NCR has just unwrapped its latest creations: the NCR M4 and the higher-spec NCR M4 ONE SHOT. Based off the Ducati Monster 1100 EVO motor, the NCR M4 carries over the general aestheic of the popular Italian street bike, but at sub-300 lbs weights, the NCR M4 and the NCR M4 ONE SHOT, with their titanium parts and copious amounts of carbon fiber, are not your average Italian two-wheelers. A quick glance of the M4, and you’ll see the treatment is typical of NCR, with a titanium frame & sub-frame being the crowning jewel of performance added to the package.
Also true to NCR form, you better start saving now if you like what you see here because the NCR M4 isn’t going to be cheap. The 107hp, 84 lbs•ft of torque, 286 lbs, NCR M4 comes complete with carbon fiber parts like its tank, wheels, instrument cluster, airbox, oil cooler housing, and fenders. Also a part of the basic package are NCR’s in-house billet triple clamps, fork bottoms, & rearsets. Brembo monoblocks and Öhlins suspension come as standard as well, and help the NCR M4 to have an MSRP of $49,900, with delivery in Spring 2012 (US market only, other markets TBA).
Of course, if you want a truly pinnacle air-cooled v-twin machine, you’ll want the higher-spec NCR M4 ONE SHOT. Fitted with an NCR 1200 modified Ducati EVO 1100 engine, the higher displacement M4 makes 132 hp (105 lbs•ft of torque), courtesy of its stroker crank, titanium connecting rods, NCR slipper clutch, and other titanium bits. Dropping another 6 lbs off the base M4, the 278 lbs motorcycle is truly featherweight. And for that kind of performance, you better brace yourself, as the NCR M4 ONE SHOT comes with a hefty $69,900 price tag.
NCR says its designed the M4 to have a modular design, meaning that by removing only five bolts the stock titanium rear sub-frame can be swapped for self-supporting carbon fiber race or street tail. Similarly, the front headlight & instrument cluster can be changed to a mini, half, or full-fairing setup by undoing only two bolts. In conjunction with military grade quick connectors on its electrical components, NCR boasts that you can take the M4 from street to race trim in just five minutes.
If you read Asphalt & Rubber regularly, you’ve probably read my laments of the Monster design. Perfectly fine motorcycles in their own right, I’ve just never been able to get behind the Monster’s look and feel. I admittedly just hate the big round headlight look, which is why I like the new Triumph Speed/Street Triple redesign so much more than the old one (blasphemy, I know). I’m going to hold firm to my complaint here as well, though I imagine if you pony up the $50,000 or $70,000 that NCR is asking for, they’ll put whatever damn headlight on the machine you want.
Besides that hefty price tag, my other criticism is NCR’s pervasive use of Ducati’s air-cooled twins. On their way out of the Italian company’s line-up at some point, the two-valve air-cooled 90° v-twin motor is not exactly the most potent lump available. However with the Monster 1100 EVO motor being infinitely more tidy than its water-cooled Testastretta counterpart, the choice is likely largely one of cosmetic preference, though NRC has seemingly seen my complaint coming.
Responding to the idea of a motorcycle with only 132hp, NCR M4 designer and NCR COO Joe Ippoliti says in the company’s press release, “It is difficult to describe what a 278 lbs, 1200cc street bike feels like because it is not like anything you have tried before. After riding a NCR M4, it is difficult to enjoy riding a motorcycle weighing 100 to 150 lbs more, regardless of the amount of horsepower it may have.” We’ll have to take his word for it until we’re lucky enough to try the NCR M4 ourselves. Drool-worthy photos below.