Honda Previews 680cc Automatic-Transmission Motorcycle at Tokyo Motor Show

680cc Honda DN-01 Tokyo Motor Show automatic-transmission concept motorcycle is headed for production.

Honda's Tokyo Motor Show booth will include a new 680cc automtatic-transmission motorcycle that Honda says will be put into production. The DN-01 is powered by a 680cc V-twin, and uses a hydraulic mechanical continuously variable automatic transmission with two automatic modes and a manual six-speed. Shifting is accomplished using handlebar buttons. Honda says the automatic shifts smoothly enough to avoid possible traction problems while cornering. A lock-up mechnaism improves efficiency and fuel economy. The motorcycle's designation indicates that it is the first model developed in Honda's DN (Dream New) program.

Honda sold a 750 four and a 400 twin with automatic transmissions in the U.S. during the 1970s, but neither motorcycle was very successful. There has long been speculation about an automatic-transmission version of the Gold Wing. The DN-01's date with production may signal that Honda feels that the time is ripe for a modern automatic motorcycle.

Honda release on the DN-01 follows.

Honda Introduces "DN-01" Concept Motorcycle at Tokyo Motor Show, A Large-size Sports Bike with an Automatic Transmission

TOKYO, Japan, October 19, 2005 - At the 39th Tokyo Motor Show 2005, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today introduced a large-size sports motorcycle concept model, DN-01*, equipped with a continuously variable automatic transmission and a water-cooled, 4-stroke, OHC, V-type, 2-cylinder, 680cc engine. Honda will continue the development of DN-01 with the goal of introducing it to the market in the near future.

DN-01 is being developed in the concept of a comfortable sports cruiser, with the goal of creating new value for the customer by proposing a new level of riding pleasure. The newly adopted hydraulic mechanical continuously variable HFT (Human Fitting Transmission) system features two types of full automatic modes as well as a 6-speed manual mode which the rider operates through buttons located on the handle. Moreover, this is the first hydraulic mechanical continuously variable transmission system in the world to be equipped with a lock-up mechanism, which improves the fuel efficiency while offering a smooth ride without feeling the shock normally associated with gear shifts, even when cornering. With the HFT, the DN-01 achieves more easy-to-operate and comfortable riding than currently available sports model motorcycles.

The 39th Tokyo Motor Show 2005 will open its doors to the general public beginning Saturday, October 22, in Makuhari, Chiba. Honda will present a motorcycle display booth with the theme of "Dream Wings." The theme represents Honda's effort to make people-motorcycle relationships more dream-inspiring and to propose a new level of riding pleasure with new values Honda will create.

* DN-01 stands for the first (01) vehicle developed under Honda's Dream New (DN) concept

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