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Honda NM4 Vultus Concept First Look

Friday, March 21, 2014
Honda has unveiled the NM4 Vultus concept at the Osaka Motorcycle Show. Two exhibition versions of the all-new design were introduced – the base-model NM4-01 and NM4-02 featuring integrated bags. While listed at concept/exhibition models, Honda states the NM4 Vultus is “planned for production.”

The new Vultus appears to share the same 745cc Parallel Twin developed for the NC750 models – an update of the NC700 platform slated for the European markets. The 8-valve single overhead cam Twin claims peak power of 54 horsepower (6250 rpm) and 50 lb-ft torque (4750 rpm). The powertrain features Honda’s familiar Dual Clutch Transmission, and Honda cites fuel efficiency of 66.8 mpg – equating to a range of 200 miles from the NM4’s 3-gallon tank.

Honda-NM4-Vultus-2.jpg

The Vultus specs list a 540-pound curb weight, with the chassis comprised of a steel-tubed frame and aluminum swingarm. The suspension package is a 43mm fork and single rear shock. Braking incorporates ABS with a single 320mm disc/2-piston caliper up front and 240mm disc/single-piston caliper rear.

So that gets the basics out of the way, now let’s discuss the Vultus styling...

The NM4 continues Honda’s fascination with the scootercycle hybrid, which had delivered a number of bike show concepts and the infamous DN-01. The latter, which reached production, was a design albatross perhaps remembered best by its euphemistic “Do Not Order 1” acronym.

We’ll leave the Vultus styling explanation to Honda, which describes it thus in a global press release: “This NM4 was designed to realize two points; the design concept ‘the Front Massive Styling’ and ‘the cockpit position’ focusing on the sense of unity with the rider, that the rider can smoothly get into the vehicle. The low-setup cockpit position and adjustable backrest provide an enjoyable new riding feel. The instrument panel was designed to provide clear readability and the fun riding, as if the rider was experiencing part of a movie scene.”

Honda-NM4-Vultus-1.jpg

Honda’s European media site provides a more informative PR on the NM4 project. It confirms the visual cues were inspired by bikes in anime and manga. Honda is also keen to note that Vultus is Latin for “appearance, expression – or face” and says of the new mount's visage “The NM4 Vultus, with its LED lights, future-shock style and stealth bomber silhouette presents a look that will not have been seen in any cityscape this side of an anime movie…”

Honda also states the Vultus creative team were all in their 20s and early 30s, and the kids “were given a completely free hand” and “conceived, designed and put it together”. And Big Red goes on to say of the new model “the NM4 Vultus represents a leap of faith from Honda, one intended to appeal to and attract a new kind of rider.”

So, it’s a big aspirational design – like all good concept bikes should be… But we’re betting the vultus on many an American Honda dealer’s face is one of concern that this beaut stays anchored overseas.

UPDATE: Honda has confirmed its NM4 as a 2015 model for the American Honda lineup.
 
 

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Comments
fitblue   July 2, 2014 06:52 PM
ACTUALLY, I have one. I've been riding for 10 years. I have a Harley Heritage Softail w/screaming eagle pipes and beachcomber handlebars for weekends and a Honda Silverwing for commuting to work (60k miles on that Silverwing. SO, guess what... This NM4 ROCKS!!!!!!!!! IT'S A BLAST to ride, great riding position, like my softail only more comfy cuz of that backrest! Its the bat bike and I'm bat girl! You naysayers, need to see this bike in person. I'm telling you everyone who I know, even my HD hubby loves it! Its wicked cool looking in person and is SUPER FUN to drive! The LED headlight..I can see for miles!! I just wish it was a 1000cc!
nazzbit   May 28, 2014 11:37 AM
First lets ignore all of the simple minded peoples negative comments. this bike is absolutely awesome in my book, I never wanted a bike until the NM4 was introduced and since it will be available for sale in the stated June of this year I will be purchasing one. Honda has finally appealed to the new generation with its futuristic styling and by making this bike an automatic which has kept some people away from bikes all together.
RaptorFA   April 9, 2014 05:08 PM
Yeah, it seems like many of the best bikes are not offered here. However, this thing can certainly stay overseas! Maybe it's just the pictures but I can't even figure out where to put your feet on this ridiculous thing. I think a better photo shoot is in order to be able to figure out the line. If I am being totally honest, it could be a lot of fun to ride. But own one? No way. And I am not against nor afraid of new and/or different approaches. I own A Can-Am Spyder, which seemed pretty out there when I bought it. But the Spyder offers 100 HP, good acceleration, modern electronics, a comfortable ride and an over-all interesting and very fun experience. This Scootercycle thing just doesn't get it for me. It will be interesting indeed to see if we see any of these on the road.
artsbest   March 26, 2014 05:48 AM
Bart. WHY are none of these modern day high tech/HP scooters available in the USA? What's with this stuff? I'd love to buy an Aprilia SRV 850 for my other half. But it's not offered here.
Heathen1990   March 25, 2014 05:12 PM
Pretty interesting concept. But will this be available in the states? And also why not just produce a cruiser model like the shadow line or a chopper model like the fury line?
Thommo675   March 24, 2014 09:09 PM
Honda figured the slow sales of the DN-01 were due to it being not slow or ugly enough.
KenC   March 23, 2014 02:25 PM
"...more of a Pacific Coast look to it, I would be interested." -- are you kidding? Isn't this bad enough? To see what Honda is capable of, look back to the "EVO 6" concept of a few years ago. Someone there *might* still be capable of beautiful creations (unless they've moved to Europe).
Piglet2010   March 22, 2014 06:45 PM
If it had shaft drive and more of a Pacific Coast look to it, I would be interested.
McCool   March 22, 2014 04:07 PM
15-20 more horses, one more gallon in the tank, and one more disc brake on the front and I'm buying it. I like the hard bags on the back of the white one, but it looks like that would be a factory option as they don't look bolted on compared to the tail on the black one. This bike looks like it'd be comfortable to ride all day. Get rid of the foot rest for a second passenger on the white one and use the extra space for more storage.
RENDELL   March 22, 2014 12:14 PM
I like it a lot and I'm 40 years old. It needs more power to interest me before I would seriously consider purchasing one. I read on a British website this motorcycle was referred to as the "Bat Cycle."
Allworld   March 21, 2014 05:34 PM
I can't say I hated it, just not sure what to make of it. I would have to see it in person, and sit "in it" to get a feel for the ergonomics. I think it would be a good commuter vehicle and perhaps a weekend touring, "bikooter". I used to say "Dare to be Different" about Chrysler, it seems it's better fits Honda these days.