Honda DN-01 Review Part 1


Welcome to the complete in-depth and long term Honda DN-01 review. The DN-01 is also known as Dream New Concept 1 – presumably its marketing byline. As usual this series of articles will contain everything related to the DN-01, specifications, accessories, prices, and of course the long term ownership review. So if you can’t find what you are looking for visit again later.

First of all, I wasn’t going to bother doing this review since I do have a life outside the internet. What compelled me to actually post my review was that there where very few original or complete reviews and generally the lack of anything useful to a potential and long term owner. I’m sure you are tired of reworded press releases and essentially the same review often copied and vague superficial and ‘how did they come to that conclusion’ opinions about the DN-01. Hopefully Honda will learn that it is the independent websites that offer what potential riders really want.

Second, I love high powered motorcycles that have are unique to look (but preferably have an anime style to them) and offer something different. It is the first thing that attracts me to a new motorcycle. Eg. the Hayabusa. The DN-01 meets my expectation perfectly in this regard. The design is a combination of sports bike and cruiser.

Choosing to buy the DN-01 was initially never going to happen because of the lack of reliable information but then I remembered my own motto is that you shouldn’t believe everything you read especially on the internet. Why? it is opinion based even from and especially from websites and people who claim otherwise ie. aren’t opinion based. Since I’ve never been completely convinced by the mainstream internet press for automotive reviews hence I bought the DN-01 to prove a point to see what is real and what isn’t.

Aside from that I chose the DN-01 for its design and technical package. It is a unique styled motorcycle and a combination of unique technology for a motorcycle. Of course the latest VFR1200 now as the same technology but it designed in a more conventional motorcycle shape. The DN-01 is very different and looks good – I have not had anyone say its ‘ugly’. The main purpose though and technical talking point for the DN-01 was to introduce new Honda’s HFT transmission to the world. Some say its a glorified automatic, some compare it to a CVT.  I say it is a combination of both in the way it works as they say in a predictable human friendly way. After using the HFT I can conclude that it has the benefits of manual, automatic and CVT gearbox without the glaring disadvantages of any of them. More to the point though is that the HFT doesn’t introduce any new characteristics.

If the looks don’t get you in then the DN-01’s mechanical package may convince you. Honda has packaged the DN-01 with a combination of a reliable V-Twin, Electronic fuel injection, ABS brakes with its CBS Combined Braking System, single sided swing arm with shaft drive and of course the 1st generation HFT transmission and massive 190 series rear tyre. The build quality is very good with nothing out of place. Unfortunately the DN-01’s price is high despite being what will probably be a one off model. Priced initially at $18,000 AUD on the road there won’t be too many around. Take $5000 off and you will have many more buyers.

Well enough introduction, here’s my initial DN-01 ride review in Part 2.

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4 Part 5Part 6 – Part 7