Though futuristically styled and featuring an unusual automatic transmission, the Honda DN-01
took the brunt of some harsh criticism when it entered the American market in 2009
, especially since it was saddled with a hefty $15,599 premium that defied a burgeoning global recession crippling the motorcycle industry. Critics seemed too distracted by its odd styling and high price to even bother ripping on the bike's available dual-clutch automatic transmission; many took delight in saying "DN-01" stood for "Do Not Own One," and suggested that Honda headquarters were out of touch with the wants and needs of the American market.
Enter 2012, and Honda has come up with an entirely different answer to the question nobody asked: the NC700X, a new model that's priced at $6,999-- less than half the price of the ill-fated DN-01-- and offers available ABS bundled with a modified version of the dual-clutch gearbox found on its swoopy predecessor. Those two are available for an extra $2,000.
Is the Honda NC700X a bike for our times, or a cheap stopgap until American buyers can go back to their high-priced, big-engined ways? To find out, I tested one around the streets of Los Angeles.
Related: 2012 Honda NC700X: Everything You Need to Know