Home' Army News : February 4th 2010 Contents 34 LIFESTYLE
Army February 4, 2010
is three rides
in one bike
By Sgt Andrew Hetherington
THE first time I laid eyes on a Honda DN-01 I
wondered if it was a big bike or a scooter on
Its styling is nothing short of what you'd
expect to see as a bike in a future instalment of Blade
Runner. When I first approached it I thought it looked
like a shark. To look at it front on, the headlights give
it an almost human appearance. It looks like there are
two eyes looking back at you. After 10 minutes walking
around gazing at the huge wheels, LED tail light, sleek
body and silver exhaust, I began to like the design so
much I imagined owning one.
When you first go to
throw your leg over the
seat you notice the raised
handle bars and the easy to
read, fully digitised instru-
ment panel, which displays
speed, what gear you are in,
which transmission mode
you have selected, fuel
level, rpm, time and a trip
My first impression was
this is a big scooter, but it
isn't. It's a cruiser. There's
no scooter on the market
with a liquid cooled 680cc
V Twin engine, and it has no under seat storage like a
scooter either. As I looked at the left hand grip there's
no clutch and near the hand grip there's a plus and
minus paddle shift arrangement, for the semi-automatic
Human Friendly Transmission (HFT) easily operated by
index finger and thumb.
Sitting on it you feel more comfortable than what
you would on most bikes and most lounge chairs at
home. As I accelerated from the kerb I wasn't expecting
the rush from the V Twin; does this cruiser move. The
exhaust note is deep and sounds like it should belong to
something bigger than a 680cc. 60 and 100km/h comes
up in a blink of an eye and the transmission borders on
a similar smoothness to VW's car DSG. Whether you
are in drive (sport where it revs a little higher improv-
ing responsiveness) or in manual mode the changes are
I gave manual mode a good workout on a hilly sec-
tion and it was flawless, allowing me to have as much
control as I wanted. Handling was light, sure, safe, giv-
ing you still the fun of leaning over as far as the 130mm
ground clearance will provide.
The 712mm seat height will allow most people a
comfortable perch to ride from and the angled foot
boards give you confidence even when leaning into
The large diameter wheels coupled with a telescopic
fork front and rear 7-step adjustable suspension gave a
comfortable ride in most conditions.
The DN-01 is a bike with many personalities, it can
be a relaxed cruiser, a semi-auto sport-like bike you can
blast around town on, or it can be a sensible commuter;
where you can manually change gears and if you don't
want to do the changing, let the HFT do it for you. It's
three bikes in one, what more could you want?
Comfortable cruising: The DN-01 handles most road conditions with ease.
Photo by Sgt Andrew Hetherington
By Gordon Traill
DAVID Finkel, an edi-
tor and journalist with
The Washington Post,
was embedded with the
2/16 Infantry Battalion based in
Baghdad. They were part of the
"surge" in 2007.
His account of the new strat-
egy of the war in Iraq was told
through his eight-month involve-
ment with the unit's soldiers, in
the US and through the highly vol-
atile and unpredictable, roadside
bomb ridden streets of Baghdad.
He captures the feelings of the
pre-deployed soldiers with their
ideals of hope, honour, love of
their country and winning the war.
He grabs the reader by the
scruff of the neck with his no
holds barred description of events
that change these soldiers' lives
Finkel describes how these
young men are robbed of their
youth as they learn early on in
Baghdad about death, fear and
One soldier wrote in his last
journal entry the desperation he
faced during his deployment,
"I've lost all hope. I feel the end
is near for me, very, near."
He also captured the heart-
ache and difficulties the soldiers
and their families faced when
they returned home.
The Good Soldiers is beauti-
fully written and is difficult to
put down. This book is not just
for soldiers, but also for families
with members deployed to Iraq
-- it would be an inroad into the
minds of their loved ones.
The Good Soldiers is the best
book I have read on the Iraq War.
Gordon Traill is an Iraq veteran and
editor of the Australian Peacekeeper
and Peacemaker Veterans' Association
Australia website www.peacekeepers.
A good read
The Good Soldiers
By David Finkel
Scribe Publications $35
HONDA DN-01 680CC
Final drive: Enclosed shaft
Wheel size: 17 inch
For: Comfort, riding position, futur-
istic looks, it'll never date, ABS, the
HFT and it's a bike.
Against: Width and smallish fuel
Best suit: Anyone who wants a
reliable, responsive cruiser.
Insurance: 12-month comprehen-
sive insurance for a 25-year-old
male: $899 Sydney, $2033 Darwin,
$1587 Brisbane and $1352
Links Archive December 10th 2009 February 18th 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page