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Honda DN-01 Custom Motorbike Review

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Honda DN-01
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MCN overall verdict rating is 3

The DN-01 is hard to categorise - Is it a cruiser? Is it a scooter? Whatever it is, it’s a very easy to ride, comfortable, capable and enjoyable motorcycle, let down by a very high price and too much hype. If money is no object, all you want is an attention-grabbing commuter or Sunday cruiser, and you wonder why all bikes aren’t automatic, then you won’t be disappointed. But for the rest of us, the Aprilia Mana 850 is better and a lot cheaper.

Watch the video: Honda DN-01 longterm test

Engine

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

The DN-01 is powered by a version of the Honda Deauville’s 680cc v-twin lump. We dyno’d our long-term test DN-01 and it makes 51bhp at the wheel, which is enough to take it to just over 100mph. The steady motor is married to Honda’s Human Friendly Transmission (HFT) which gives you three modes: automatic – twist & go, sport – twist & more go, and a steptronic mode that lets you change gear using a toggle switch on the bars. The whole package is ridiculously smooth and easy to use, although we found ourselves sticking it in sport mode and leaving it at that. Around town the motor is a pleasure – give it full gas at the lights and it fires you off the line brilliantly and no gears makes traffic a breeze. But get it out on the open road and the motor runs out of puff at the top end - there's not enough there for swift and safe overtakes. Plus that splayed out riding position (which is like your favourite armchair in town) can be torture on the motorway.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

Despite raked out cruiser geometry, the DN-01 is a nice handling bike and on the move you’d never guess it weighs a hefty 270kg. A seriously low seat height makes it accessible to anyone and the feet-forward arms-out riding position is comfy and satisfying – riding the DN-01 is an experience and never fails to raise a grin (think manga meets easy rider). The problem is ground clearance – even a small amount of lean will have the footboards on the deck. Brakes are great though, thanks to fantastic and confidence-inspiring combined ABS. 

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 3

Besides the fancy Human Friendly Transmission and ABS the DN-01 doesn’t really have a lot of features to shout about…. Yes it looks funky at first glance, but underneath the weird bodywork it’s basically a maxi-scooter, only you don’t get any storage space. Compare and buy parts for the DN-01 in the MCN Shop.

Honda DN-01 (2008-2010)

Detail Value
New price £10,625
Dealer used prices
£5,110 (2010) - £5,550 (2010)
Private used prices
£4,600 (2010) - £4,990 (2010)
  View full used price info
Engine size 680 cc
Power 51 bhp
Top speed 110 mph
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 3 rating is 3
Engine rating is 3 rating is 3.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 2 rating is 3
Quality & Reliability rating is 5 rating is 5
Value rating is 1 rating is 3.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 5

It’s a Honda, so as you would expect the DN-01 is a very nicely put together piece of kit. Clocks look great, the metallic paint is lovely and deep and it all just works. The mirrors are the best I’ve ever used on a motorcycle and shaft drive is a pleasure – no more messing about with chain oiling or adjustment.

Value

MCN rating rating is 1
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

This is where the DN-01 starts to come unstuck for us… £10,625 is the list price for a new DN-01 (although a lot of dealers are offering substantial discounts). That’s a lot of money for what is basically a funky looking maxi-scooter, especially when Aprilia’s stylish, sportier automatic Mana 850 roadster has a helmet storage bay, 75bhp and a phone charger socket for £6,699. Find a Honda DN-01 for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: n/a

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Model History

DN-01 Launched 2009, discontinued at the end of 2010.

Other Versions

None

Specifications

Top speed 110 mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 51 bhp
Max torque 35 ft-lb
Weight 270 kg
Seat height 690 mm
Fuel capacity 15.1 litres
Average fuel consumption mpg
Tank range miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group of 17
Engine size 680 cc
Engine specification Liquid-cooled 8v v-twin
Frame Double cradle steel tube
Front suspension adjustment None
Rear suspension adjustment preload
Front brakes 296mm disc, 3-piston calipers, ABS
Rear brake 276mm disc, 2-piston caliper, ABS
Front tyre size 130/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/50 x 17

See all Honda DN-01 motorcycles for sale

Honda
DN-01

5754 miles

£5,495

Honda
DN-01

4782 miles

£4,250

Honda
DN-01

2940 miles

£5,999

Honda
DN-01

8752 miles

£5,295

Honda
DN-01

7326 miles

£5,195

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3.5(4 reviews)

  • Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    i didn't want a bike to kill myself on so opted for this, great choice, love it to bits

    19 February 2014

  • I Love Marmite

    bobfisher

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    A "Marmite" bike in virtually all aspects. I bought mine at 3 years old with less than 1K on the clock for half the price when new - more sense than spending up to 11K on a new one, although they are no longer in production. Comfort is great, although full pre-load on the rear shock is needed to maximise ground clearance, and also reduce bump feedback to the lower spine. Economy on mixed riding is about 12 miles per litre, and tank re-fills after 150 miles can be expected. Honda build and reliability is great, although I did have to replace the plug caps which arced badly when hot in hot weather - a 5 minute job to prevent stalling and lumpy tickover. Ground clearance on the twisties is actually pretty good - I've only had the left hero blob down once on anti-camber on the second bend on a bumpy s-bend sequence. Getting the throttle to match push-button gear changes is quite rewarding, although you can hold it on the stop if you want while changing gear. Automatic mode in traffic is brilliant - traffic light stomps in CVT just get a "wooomph" from the engine and you're at 30 or 40 in no time (depending on the limit!) - and so smoothly. Motorways are OK at 70, but a more comfortable cruising speed is more like 65. Tyres are wearing well at now 3K miles, with the rear showing virtally no "chicken strip" on the edge, demonstrating the good fun that can be had when riding enthusiastically. As to actually what the DN-01 is, my description is "an automatic sports-cruiser". Marmite - I love it!

    25 December 2013

  • DN 01 first impressions

    petervoros

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Had this bike just over a week, had one trip so far of about 100 miles. Now I am nearer 60 than 50 this bike makes sense to me. It is not a cruiser and it's not a scooter in fact there is no category for it as such, some people say they are confused by it. What does it matter? To me you either like it or you don't and if you don't you look elsewhere for what floats your boat. I thought it was worth a punt as I like the technology, style and exclusivity. I bought it to impress myself not others. It is so easy to ride that I got time to see and enjoy the scenery. I arrived home after a hundred miles feeling as fresh as I did setting out, and so relaxed. All right so it won't keep up with a Blade or even a CBF 600 but there again that's missing the point a bit. The motor is bombproof the transmission is so smooth in any of the three modes it is a revelation and it's fast enough for me and sensible overtaking is not a problem. The styling is different, the screen has no purpose other than style and to keep the instruments dry in poor weather and I like it that way. I have good kit for weather protection and in the Summer will be glad of some wind in my face hopefully. Being 6'3" I find knee room at a premium but manage by being able to alter my position slightly to suit. The suspension is well damped without being harsh and handling is accurate and confident. It can be fitted with luggage if you want to tour with it and has a fair amount of after market parts available for a bike produced in small numbers. It's early days yet but so far I'm very pleased with my purchase.

    10 February 2011

  • Diesel

    Fly by night

    Average rating rating is 2

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    It might have done better as honda's first attempt at a diesel. Good gas miles crap looking ntv type engine.

    07 February 2011

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stonecoldjohn

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stonecoldjohnsays

comments

 i can see MCN isnt a favorit of the dn-01 as  they have given all the negtive comments stars !!

19 February 2014 19:59

Fly by night

User's Badge

Fly by nightsays

Diesel

Woops put my coment in the wrong place oh well.

 

It might have done better as honda's first attempt at a diesel. Good gas miles crap looking ntv type engine.

07 February 2011 16:07

jahagon

User's Badge

jahagonsays

Repsol DN-01

I've just noticed at the bottom of this page that there's a repsol colours DN-01. You've gotta love 'em for trying but it just proves - you can't polish a turd.

29 January 2011 15:39

petervoros

User's Badge

petervorossays

DN01

Thank you James MCN that's one of the few positive comments I have seen from a journo about t5his bike. I agree if you think you'll like it you will and try one to make you're mind up. Took your advice and picking mine up next Tuesday.

28 January 2011 20:59

DavidHondaCBF

User's Badge

DavidHondaCBFsays

ha

Saw one of these in a Honda dealer last year - I thought it was a funny joke bike, gotta give credit to Honda for being brave enough to produce something that looks like that though - wow... Trouble as I see it, is it's not for hardcore bikers, it automatic, slow and you sit on it like a scooter. I think chrisbf125 got it bang on with the batman comment

23 January 2011 19:50

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