Veteran AMA racer Jake Zemke was on hand for the recent press intro for the 2012 Honda CBR1000RR. We asked Jake to go a couple of laps for us at Infineon Raceway with our GoPro camera to show us what it’s like to ride the CBR for someone used to pushing the bike to its […]
Honda NM4 Vultus Concept Revealed
Honda revealed a new concept model called the NM4 Vultus, a futuristic-looking 745cc motorcycle with a massive front fairing. Despite the fact it looks like a mockup made for a movie like the Kawasaki-based bike in the recent Robocop reboot, Honda says the NM4 is indeed planned for production.
The NM4 was designed by a team of young engineers in their 20s and early 30s, and that’s demographic Honda wants to target with its new concept. The large fairing, part of what Honda calls “the Front Massive Styling,” is heavily-inspired by Japanese anime and manga art.
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“Honda is a big company. We make every kind of motorcycle. “It’s great that sometimes we make a certain machine simply because we can and because we want to, not because we ‘should’,” says Keita Mikura, NM4 Vultus project leader. “The NM4 Vultus exists because of a passion from deep within our company. We wanted to create something special, not just in the two-wheeled world, but truly unique in the whole world – a machine that engages a human soul like no other.
“Our intention was to make something that makes every moment feel cinematic, and we want riding it to be an event – guaranteed – every single time.”
The large fairing is the NM4 Vultus’s most defining feature. In fact, the name “Vultus” itself is Latin for appearance or face. The lighting system is comprised entirely of LEDs including the headlight which is framed by a thin blue LED light. The fairing bears a slight resemblance to a stealth bomber, extending back and outward to include the mirrors. When seated in the cockpit, the eyes are drawn to the instrument cluster that changes colors between 25 different shades.
While we’re used to seeing storage spaces hidden behind large fairings, Honda decided to install storage compartments on the front. The left compartment is opened by the ignition key, revealing a liter of storage space and a 12V DC adaptor. The right compartment opens at the push of a button, revealing a three-liter storage space. Honda also produced a second version called the NM4-02 which adds integrated panniers.
The NM4 is powered by the same long-stroke 745cc parallel-Twin engine equipped on Honda’s recently-updated NC lineup, claiming 54 hp at 6250 rpm and 50 ft-lb. at 4750 rpm. The engine is tuned for low-to-mid-range performance while claiming fuel economy of 66.8 mpg. As with the NC750X, NC750S and Integra, the engine is canted forward, lowering the center of gravity. Honda also equipped the NM4 Vultus with its dual-clutch transmission, allowing automatic shifting through six gears.
The engine is mounted in a steel diamond frame. The 43mm telescopic forks are raked at a 33-degree angle with a 110mm trail. At the rear, a Pro-Link monoshock handles suspension duties.
The braking system consists of a 320mm disc up front gripped by a two-piston caliper and a 240mm disc with single-piston caliper at the rear. The NM4 is also equipped with a two-channel ABS.
Other highlights include a low 25.6-inch seat height, tall windscreen, a backrest that converts into a passenger seat, 10-spoke cast aluminum wheels, a 120/70 ZR18 front tire and a fat 200/50 ZR17 rear tire. Kerb weight is claimed to be 540 pounds, about two pounds heavier than the CTX700 which uses the same engine and a similar chassis.
The NM4 Vultus will make its public debut this weekend at the Osaka Motorcycle Show. Honda did not provide a timetable for when it expects the NM4 Vultus will enter production.