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Now the comparisons: I didn’t want to do a Vs Hayabusa comparison because it is clearly unfair both bikes. However despite being completely different types of motorcycles they can be used for the same purpose. So – in terms everyday commuting I choose the DN-01 every time. However if I want the real motorcycle experience, huge power and riding enjoyment I choose the Hayabusa any time. Each motorcycle has its strengths and weaknesses and in all seriousness which one is better really depends on how you a feeling for the trip you are planning on doing.
Summary so far: The DN-01 is a cool motorcycle. Cool because its a great ride and even non-motorcyclists like it. I can say with certainty that if Honda kept the price low it would be a popular choice. If Honda had also used a regular gearbox, the package has enough going for it to sell well. DN-01 problems so far: creaking plastic bar covers and the rear brake pedal need to be lower. The only other thing that could be improved is more power – but that goes applies to most motorcycles. Other than that it goes really well.
Update: If you have been riding 1000cc and above sports motorcycle for a while you will find the handling and performance limits of the DN easily. You see the DN’s engine has been tuned for a extraordinarily FLAT torque curve which means that you never miss out on the feeling of pulling power. However at the same time the smooth delivery and the lack of traditional motorcycle vibes means that you still don’t know what speeds your travelling at or provide that excitement. Finally, while the DN is not near the fastest bike in the world it is still satisfying enough as a long term ride. I often find the throttle stop when in manual mode which quite satisfying because that never happens on the Hayabusa.
Update: I can confirm that used in manual mode the gearbox works just like a regular gearbox. However on really tight corners the gearing is a tad too high and can’t be compensated by extra lean because there’s not enough ground clearance. As I mentioned previously the long wheelbase makes the same tight corners tricky to take smoothly. Sports bike handling or excitement wasn’t why I bought it so you shouldn’t expect it either.
Update: (2012) After about 5000km and a much needed service I can report that the engine has noticeably freed up and has much more top end power – much appreciated when riding against strong head winds and over taking. I love the relentless and smooth power delivery especially hearing and seeing other cars and bikes rev out to keep up LOL:-) Mind you I do miss the joy of revs at the same time.
Update: (2013) The DN-01 is still with me but not travelling many kilometres. One thing I did learn was that you need to check the oil in the shaft drive. I’ve never had a shaft driven motorcycle before so it was quite low. The main problem with the DN-01 is that the sight glass for the oil level is hidden by a plastic covering and the level indicator always looks like it needs more oil.