2014 Honda NM4 Vultus Debuts in Japan

03/20/2014 @ 10:46 pm, by Jensen Beeler56 COMMENTS


According to Honda, the NM4 was “developed under the keywords of ‘the Neo-futuristic’ and ‘COOL,’ pursuing new, unique styling.” We have no idea what that means, but the two designs, the Honda Honda NM4-1 (black) and Honda NM4-2 (white) are sort of a mashup between the company’s DN-01, Valkyrie, and the bike from the anime movie Akira.

To that end, Honda says that the design concept focuses on two elements: “front massive” styling and a cockpit position. More tangible technical items include an LED headlights, tail lights, and turn signals, as well as panniers for storage (featured on the NM4-2). Underneath the hood is a 745cc, two-cylinder, 54hp engine that has Honda’s dual-clutch transmission.

With a fat 200mm rear tire, the NM4 is supposed to give a “prominent” rear-end design, while still being low enough to the ground for a rider to easily get on and off the machine. Breaking cover at the 30th Osaka Motorcycle Show today, the Honda NM4-1 and Honda NM4-2 concepts will also be on display at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show next week.

While Honda’s worldwide press is listing the NM4 as a concept machine, Honda Motor Europe confusingly has the “Honda NM4 Vultus” as a 2014 model. While we try to sort out those to conflicting press releases, leave your thoughts in the comments section about what you think about the NM4.








Technical Specifications of the 2014 Honda NM4 Vultus:

Type Liquid-cooled 4-stroke   8-valve, SOHC parallel 2-cylinder
Displacement 745cc
Bore ´   Stroke 77mm x 80mm
Compression Ratio 10.7 : 1
Max. Power Output 40.3kW @ 6,250rpm (95/1/EC)
Max. Torque 68Nm @ 4,750rpm (95/1/EC)
Oil Capacity 3.9   litres
Carburation PGM-FI electronic fuel   injection
Fuel Tank Capacity 11.6 litres
Fuel Consumption 28.4km/l (WMTC mode-Tested   in D-Mode)
Starter Electric
Battery Capacity 12V/11.2AH
ACG Output 450W/5000rpm
Clutch Type Wet   multiplate hydraulic 2-clutch
Transmission Type 6-speed Dual Clutch   Transmission
Final Drive Chain
Type Diamond; steel pipe
Dimensions (L´W´H) 2380mm   x 933mm x 1170mm
Wheelbase 1645mm
Caster Angle 33°
Trail 110mm
Seat Height 650mm
Ground Clearance 130mm
Kerb Weight 245kg
Type Front 43mm telescopic fork, 125mm stroke
Type Rear Monoshock damper,   Pro-Link swingarm, 100mm travel
Type Front Multi-spoke cast   aluminium
Type Rear Multi-spoke cast   aluminium
Rim Size Front 18M/C x MT3.50
Rim Size Rear 17M/C x MT6.25
Tyre   front 120/70   ZR18
Tyre   rear 200/50   ZR17
ABS System Type 2   channel ABS
Type Front 320mm single wavy hydraulic disc with 2-piston caliper and sintered metal pads
Type Rear 240mm single wavy hydraulic disc with single-piston caliper and resin mold pads
Instruments Digital speedometer, digital bar-type tachometer,   clock, bar-type fuel meter, two trip meters, gear position indicator, outside air temperature gauge and coolant temperature warning light.
Security System HISS
Headlight LED
Taillight LED

Source: Honda

  • Paul McM

    Oh dear God. And I thought the CTX 1300 was bad (and it was indeed worse ‘in the flesh’ than the photos). This… this is simply frightening, horrific, grotesque, deplorable. It is so awful that it should immediately sent to the crusher (along with its designers).

    I’m sorry, but after looking at this — I reacted with instant and absolute certainty — it is time for heads to roll at Honda. I’m talking from the executive level on down. Anybody contributing to this design or approving it along the way should be fired, and exiled. No exaggeration — this is truly an abomination — one of the most repellent two-wheeled designs I have seen in my life… which is nearing six decades. Unbelievably ugly, with no redeeming benefits in handling, carrying capacity, or ergonomics. Honda has come full circle from building smart, durable, modestly-styled machines to crafting insanely grotesque monstrosities. Who is green-lighting this kind of horror? That person needs to be fired tomorrow morning!

  • Old Baldy

    I give Honda some marks for reaching out there, but one wonders just how big a market there can be for something quite so hideously ugly. These have about as much appeal to me as a visit to the dentist.
    But I’m sure there will be dozens of admirers around the world….

  • Brandon

    Honda keeps on dipping into the Akira scooter styling with their crossover bikes. This one looks better than the previous ones. I say, just jump all the way in and give us something totally off the wall. I’m all for the Akira style bike.

  • Norm G.


    to any of you still holding on to the notion that Honda wants to homologate a V4 for racing, Normstradamus suddenly has the urge to point at you and laugh like Nelson Muntz…

  • paulus

    actually not bad… but needs a funky front end to justify it.
    Not a RWU boring one

  • Oh give it a rest Norm.

  • Norm G.

    re: “Oh give it a rest Norm.”

  • Well, at least you’ll know why.

  • Batman’s scooter

  • zipidachimp

    Paul McM;
    here’s what I don’t get:
    take a look at all of the blogs, etc. on the web extolling the virtues of undraped steel framed cafe’ racers/trackers/bobbers etc. Is there someone at Honda doing research that shows an overwhelming desire for 2-wheelers draped in acres of plastic?

    Honda finally wised up at the end of the chopper craze and created a ‘chopper’.
    Why can’t they be proactive and give us something relevant now, instead of in 2 years?
    Lord knows they have a back catalog of great bikes just waiting for an update!

  • Antti.L
  • Why this weird retro-futurism that copies a cartoon film from the 80s? Yes, wonderful, but this should have been done back in 1985 not 2015. What’s important now are things like the X-Prize and VW’s XL1 project. Let’s see a comfortable powered two wheeler that is properly aerodynamic, warm and dry. And does 100mpg at 100mph.

    Oh, and G-Strider. Of the big 4 Japanese companies, Suzuki did a similar concept vehicle, better, 10 years ago.

  • Gee… where have I seen that before?? Oh yeah… looks like an updated Dan Gurney Alligator… Only thing is, the Alligator is better looking…

  • Starmag

    I have a friend who bought his son a car with a manual transmission. His son refused a free car from dad because it would limit his texting. That’s how important texting is to the younger generation. For me, at 53 and 40 bikes later, this is a bad joke but it does seem like a nice texting platform to look like a cartoon on.

  • Also reminds me of the Pacific Coast. Looking down the specs though this is clearly a joke. 18″ front wheel. 245Kg wet but only a single, sliding caliper, two piston front brake. 11Litres tank.

    One good thing in all this; A backrest. Which I consider to be a majorly good thing if you have a low seat, forward footrests, pull back bars. It’s high time the big scoots and some of the more touring oriented cruisers did the same.

  • smiler

    Hinda’s engineering prowess is inversely proportional to their design ability sometimes.
    The Fireblade has been getting uglier by the year. The VFR 1200 looks dreadful.
    The new CBR 600 is not a looker either.

    It is like Bangle design about 10 years too late.

  • BrianZ

    So, the Gurney Gator has now been redesigned into a new Batman-esque interpretation of an actual Akira machine….that is my impression…

  • proudAmerican

    “While we try to sort out those to conflicting press releases, leave your thoughts in the comments section about what you think about the NM4.”

    Well actually, I left my lunch all over my keyboard. Does that count?

  • SteaminSteven

    As a owner of a Monster 1100, two Yamaha BW scooters, a Yamaha Majesty 400, a CBR600RR, a 76 Honda CB350 Four and a few others I like the wackiness of this scooter/byke/Kanada’s machine from Akira thingie. I’d happily replace the Majesty with this as my daily driver to work. if Honda made a S or R version with twin discs, beefy forks and maybe a bit more power I’d be down all day with it!

  • Toddyo

    Frankly, it isn’t anymore crazy looking than a Victory Vision. But then again, it is just a rehash of the DN-01, down to the wheels and handlebar.

  • JoeD

    Butt Ugly Origami Cruiser for those who do not care if they are laughed at and shunned by the group. I would love to see the warehouses that store all of the unsold units.

  • Random

    The article states it’s 645cc, while the tech specs report it’s 745cc. Given the architecture (two cilinder), the output similar to the NC series, the way the engine is leaned foward (you can see the exhaust curve in the side picture) and the presence of DCT it seems the bike is propelled by the existing NC engine, maybe sharing other parts of the platform (just like the CTX).

    This suggests the bike may be closer to production than just being a one-off concept bike. I personally like the styling – tough I like manga and anime too. :)

  • K13Mike

    Leave it to Honda to redefine ugly

  • froryde

    I like it except feet forward stance…

  • I like it. There I said it. It looks different. I especially like the NM4-2 version.

    Half the time you hear motorcyclists deriding Harley’s for not looking any different for 50 years. The other half you hear motorcyclists bitching about how a motorcycle doesn’t look like a motorcycle – i.e. a Harley.

    Honda is actively pushing design and looks forward and gets chastised. Vanilla Honda!

    Bikes are like art. “[People] don’t ‘know what they like.’ They like what they know.”

  • jimmy smith JR

    Honda please just STOP.

  • Ken

    Soichiro is standing up in his grave pounding the top to get out. Honda is stuck in the phase where they are trying to rest on their laurels engineering wise and extend their marketing. They should have come out with a real adventure bike 5 years ago as well as an I-4 Blackbird update for sport touring. But, they’re too worried about “brand image” from a styling point of view and they’re getting their asses handed to them.

  • Maris Crane

    if there was every ANY bike that needed a rim mounted front brake (or a front swing arm) it would be this.

  • A real-life Akira bike made by Honda? I’ll take it.

    This concept is very similar to the Suzuki G-Strider concept from 2003, except this bike actually looks like it is production ready and not some funky result of a design study.

    Whether you believe this post’s claim of a 645cc engine, or the 745cc tech specs, at 54hp, we’re going to need a bit more oomph to be out there at night street racing on this thing like Shōtarō Kaneda.

  • I like it! Overall. But it deserves an alternative front fork, and better brakes, and what’s with 11 liters of gas!? What goes in that vast expanse where a gas tank ought to be? Maybe a cruiser position could possibly work with that adjustable seat back.
    Who could it be marketed to? A traveler tourist with such a small gas tank and no center stand? Or a techy hip poser? Definitely outside the box!

  • Bill

    Not a fan. Weird cruiser aesthetic that just doesn’t make sense as a motorcycle. Pushing the envelope is one thing, but at least be near an envelope when you do it.

  • jimboecv

    DAMN IT! It only comes in metric.

  • A motorcycle without a manual clutch… RUNS SCREAMING INTO THE NIGHT TEARING OUT HAIR!

    I love DGS in cars, there’s nothing faster, and race bikes have the equivalent, but I don’t think I want a street bike without a manual clutch that can at least override the dual clutch system when necessary.

    It’s an interesting concept, but rather heavy and underpowered for that kind of weight. If it was Lighter it would be a nice little highway cruiser for covering serious distance, good torque, high gas mileage.

  • KSW

    WOW! As a designer and someone yearning for anything outside the motorcycle box I kind of like it. I rode a ’33 Indian at Sturgis 2 years ago for about an hour out in the hills. I’ve not wanted much of a windshield in front of me ever since and scooters can get around town quite fun. Call it two wheel cross training.

    Uh, where’s the lazer that comes out and kills the cellphone in the car ahead of us? Not the driver, I want to live, just the cell phone.

  • KSW

    Oh, one more thang. Uh, Honda, are the floor boards not adjustable fore and aft because you forgot. I think Billet Aluminum Design Concepts has an Idea? Hmmmmmmmmm, Led’s? Flip up foot rest not open out?

  • Paul McM

    And they are actually calling this the “Vultus”? That sounds as bad as it looks…

    I think I’ve figured this out. BMW (or Yamaha or Kawasaki) has a “mole” inside the Honda Design Group, at a high executive, decision-making level. The “mole” is being paid millions of dollars to sabotage Honda’s product line and humiliate Honda in the global market. Deliberate sabotage is the only explanation for this monumentally ugly beast having been approved as a production model … Honda NM4 Vultus,

    Vultus — as in revulsion…

  • Dan

    This is a great design!

    It could even morph into a completely enclosed vehicle with excellent aero. When that happens, performance will be far superior to conventional machines (see Bonneville world speed record setting streamliners). You guys stuck on the bicycle design are dinosaurs.

  • TangoDelta

    Dear gawd, Honda! This is the Batman version of the DN-01!!

  • Bob Starr

    re: “Well, at least you’ll know why.”

    yeah, beeler lacks a sense of humor.

  • MikeD


    Indeed Sr. , i see your point and you could be 110% right.

    But there’s NOTHING wrong on expecting/wanting a motorcycle to look like a motorcycle (Bicycle Design).
    Just ask any non motorcyclist person and see by yourself what EVERYONE thinks a Motorcycle should look like.

    Would i ride this contraption if given to me ? HECK YEAH ! Would i buy it with my own money ? HECK NO !

  • meatspin

    I like it! I dont know why this design upsets people. Didnt Honda give us a new CB to placate the retro lovers out there? A company has to push a new design out there every once in awhile, and this might be the future.

  • Motorman72

    The DN-01 was not as bad as all that. What truly killed that bike was the cost. I applaud Honda trying something different. This bike to me is soooo different. For people of my age mid 40’s or younger who grew up with Robotech and anime this is such a cool looking bike. The fact it isn’t a cruiser or a sport bike is welcome. It is stylish and futuristic and fun. I hope we get it stateside but I’m not holding my breath. If they do bring it Honda needs to price it better than the DN-01 or I fear it would meet the same fate.

  • Shinigami

    I just walked past a row of 50+ bikes parked for service at a shop at Tokyo Bay. Based on what I saw, I say this will sell just fine in Japan.

  • Serhii

    Not bad as a concept, hope it will become even better

  • Tom G

    Yes, a bit too Radical in design. Engine specs sound just fine, with mileage of 59.38 miles per gallon (if my math is right) is a definite “Plus”. Because of my age I’ll stick with my ancient (2002) Silver Wing Scooter, and also await Honda’s announce men of what will replace it. (Hope the NM-4 is not it).

    Anybody know about that? Lemme know if you do.


    Tom G

  • Well Done Honda!!! I Bloody Love it and will most certainly be in the market for one subject to the Price being reasonable.Roll on the Summer.

  • KSW

    To those concerned with the looks. Get over it, this is America and we lead nothing in terms of sales the industry is looking for globally. If you’ve not traveled, like some of us do, around the world regularly you won’t be familiar with what the rest of the world does nor the host of bikes we don’t get. You may think you’re in the biggest, baddest country on the globe but the rest of the world counts on American’s to spend when the world saves and keep buying themselves into a more debt strapped life they can’t afford, only imagine. It’s the asian buying up your neighborhood the manufacturers are after. The manufacturers U.S. franchise has to do better and they’re worried about which old friend producing nothing they can save not the future or your well being, it seems.

    IF you’re looking for an old school appearing motorcycle with modern convenience then visit a builder or shop near you if wrenching isn’t your thang. The custom world is busy as a bee and it’s a mix of cruisers, cafes and street bikes. Make your own, the way you want it. You’ve a long wait for someone at a factory franchise to get what each and everyone of us wants.

  • As a Cadillac CTS owner and a VP at a technology company, I like the look. I like the idea of a fat tire like the Ducati Diavel I owned as well. I am in the market for a new bike, but more than likely will not be getting this. It may be good for other executive types but I could not believe they only put 54 horsepower in this beastly looking creature comfort looking bike. I would have liked to classify it as the BMW of the car world, I cannot account for this new bikes fit and finish but I can tell you it will be a TURD in the sport bike world, its closer to a plastic infused cruiser.

  • Peter

    Beauty has always been something defined as being in the eye of the beholder. I loved the look of the DN-o1 and had it not been so over priced would have had one. I am very impressed with the Vultus and think the NM4-02 (the white one all dressed) is extraordinary. I would like shaft drive, center stand, cruise control, and heated seats, & grips as standard. Some protection for the lower legs would also add to long range touring. I think the young Honda engineers are right on target when thinking there are riders who are looking for alternatives to the traditional bike. Come on folks, if you don`t like it fine, but let the rest of us have some fun too.

  • OB

    @KSW – Might I suggest that you “get over it.” The topic here is simple – our opinions on this new Honda. I think it’s butt ugly. That’s my personal opinion. Just as it is all the others that have posted here.
    Why do I think it will be a DN-01 type flop? Because it has not clear niche market that I can see, because it’s not as cool as a Vespa, nor as practical as a Burgman, nor has the curb appeal of a cruiser like a Big Twin or Sportster, not has the performance of a naked. Prices bandied around in Europe are 11K Euro…..so around $15-16K. REALLY? I see absolutely DOZENS of them being sold worldwide before Honda is forced to drop the price to around the $7K mark (less than half the bandied price) to unload stocks of this ugly duckling. Just my personal opinion, mind.
    PS. I’m fairly well travelled, having worked and visited over 300 cities in 21 countries, so I think I have a fairly broad view of the world. Perhaops not as stellar as yours, but I’m sure good enough for an opinion. :-)

  • paulus

    Saw it at the Bangkok Motorshow this week… it looks decidedly good. Much better than the images.

  • Tony Vilters

    Arch!!!!! They did it again!!!!!!!!!!! They “again” forgot a fuel tank. Exactly the same error as before on the DN1 and the Integra. 11.6 liters?????????????????

  • Mickey

    I like it. I’m from the “I don’t want to be like everyone else” crowd. But mostly I like it because it would appeal to my daughter, who needs a LOW, easy to ride bike.

    It looks fantastic. I do not require everything to look like a Harley, or even other Hondas. This one looks like nothing else, that that’s a good thing. I like almost all motorcycles. I like vintage Indians, Triumphs, BMW boxers…..you name it. They all have their own appeal. Ride this one on Halloween with a Batman suit.

    It’s whimsical. Lighten up. Motorcycles are supposed to be fun. Nobody is forcing you to buy one.

  • Mickey

    It’s not a concept bike. It’ll be in U.S. showrooms in July.

    I’m going to go look at one just for entertainment, even though I’m not in the market.

  • kpinvt

    I have to say the design is growing on me. But what do I know, I own a Pacific Coast. For a bike that will be in showrooms in the US in July I can’t find a video of the bike rolling down the road anywhere online. Not even a promo video from Honda. The only two videos I’ve seen so far were on Google.it. Both videos featured the same bike, outdoors in bright sunlight, not running just parked, with the second video a walk-around with the guy speaking excitedly in Italian. I don’t speak the language so I don’t know if the narrator was excited good or excited bad.