Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Not Entirely Sold...

Came across this the other day, and I'm still trying to decide how I feel about it...

Honda NM4 Vultus Concept First Look
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.
Now, it's a scooter, technically, I guess - motorcycles haven't had automatic transmissions since the "Hondamatics" of the 1970s - and while 65+ MPG from a 750cc bike is decent, the 54 HP in a bike weighing 540 pounds doesn't really do much for me. It has neat touches, like integrated bags and a display that can change color, and it's got styling that evokes something out of "Tron":


I suppose a lot will hinge on the price point. Something like this for around $6-$7K puts it into the realm of possibility, especially as a commuter bike for congested areas (the automatic is a godsend in heavy traffic - no more hand cramps from feathering the clutch!). I'm still pretty well sold on the Elio, but until it actually goes on sale and I see them on the street, I'm keeping my options open.

The biggest selling point on this, IMHO, is that it's a Honda. We've owned two Honda automobiles and one motorcycle, and all three vehicles have been reliably boring. The article doesn't specify drivetrain, although I suspect chain-driven. With ABS and shaft-drive, this would be essentially bulletproof.

I'll take the black one, though - one "Batcycle" coming right up!

That is all.

7 comments:

wolfwalker said...

Hmm... Something out of TRON? The Bat-cycle? Looks to me more like the vehicle mode of a Transformer. Don't be surprised when it starts talking to you.

Formynder said...

It looks more like something Robocop would ride. Too angular for TRON.

Laura said...

one step closer to the bike from Akira. yesssssssssssssssssss.

Will said...

Honda had a bag integrated bike back in the 90's. Can't recall the name. Wasn't a big seller, but looked ok. Think the bag unit was a wrap around u-shaped tail end.

This just looks like a harder edged version.

I had some experience with the mid-70's Moto Guzzi Convert. Nice bike. 1000cc V-twin with two speed auto, with bags.

First bikes had a wiring harness that was too short where it plugged into the rear of the headlite unit. I was asked to take the first one we sold, and ride it until I could figure out the cause of the bike stalling on the customer at awkward times. Watched the large plug move as I parked it on my first ride home. Bingo! Cut all the tywraps and pulled the harness as far forward as I could. We informed the importer about the cause. (Don't recall the authorized fix. New harness?) So Jersey shop.

Which reminds me, I also designed the complete harness for the Guzzi Mopeds. They came into the states with a wiring setup that was unacceptable. IIRC, the ignition ran through the taillight, which caused the bike to die when (not if) the lightbulb's element burned out, or broke from vibration. Nice mopeds. We got a deal on a batch of them for figuring out the wiring needed. Could be pedaled like a real bike, unlike the competitors. Fun times.

GuardDuck said...

Honda had a bag integrated bike back in the 90's


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Pacific_Coast

Jay G said...

The 'Wing's had integrated bags since the 1990s, too. Didn't mean to imply I thought this was something new, just something neat this new bike has as an option...

Sevesteen said...

I'm not a big fan of the NC700 based bikes--no idea how they ride, but they seem like the motorcycle version of all the K cars that Chrysler put out, same engine and frame with different bodywork.