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Honda’s Fiercely Friendly DN-01

Basem Wasef

It’s got futuristic styling and a striking face, but Honda’s new DN-01 is shockingly approachable at its core. Horizontally swept lines flow from a shark-like nose to a subtly bulbous tail exposing at the bike’s center a 680cc V-twin that’s tuned for tame boulevard cruises, not outright sprints.

But the DN-01’s technological focal point is its innovative gearbox, designed to shift automatically or semiautomatically via push buttons alongside the left grip. Auto offers two modes—“Drive” or the more aggressive “Sport”—and manual simulates a six-speed gearbox. A parking brake keeps the DN-01 put on inclined surfaces, and unlike most automatics it can be coaxed into neutral for the occasional showboating engine rev. A cushy saddle, relaxed riding position, and leisurely floorboards take even more edge off the DN-01’s personality. For a mild ride wrapped in fierce shell, the Honda DN-01 is a wonderfully original way to ride off into the sunset. (http://powersports.honda.com)

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