Aprilia Mana 850 vs. Honda DN-01

Automatics For The People

By Tim Carrithers, Photography by Kevin Wing, Motorcyclist Archives

2009 Honda DN-01 | Price $15,599
Hard Parts

Adapted from Honda's Euro-spec NT700V Deauville stupor-commuter, the 52-degree V-twin is eminently capable, drawing combustibles into a pair of four-valve heads through a pair of 40mm Keihin throttle bodies. Utterly efficient, it is also almost entirely characterless. Though hidden from view by a phalanx of cheap plastic covers, the Human Friendly Transmission is a marvel of modern hydro-mechanics.

Beneath all that Shark Week bodywork there's a humble double-cradle, steel-tube frame. A removable steel subframe provides a solid foundation for the rider/passenger seat. Heavy bits are mounted as low as possible, allowing a pavement-skimming 27.2-inch seat height. The 4 gallons of regular unleaded live in a dual-compartment tank, one in the usual spot and another under the seat.

Rolling stock is sufficiently sporty: 17-inch, five-spoke, cast-aluminum wheels wear Bridgestone or Dunlop sport-touring radials. Honda's Combined Braking System makes slowing down as easy as speeding up. A pair of three-piston front calipers puts sintered-metal pads against 296mm floating rotors, followed by another triple-piston caliper and 276mm rotor out back. ABS is standard.

Plastic body panels are artfully sculpted and nicely assembled, if somewhat overabundant. The rakish polycarbonate windscreen doesn't block much oncoming atmosphere, but it does block your view of the otherwise excellent LCD dash. The dual-element headlight array is excellent: High beam is on the left and low beam to the right, just as you'd find on a CBR.

Tech Spec
Engine type: l-c 52-deg. V-twinFront brake: Dual Nissin three-piston calipers, 296mm discsCorrected 1/4-mile: 16.02 sec. @ 85.39 mph (automatic) 15.10 sec. @ 90.29 mph (manual)
Valve train: SOHC, 8vRear brake: Nissin three-piston caliper, 276mm discTop-gear roll-on: 7.97 sec.
Displacement: 680ccFront tire: 130/70-ZR17 Bridgestone BT021Fuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 43/35/39 mpg
Bore x stroke: 81.0 x 66.0mmRear tire: 190/50-ZR17 Bridgestone BT021Colors: Candy Dark Red, Black
Compression: 10.0:1Rake/trail: 28.5 deg./4.5 in.Availability: Now
Fuel system: EFISeat height: 27.2 in.Warranty: 12 mo./unlimited mi.
Clutch: HFT HydromechanicalWheelbase: 63.2 in.Contact:
American Honda Motor Co., Inc
P.O. Box 2200
Torrance, CA 90509
Transmission: Automatic 6-speedFuel capacity: 4.0 gal.
Frame: Steel double-cradleWeight (tank full/empty): 602/578 lbs.
Front suspension: Showa 41mm forkMeasured horsepower: 42.4 bhp @ 7500 rpm
Rear suspension: Single Showa shock with adjustable spring preloadMeasured torque: 33.6 lb.-ft. @ 6000 rpm

The DN-01 power curve is more remarkable for its pan-flat quality than sheer quantity. No accident there. Linear delivery works best in the hydro-mechanical drive equation, and a significantly stronger engine would require a much heavier version of the HFT used here.

There's not as much room as you'd expect on a motorcycle with axles situated 63.2 inches apart. Legroom appears abundant, but stretching out puts your feet too far ahead of your butt. All things considered, it's best suited to compact humans and short distances.

Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!

*Please enter your username

*Please enter your password

*Please enter your comments
Not Registered?Signup Here
(1024 character limit)
  • Motorcyclist Online