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Honda DN-01. Already carefully searched

Honda DN-01
ER Classics Desktop 2022

At AMK, we are often quite ahead of the curve when it comes to 'discovering' classics. But in the case of the Honda DN-2005 presented as a concept model in 01, the market is on our heels.

Our various rulers have become notorious for it: Releasing test balloons. To test feelings and opinions. In the car and motorcycle world the same happened and is happening. But outside of politics, these test balloons can also serve to show the public what a manufacturer actually has to offer. And with that preferably to make it clear that the competition has far surpassed. Sometimes those test balloons go into production. And usually they do not become top sellers. With the same law, they later become wanted items because they are separate and scarce.


in Velp

The Honda DN-01 that arrived at Roadrunner in Velp did not even make it to the site. He immediately found someone who fell for it. By the way, we have noticed more often that visiting a motorcycle shop has additional value compared to all the goings-on on the Internet. For example, we know someone who is looking for an Aprilia Moto 6,5 and cannot find one. While such a design piece is also simply in the showroom in Velp.

It seemed like such a good idea

Entrance for the still young Honda DN-01, an extremely unique people-friendly sales flop with potential. And the Honda's approach was Human Friendly Transmission. With Honda's proprietary infinitely variable hydraulic mechanical transmission, this HFT realizes the lightweight and compact configuration required for motorcycles. To meet the wide range of rider needs, HFT offers a choice of two fully automatic shifting modes - D mode for normal riding and S mode for a sporty driving experience - or the 6-speed manual mode, which allows riders to choose allows to drive with a manual gearbox.

Very user-friendly

The HFT creates a unique driving feeling through simple operation, ranging from relaxed and relaxed driving to agile and sporty with direct throttle response. Honda decided to link the 680cc block from the Transalp - and the Deauville - an engine that can be traced back to the 500 Honda VT1982 to this special gearbox. 'Special' is an understatement. The Honda DN-01 transmission is linked via a centrifugal clutch to an oil pump that in turn controls a hydraulic motor. How much oil is fed into the engine determines the acceleration. So we are talking about an automatic gearbox. With a cardan behind it. Honda has been applying the HFT technology to its agricultural vehicles and quads for some time, but with the DN-01 the system became asphalt compatible. But the looks were a bridge too far for the usually fairly conservative motorcycle world. The nearly € 14.000 Honda was long, low and with almost voluptuous curves.

A scooter, a touring bike or a cruiser?

Or just a bridge too far? A very hefty, extremely futuristic machine with only 680 cc lung capacity. At full trot, the very pleasantly steering DN-01 drove about 180 km / h. The ergonomics and wind protection were completely okay. The anime / manga meets StartTrek design was not picked up by the public. Most DN-01s were delivered to the dealers by the importer. And stayed there. Up to now.

Read also
- More stories about classic engines
- The Honda Transalp 600 cc
- APRILIA Motó 6.5. A new classic
- Honda TL250. The winner that didn't make it
- Honda Fireblade: classic or not?

7 Comments

Give a reaction
  1. Have been using it daily for 8 years for commuting until 5 years ago. In the WE and leave I drove my BMW F800ST. I have to say that after I sold the Honda, because of my retirement and thus kept the BMW, I regretted it afterwards. Was a wonderful motorcycle to drive (also sporty) despite its weight.

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  2. I think it's beautiful. Would have been a modern alternative to my Honda CB750A automatic transmission, but it never happened.

  3. I am a motorbike rider during the week and biker Inc. Cardigan on the weekend. I don't remember what year it was, but his thing was at the motorcycle fair in Utrecht. What an ugly thing but I couldn't resist sitting on it. To my surprise, it fit better than my shoes, everything was right, especially with the duo as a backrest. But you don't want to be found dead on such a thing, right? Or maybe it is something to secretly drive at night?

  4. Goddamn what an ugly thing .. Looks like he was trapped under a hunebed.
    But luckily that's just my take on the thing. There will probably be people who love him.

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