Comparo twin Honda 700

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Comparative test DN 01, XL700V Transalp ABS-CBS, NT700V Deauville ABS CBS

What can lead to compare 3 motorcycles as different as a DN 01, an XL700V Transalp ABS-CBS and an NT700V Deauville ABS CBS? How to put a trail, a road and an alien side by side ?

Admittedly these three models are really different but they are motorized by the same base: a twin cylinder block 680 cm3, simple ACT. So, you might as well follow the idea to the end and travel as many kilometers as possible … from Paris to Colmar … via the Vosges and back … in order to assess the specificities of these motorcycles on the beach. widest possible use. Who will emerge victorious ?

Comparo Twin Honda 700

Discovery

The DN-01 is confusing at first glance: improbable cross between a cruiser from which it uses the footrests and the rear flange of 190, and a futuristic scooter with its automatic gearbox of the latest technology. Its design cannot be ignored. Long and low, fluid, the lines stretch across the rear and the whole looks like a shark. The dashboard is digital and extremely comprehensive. The gears are changed either manually using the + and – buttons on the left stalk, or automatically in "D" (Drive) and "S" (Sport) mode. The latter offering more energetic stimuli.

Comparo Twin Honda 700

The Deauville seems very classic next to its transgenic sister even if it was modernized in 2006, both in terms of line and engine. Integrating a large amount of luggage, a large screen adjustable in inclination and a cardan transmission, this model is a real GT combining comfort, practicality and accessibility.

Comparo Twin Honda 700

In a completely different genre, completely revised in 2007, the legendary Transalp seems the least polished of the three: taut lines, adventurer style, engine spoiler, “Raid” decoration, complex headlight mono-optics, raised exhaust … The trail icon of the brand is also very ergonomic and offers a driving position as well as a comfortable passenger seat whose grab handles are as convincing as that of the Deauville road..

Comparo Twin Honda 700

Contact

Aesthetics are not the only point of difference between these models. If they share the same engine base, their operating differences are significant.

On the DN-01, everything is muffled, the engine is almost imperceptible. The Deauville already makes the V-shaped architecture that propels it more noticeable, but it is undoubtedly the Transalp that delights the ears with its flattering melody. And this is just the start of a large, but logical, list of differences.

Comparo Twin Honda 700

In the city

Once the piloting position has more or less acquired (automatic transmission switches, brake pedal placed vertically at the end of the right step …) the DN is pleasant. The key is to choose your driving mode … want to play? Press "S". Want serenity? Send "D" … Want to choose YOUR report yourself … go to manual! Without forgetting then that, without intervention on your part, you will go to the switch … Also note a truck-like turning radius.

The Deauville is not too keen on sub-revs, with a good twin-cylinder engine and bangs under 2,500 rpm. Easily kept at a higher speed, ideally around 4.00 rpm, the GT gives you the benefit of the softness of its gimbal and its road comfort. Its contained template calls for no reservations during maneuvers.

It also hits the Transalp, at the same low speed. But, from 3,500 rpm, the bi offers nice pickups while the exhaust sympathetically takes care of the soundtrack of the urban journey. Wide handlebars, trail type geometry … the Transalp is easily placed in traffic. Only the greater plunge of the fork, inherent to its “all-terrain” nature and its height can surprise at the beginning. Especially with the CBS system, which plunges forward when you press the brake pedal … coupling requires. Guaranteed efficiency.

Comparo Twin Honda 700

Departmental

Soft saddle but stiff shock absorber … the DN-01 is not the most comfortable but still very correct. On the other hand, its playful mode of operation is appreciable. The engine responds to each request ("S" mode) and quickly makes you discover the limits of ground clearance … it scrapes at each turn as soon as the pace picks up. On the spiraling and lively road which descends towards Colmar from the Crêtes, you will certainly find a way to complete the footrest nipples … or adapt a rhythm more suited to the philosophy of the machine in bends: contemplation.

To try to follow, on this same road, a 2009 VFR 800 on the handlebars of a Diversion … you have to hang on … at the top of the tachometer: 2 ° and 3 ° ratio of 7,500 rpm at breaker. Therein lies the engine efficiency of the GT. Astonishing for a two-cylinder … In a sour chant, the twin delivers its last resources. The cycle part is certainly a little flexible but holds up on this sporting rhythm. Surprisingly, and not really its style, especially at an adapted pace, the Deauv ’is a real pleasure to ride. Note that the gimbal is a real pleasure, not generating any jolts.

Comparo Twin Honda 700

In mountainous corners, the Transalp wins the point. Its vitamin engine revives strongly and provides a kick to the buttocks at 5,000 rpm with some healthy vibrations. The cycle part, lively, precise and intuitive forgives piloting errors. You have to play a bit with the gearbox in sporty driving, but it is perfectly staged in more usual use. The soundtrack becomes more metallic but retains all its charm and accompanies the evolution of the trail, which spins from turn to turn. The difference in engine philosophy with the Deauv ’is very noticeable. Dynamic on one, it seems more home-like on the road, a consequence of the greater weight on it. The GT is however equipped with a gearbox with only 5 gears..

Highway

No, finally, I keep Deauville … thank you !! The choice is quickly made: The DN-01 can take you far, but not by the motorway … at 130 km / h and more on authorized routes, the mutant brings you to a choice of position: either with your nose in the meters, overhanging its smooth bonnet and without deflector, is lying back … it is at 150 km / h that one really hesitates to continue the experiment, even though the engine would gladly let you do it. Here again, this model is made for cruising on the shores of the beach or the avenues of large cities, in flexibility and comfort..

On the "alpine trail", the expressways, without being pleasant, remain frankly acceptable. Large curves and straight lines swallow serenely even at high speed. Only the vibrations numb the hands a bit in the long run.
The upright sitting position and the fairly efficient bubble given its size would ideally be supported by a more comfortable saddle.

This is what the Deauville offers, plus a real adjustable windshield to drive fast and well. Silence, calm and, almost, voluptuousness, even at 180 km / h where a very slight darting begins. The large fairing contributes to these tiny ripples but above all to your comfort. Her legal-looking balance is very good and you can hardly take the saddle of this roadster to find that of one of her sisters of the day.

Comparo Twin Honda 700

Braking

Excellent on all three models, this is improved by coupled ABS-CBS braking: this system balances the braking power between the front and rear brakes, regardless of the control used and it is very efficient.

Comfort / Duo

You will bypass it on the fast-paced DN-01. The other 2 models welcome pilot and passenger with common sense.

Handles, position, protection … everything is designed for travel use, which is part of the specifications of both the Transalp and the Deauville. The suspensions of the trail are firmer than in the past but nothing disturbing, especially on the road where its behavior is only more incisive.

Comparo Twin Honda 700

Conclusion

It may seem strange to "compare" such different models. It is therefore less a comparison than an opportunity to ride, with the same engine base, on 3 machines with concepts far removed from each other:

  • A GT with integrated suitcases and great comfort, in which the twin is a bit to the point if you want a little fun but which will take you, your passenger and all your luggage, far and comfortably.
  • A vitamin trail with the ability to go off-road or ideally express the two-cylinder and which allows you to have fun in the relaunch. An invitation to travel, even adventurous, or simply the everyday tool, the extra pep.
  • An astonishing hybrid concept with a charm comparable to its ground clearance: limited. But so offbeat, ideal for enjoying urban or peri-urban areas and offering either the ease of the automation of a scooter or the convenience of a futuristic sequential gearbox motorcycle. The "cruis-ster" or the "scootstom" with which you will not go unnoticed.

This reliable and proven engine base allows Honda to offer both a relevant offer: Transalp and Deauville and impertinent … the DN-01, a technological showcase for automation.

All have in common that they are the culmination of their respective concept and therefore represent rational choices in their category. Again and again the Honda spirit: ease, innovation, consistency.

  • Honda Deauville technical sheet
  • Honda DN-01 tech. Sheet
  • Honda Transalp technical sheet

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