Honda NM4 To Debut At ComicCon London

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Honda NM4 London ComicCon

If like me you grew up on a diet of Japanese cartoons you no doubt came across many of Honda’s inspirations for the new NM4. Previously codenamed the Vultus, Honda’s New Motorcycle 4 is a twin cylinder scooter / motorcycle hybrid with a feet-first riding position and wildly futuristic styling.

Drawing inspiration from the 1980s Manga serial comic Akira, the bike’s riding position is as unique as they come – the Honda NM4 is not a step-through design so the rider is straddling the bike, but the seat is low at just 25.6 inches and the handle bars are swept back behind an imposing, geometric fascia reminiscent of the humanoid robotic ‘mobile suits’ from the anime series Gundam Wing. Ingeniously the pillion seat can be folded forward to serve as a backrest which riding 1-up and can be angled forward and backward to find just the right position.

The controls are taken from a motorcycle, but simplified, the NM4 has a dual clutch six-speed transmission with full and semi automatic modes which eliminates the need for a shifter on the left foot, and while the right foot still controls the rear brake, the bike’s ABS system allows both brakes to be actuated by the brake lever on the right handlebar. Riding around town and on the highway promises to be a breeze with just two controls, both in the rider’s right hand, floorboards beneath the pegs, and a generous windscreen and fairing to keep the rider well protected.

Honda NM4 London ComicCon

Underneath that striking bodywork, the NM4 is powered by Honda’s 670 cc parallel twin, which exhibits a 270 degree firing order, much like a V-twin, but allows for a more compact packaging. The engine is tuned for low-end torque, and produces around 54 hp, more than capable of moving the NM’s somewhat surprising 540 pounds.

The bike’s turns signals are integrated into the front and rear bodywork which even accommodates four separate storage compartments – two small cubbies in the front fairing, one of which offers a 12 volt charger for a cell phone or GPS, and two larger paniers in the rear of the bike. The bike’s dashboard is a single, central LCD display with a variable color backlight. It features a central digital readout of speed above a horizontal bar-graph style tach as well as a gear indicator, trip computer, and temperature display.

The NM4 is due to make it’s European debut at this weekend’s London ComicCon where a partnership with Oculus will allow attendees to experience a virtual reality tour through Akira’s futuristic Neo-Tokyo. With this motorcycle, Honda is hoping to tap a new market of potential customers who will appreciate the bike’s friendly seating position and easy controls. Personally, I think it’s a great looking motorcycle with a feature list that will appeal to broad range of consumers, and I’m looking forward to seeing one on the road.

  • Luke

    I love that it is HONDA that is making this bike. If it was a new company, I would assume that build quality would be terrible as it seems pretty far “out of the box/original” and that it would cost $25K. But I kinda feel like a Honda or a Suzuki would make this bike at at the same standard as their normal over-engineered/under-stressed levels. I think if anyone else made a bike this unique, they would be tempted to put in a massive engine and finish it with sketchy build quality.

  • Thomas Whitener

    Does it come in red?

    • Reid

      I can almost guarantee that it will.

  • Doug Erickson

    good to see honda trying to appeal to new markets. not my cuppa tea, mind you, but neither is three-quarters of harley’s lineup.

  • http://www.2wheelsandamotor.com William Connor

    Me not fan. My wife however likes this and the CTX line with the auto. She likes the ease of use but it’s not a scooter.

  • http://motocynic.wordpress.com/ Scott Otte

    I would never buy this bike. However I do think it’s super cool looking and hope it does draw people in to the lifestyle.

  • michael franklin

    Well I guess a comic convention is the right place to unveil a comic book bike.

    • Mr. White

      Darn it, you stole my joke! It’s kind of a mobile lounge chair for a geriatric Batman.

  • MichaelEhrgott

    54 HP and 540 lbs. Nope. Also, how many panels do you have to remove to do an oil change?

    • zedro

      It’s a robot, it’ll change itself.

      • MichaelEhrgott

        I’ll buy it if it can make me coffee on the way to work.

    • http://motocynic.wordpress.com/ Scott Otte

      Forward controls.. It’s clearly not targeted at people who care much about power to weight ratios.

      • MichaelEhrgott

        Or clearance. Foot-boards kill cornering clearance.

        • Michael Howard

          Not if they’re designed to NOT kill cornering clearance. My Yamaha Majesty maxi-scooter has built-in running boards and can still get its lean on.

  • MrDefo

    I love it. I can’t wait to see this in person.

  • Campisi

    I almost want to buy one of these just to encourage Honda to make more stuff like it.

  • Paolo

    Footpegs and a more agressive riding position…count me in! Sweet bike.

  • Nemosufu Namecheck

    I like this bike more and more each time I see it – not sure if it’s for me or not but looks really comfortable and sleek.

  • John Romeo

    convert it to Akira Bike :D

  • hunkyleepickle

    looks like an even more radical F6B to my eyes. I can appreciate radical design, but Honda needs to start making some engines with a little ‘soul’. I’m so tired of their parallel twins i could barf. Plus 54 hp on a bike that big sounds very underpowered.

    • KC

      I agree about the parallel twins. I can’t build up any excitement for the 500 or 700 engine. Crazy enough, I’m finding the 250 single to have character. The F6B at least looks sleek and has the venerable flat six engine. That’s a confused model as well. It should have cruise control and a reverse gear being that big. I like Honda’s overall, but very few models have any kind of styling I’d want to own.

  • James

    I don’t understand. Is this a bike or a scooter? I didn’t think there was a market for hybrids. I thought you either liked the bike or the scooter (or you went with the scooter cos your were to crap to ride a bike).

    • who cares?

      You’re an idiot James.

      • James

        Thanks, real constructive comment.

    • Michael Howard

      One of the joys of riding a scooter is humiliating people on “real” bikes who think that WHAT they ride means more than how WELL they ride.

      • James

        Ok, maybe the bit in brackets was a bit harsh – but I genuinely did not know there was a market for motorcycle/scooter hybrids.

        • Michael Howard

          Weirdos like me want the practicality of a scooter (integrated storage and abundant weather protection) with the performance and handling of a “real” motorcycle. Once you’ve experienced the daily convenience of being able to toss a few bags of groceries (or a large take-out pizza or a 24-can pack of beverages or…) under the saddle, it’s difficult to go back to trying to strap things down to the seat with bungee cords — especially when it’s raining. ;)

          • James

            Fair call. I have the availability of a car when I need to carry anything more than my lunchbox so I never really considered storage when I was looking at going to two wheels.

    • Geo

      To all the super riders out there that look down at projects like this one… do you know how MANY of you i took with my 250cc auto at the highway with traffic? too many… CCs dont make you a rider… precision and willing to die for it makes you one… so please… all over the forums i see americans talking trash at people who dont ride anything above 1000… i see you on the road… do you know how we would call you in Greece and Italy? WEEKEND RIDERS, because thats what you are, didnt see anyone knowing how to drive a fucking bike yet… you get on the open highway, speed above 80 and WOW you are a rider… i shall find some of you through the traffic, looking at my back with my 650 cc or even my 150 that i use for groceries… please people get real

  • eddi

    That ride position would finish off my back in about 5 minutes. On the other hand the shift and ABS technology looks like a step in the right direction. Simpler controls mean less distraction and fewer wrong ways to do something.

  • Ryan Deckard

    LOL 54hp, more than capable of moving 540lbs? No where quickly, that’s for sure. 596cc single cycl supermoto puts out more than that to the wheels

  • http://www.themotorcycleobsession.com/ Chris Cope

    I live in the UK and I’m disappointed with how Honda’s playing the release of this so far. They’ve priced the bike at just shy of £10,000 (US $16,900) but have not clarified whether that’s for the NM4-01 (without panniers) or the NM4-02 (with panniers). The bike is presently only available via special order (so you can’t test ride one) and their dealers (or, at least, my local dealership) are utterly clueless about it — still referring to it as the Vultus and clearly baffled by my asking for clarification on the -01/-02 issue.

    Also: £10,000! The NC750X costs £6,900; the NC750 Integra costs £7,800. Internally the NM4 is the same bike, so why does it cost so much more?

    • KC

      The same could be said for the late DN-01. It was a pricey plastic-coated mess of a thing, that was basically a Deauville/NT700V with nothing that made a Deauville good. This doesn’t look like a custom motorcycle or custom scooter, but a style project run amok. There’s some clever touches and ideas, but that’s not enough to make it a good vehicle.

      I get that it’s not really designed for veteran riders. It’s designed to attract attention, positive or negative. Honda is drifting dangerous close to being known for oddball, heavy handed, styling than engineering.

  • Charles Quinn

    This thing is crying out for an electric engine. Do it Honda, for god’s sake

  • RumbleStrips

    I honestly do understand the design concept: it seems like machine that will be inferior to a scooter or even a smaller dual sport for city riding while also inferior to a larger sport touring bike for open road riding. It’s too heavy to be truly comfortable around town and doesn’t make enough power to be exciting in any real way. What’s the point? It’s like the worst of both worlds.

  • KC

    It’s an awkward looking thing that makes me wonder “what market is this for?” It’s yet another re-skin of the 700cc platform, an over the top Honda Integra. It also looks like another limited run Honda that will make finding parts for hard later on.

    I’m all for easy, approachable motorcycles, but there’s already a very dynamic and sophisticated large scooter market. I have nothing against scooters and their step-through designs. It’s just a variation of a motorcycle.

  • Geo

    To all the super riders out there that look down at projects like this one… do you know how MANY of you i took with my 250cc auto at the highway with traffic? too many… CCs dont make you a rider… precision and willing to die for it makes you one… so please… all over the forums i see americans talking trash at people who dont ride anything above 1000… i see you on the road… do you know how we would call you in Greece and Italy? WEEKEND RIDERS, because thats what you are, didnt see anyone knowing how to drive a fucking bike yet… you get on the open highway, speed above 80 and WOW you are a rider… i shall find some of you through the traffic, looking at my back with my 650 cc or even my 150 that i use for groceries… please people get real