will have no problem handling daily commuting chores and the often necessary highway-drones, but don't expect to challenge any sportbikes on long straights. Handling will likely be a strong point, with 17" rims sporting 130/70 front and 190/50 rear tires combined with ABS for panic-free stops. We hope to get a chance to ride this bike, but can't help but wonder if the Aprilia 850 Mana is more appropriate for the American market.


[Source: Honda]



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  • 15 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      automatic tranny? barf...oh well, at least the little girls will have something to drive....i would think it should only be available in pink
        eieio4284
        • 3 Years Ago
        Automatic transmission ? A very welcome feature for us folks that have lost part of a leg and or left foot ! Now we no longer have to shift gears! A very welcome feature indeed ! As for the little girls that you are referring to, most of them , if not all of them , would definately serve you a heaping helping of humble pie! Now, just retire yourself back to your comfy little couch and tend to your bad case of "barfingitislop!
      • 6 Years Ago
      WOW! It looks like the "BatBike" in Black!

      I owned a Hondamatic 450A back in '81, and it was one of the best, and easiest motorcycles...and to enjoy my ride even in bumper to bumper daily commutes was the reason why I bought it in the first place...no shifting every 10 feet. I came upon hard times, had to sell it for extra cash, and the resale was almost as much as I bought it for.

      It's now been a long while for me to get into ridin' again, since the kids are grown, and time to cruise. Looked into Ridley bikes, too expensive...I could see Harley Davidson demanding their prices if they built one, but in order to get a Harley w/ conversion kit...would cost as much as a Ridley.

      But now the King of Reliability-Honda could make me ride again...but at what cost? Price it along the same price as a Harley sportster, or a plain Ridley...and you could sell a ton, plus the Sport Bikers might just convert too? Lazy on shifting? Heck no...just want to enjoy the ride while looking 21st Century...this could be it! But how soon will it be sold in the U.S.?

      If someone can answer these major questions, let me know. (Honda's Feedback on their Website is non- existent)

      Ken in Orlando
      • 6 Years Ago
      That's one good-lookin' bike. Too bad Honda doesn't put that kind of enthusiasm into their car designs (save the NSX). Nice.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's a good looking bike and I like the more relaxed seating position.

      Sportbikes are cool and all but I can't stand riding one for an extended period of time.

      The appeal of this bike is that is is still a motorcycle, larger than a scooter, and you don't have to worry about shifting. Motorcycles are far more stable than a scooter on the highway. Shifting a motorcycle is easy and all but I really would rather not have to do it during a daily commute. If I used my bike for fun and entertainment then I wouldn't really want to buy a slower automatic, but as commuter transportation with gas as high as it is this thing looks pretty sweet.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is what I have been waiting for. You see I have to ride an automatic motorcycle because I am handicaped on my left hand, I have a little thumb which is really no use but it's there. And I can not pull the clutch in to shift gears. I currently ride a Roketa MC-4-150cc. I had hope someday to get a bigger bike so I can ride on the highway in style. I love the sport bikes. I hope Honda will sell it here in the USA, because I will be buying one forsure.
        • 6 Years Ago
        YEAH ITS ALSO GOOD FOR THE LAZY PEOPLE,
        OR RICH PEOPLE , "WHO WANTS TO SHIFT ALL DAY"
        GLIDE & CRUISE'MAN,YEAH I LIKE IT!!! , ALSO :
        ALSO GOOD FOR HANDICAP & FOR SAFETY PURPOSE
        AUTOMATIC IS GOOD - ILLUSTRATION -
        YOU DO'NOT WANT TO GET YOUR FEET CAUGHT -
        "DON'T YOUR FEET CAUGHT BETWEEN THE SHIFTER"
        AGAIN : AUTOMATIC IS GOOD & SAFETY & 4.FUN.......
      • 6 Years Ago
      Those macho-men that slam the auto-trans. idea have just never ridden an auto-2 wheeler. Having owned 100+ bikes, the Burgman scooter that I bought out of curiosity has become my most -favorite-ride of my 55+ years of riding. I'll bet they don't like windshields or helmets or full-fingered gloves either.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm a traveller of both time and space to be where I have been.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Very nice!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I still don't see the appeal of an automatic motorcycle. If you're just going around town you'll get better gas mileage in a scooter, plus scooters are smaller and hence easier to park and maneuver. If you need to do the occasional highway, a Bergman will do. With the low windscreen, small fairings, and no luggage capacity that bike certainly isn't designed for touring either.

      Learning to shift a motorcycle isn't difficult, and with low visibility to cars and only two wheels worth of traction I think it's immensely important to feel like you're in absolute control of your engine.

      Simply put, I don't think there is any market segment that this will appeal to. Automatic transmissions in cars were great because anyone could use them without additional training. You didn't have to know or care about how cars work to use them. Motorcycles attract a much smaller segment of the population, and one that is more willing to take an active interest in their vehicles.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I would agree with your points Greg in their entirety. However I think this will appeal to women taking up biking to spend quality time with their men and also for slightly disabled people. I've caught my foot on a stump riding off road and let me tell ya, that's one time I would have liked an automatic trans to get back home. That hurt, if I was like that all the time I would not ride a manual trans bike period.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Heh. On any type of motorcycle you won't be doing that for very long. Skin loss usually teaches good lessons...
        • 6 Years Ago
        i don't know if i agree Greg, how does one text and or talk on the phone?
      • 6 Years Ago
      ."ZAIRZ:AGAIN:ZAIRZ".
      ...MARCH 28TH 2008...
      RE:PLY ; "DON'T GET YOUR FEET CAUGHT" -
      BETWEEN THE SHIFTER.......
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