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March 3, 2008 - It's finally here! Honda announced
today the final production version of the unique and innovative Honda
DN-01 "Sports Cruiser"!
Honda Motor, Co., Ltd. announced that sales of the DN-01 large sports
cruiser will begin in Japan on Friday, March 7. The price and
delivery date for the UK has not been set, and it is not known whether
the bike will be sold in the U.S.A.
The unique, low-styling body features a liquid-cooled
four-stroke 680 cc OHC V-twin engine that resonates power and a new
automatic transmission, the Human-Friendly Transmission (HFT), that
delivers superior throttle response for comfort even on long rides, and
simple operation with no need for clutch use, allowing sporty riding.
Featuring Honda's innovative lockup-equipped, infinitely
variable hydraulic mechanical transmission (see
our article "Honda introduces the
Human-Friendly Transmission"), the HFT is claimed to deliver superb
throttle response and a direct drive feel.
"The DN-01 is the result of thoroughly pursuing a style
that is both luxurious and relaxing, easy and individualistic", claims
Honda. They said that the remarkable transmission makes the DN-01
easy to operate, while providing the sporty ride quality that is an
intrinsic part of motorcycles.
In short, the DN-01 offers totally new sensations in
sports riding unheard of in conventional sports models. The
relatively low 690 mm seat height offers a relaxed riding position,
along with a comfortable passenger seat. Ownership satisfaction
comes from the elegant styling and the overall high-quality fit and
finish. The DN-01 is a sports cruiser with new value aimed at the
discriminating adult rider.
The DN-01 takes its name from the phrase "Discovery of a
New Concept," after Honda’s desire to develop a new concept motorcycle.
Since its exhibition as a concept model at the 39th Tokyo Motor Show in
2005, Honda has been working toward the market launch of the DN-01,
efforts that resulted in the machine being exhibited at the 40th Tokyo
Motor Show in 2007 as a model scheduled for release.
The DN-01 was developed as a large sports cruiser
materializing a new concept, equipped with distinctive HFT, which is
based on the automatic transmission in the 1962 Juno M85 and features
characteristics optimal for a production machine, thanks to continuous
development and advances in electronic control technology.
Powertrain - The liquid-cooled four-stroke 680 cc OHC V-twin engine
featured in the DN-01 demonstrates powerful and flat torque
characteristics in the low-rpm range as well as high-rpm range,
realizing smooth and easy revving. A superb fit with the new HFT
realizes a comfortable ride feel.
A single-sided swingarm (Pro-Arm), acknowledged in the
Goldwing and VFR, and a maintenance-free shaft drive with superior
durability and quietness have been adopted for the drivetrain.
The DN-01 design also takes vibration resistance into
account with a full rubber mount for the engine. For environmental
performance, the DN-01 conforms with the 2007 exhaust emissions
standards in Japan with an electronic fuel injection system (PGM-FI*1)
and a catalyst device (catalyzer).
An infinitely variable hydraulic mechanical transmission, the HFT
realizes the lightweight and compact configuration required for
motorcycles. Compared with the V-belt automatic transmission used
on scooters, this automatic transmission unit can be stored within the
engine crankcase, increasing the level of design freedom in the body
The HFT responds to a wide variety of rider demands,
from easy-to-operate, comfortable riding to sporty and nimble ride
quality with a direct response to accelerator operation, due to the
hydraulics and computer control. In addition to two fully
automatic shifting modes -- D mode to cover ordinary riding and S mode
for a sportier riding experience -- the HFT features a six-speed manual
mode, which allows riding with a manual transmission feel.
Moreover, the HFT equips the world's first lockup
mechanism (according to a Honda survey) for an infinitely variable
hydraulic mechanical transmission, contributing to improved fuel economy
From the "Low & Long + Modern Organic Body" design concept comes a truly
individualistic style. The long-nosed front cowl incorporates dual
projector headlights with overall front face shaped in sharp image.
The integrated muffler bringing about a sense of unity
with the under-cowl, and the Pro-Arm swingarm supporting the rear wheel
on one side to give the rear a simple look, as well as the ten-spoke
17-inch wheels, accent the machine's functional beauty and unique sense
of style. The instrument panel design combines luxurious LCD and
white LED to simultaneously improve visibility and significantly enhance
The Combined ABS, which is a combination of the Combined Brake System
and the Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), is equipped on the DN-01,
delivering powerful and dependable braking performance.
The three-pot calipers of the front brake provides
strong braking control, while rear brake is equipped as a foot pedal
type bringing a sense of motorcycle feel. And with such features
as a parking brake for convenient parking on hilly roads, the DN-01
provides a full range of functionality for a feeling of security.
Chassis and Bodywork
Centralization of mass and a lower center of gravity, together with an
ideal front and rear weight distribution, ensure responsive handling
even with the long 1,610 mm wheelbase. Large foot step boards that
can be repositioned to meet rider preferences and a low 690 mm seat
height make for a spacious and comfortable riding position, giving the
rider the most freedom of movement as possible.
At the same time, taking tandem riding into
consideration, there is also plenty of room for a passenger on the wide
and long seating area. Moreover, passenger and rider seats are
close in distance to enjoy a conversation, and well-though layout
provides wide-open forward visibility. As rider is, the passenger
seat is also designed to deliver unity with the machine and feel the
exhilaration of riding.
To suit DN-01's unique styling, the four colors of variations are set,
exhibiting a sense of luxury and complete satisfaction for its
ownership: Pearl Sunbeam White, Pearl Amethyst Purple, Candy Glory Red
and Graphite Black.
The DN-01 features the Honda Ignition Security System (H.I.S.S.),
Honda's unique anti-theft system using an electronic interlock.
The device is programmed to start the engine when the IC chip built into
the original key and the ID in the ECU of motorcycle matches.
Otherwise, the system prevents the engine from being started, providing
Furthermore, an original system has been established for
the DN-01 to provide a higher quality service. This new system
functions with DN-01 dealer information network to manage the service
history of the customer’s machine.
To reference authentication data of the machine from the
network, the information is stored on a RF-ID which is built into the
main key of its machine called, Honda Motorcycle Data (HMD) key.
By showing this HMD key to the DN-01 dealer, the machine's service
history and information are available instantly through this system,
allowing Honda to provide even higher level of service that will also
lead to a higher customer satisfaction.
Honda DN-01 Final Specifications
Length, Width, Height
2.320m × 0.835m × 1.115m
Number of Riders
25.0 (60km/h constant-speed test value)
Minimum Turning Radius
RC55E liquid-cooled four-stroke 4-valve OHC V-twin
Bore × Stroke
81.0mm × 66.0mm
Maximum Power Output
45  / 7,500
64 [6.5] / 6,000
PGM-FI (programmed fuel injection)
Fully transistorized, battery-powered
Force-fed and splash
Fuel Tank Capacity
Oil pressure regulator system in gearbox
(with lock-up mechanism)
Hydraulic mechanical system
(HFT with electric manual mode)
Reduction gear ratio (primary/secondary)
Caster Angle (degrees) / Trail (mm)
Hydraulic double disc
Rear: Hydraulic disc
October 2007 -
Honda introduces the
Human-Friendly Transmission (HFT), which will be used on the DN-01
when it reaches production.
UPDATE: Honda is expected to release the DN-01 for
production at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show 2007, to be held at Makuhari Messe
in Chiba, Japan from Saturday, October 27 to Sunday, November 11, 2007.
October 19, 2005 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. introduced the
radical new DN-01 sports motorcycle at the 39th Tokyo Motor Show.
Honda announced that the DN-01 will continue to be developed and will be
introduced to the market "in the near future".
appears to be beyond the concept stage and nearly ready for production.
The DN-01 concept is equipped with a continuously
variable automatic transmission and a water-cooled, 4-stroke, OHC,
V-type, 2-cylinder, 680cc engine.
The DN-01 is a concept model that was developed with the aim
of "creating new value" without being locked into any existing category
While an automatic transmission has been synonymous with the
scooter and has not been readily accepted for motorcycle use, Honda is
calling the DN-01 an "automatic sports cruiser", featuring Honda's unique infinitely
variable hydraulic mechanical transmission, the "HFT" (Human Fitting
The DN-01 is claimed to be easy to operate with much sportier
performance than any current two-wheeled vehicles with automatic transmissions.
The DN-01 "Discovery Cruiser" is apparently targeted towards the growing
adult motorcycle market.
Infinitely Variable HFT Transmission
The new-generation infinitely variable transmission is claimed to deliver superb
throttle response and stepless shifting, with no mid-corner shifting
shocks. Riders can select from three shifting modes: Drive Mode, Sports
Mode and 6-Speed Manual Mode.
The HFT also offers the world's
first (according to Honda) lock-up mechanism in an infinitely variable, hydraulic mechanical
Powered by a 680cc V-twin engine, the machine was
designed to have
novel levels of comfort and sportiness.
Original and Creative Style
The design concept aims for a long
and low, modern organic look. The image created by the long-nose front
cowl is dynamic, while the under-cowl muffler and Pro-Arm rear
suspension add a functional beauty to the overall design.
Highly centralized mass and an ideal front/rear weight
distribution promise good maneuverability from the 1,605mm-long (63.2") wheelbase.
Comfortable Riding Position
The large seat is fitted with an adjustable backrest for plush comfort
on long rides, while wide footboards allow maximum freedom of movement.
Complemented by a low 680mm (26.7") seat height, the riding position is spacious and
Passengers should be comfortable, thanks to the ample and
lengthy passenger seat. Some information (in Japanese) available
Honda DN-01 website.
Honda DN-01 Online Brochure (Note: Takes significant amount of time
DN-01 Accessories Brochure (.pdf)