The Honda NM4 Vultus is not meant for you and me. In fact it's not intended for conventional motorcyclists at all. Which explains why it's being paraded at SCIFI events like Comicon and across the pages of magazines like Wired. All of which, plus the fact that it is based on the rather uninspiring Honda NC750 platform, is styled like something from Batman's garage and costs 529,000 THB, should add up to a machine that's far too easy to mock and ridicule. Which it is. But honestly, the Honda NM4 Vultus is really rather good, too.
As is Honda's occasional wont, the Honda NM4 Vultus is a design study, an experiment, but one that's made it from concept stage to being a full-blown product model.
The intent, as Large Project Leader Keita Mijura told reporters, it 'to attract the attention of people who are not normally interested in motorcycles.' That's why it looks like it does and why it's being paraded around the non-motorcycling media. But having tried it, it's also clear why the Honda NM4 Vultus is so joyously easy to ride and yet entertaining and effective, too.
If you can look beyond the wacky stealth bomber styling there are two key things going on here. First, to be completely un-intimidating to non-motorcyclists, its ergonomics are almost child-friendly. The seat is just 650mm from the ground, the handlebars come back almost to your chest and, scooter-style, there's nothing between your knees either. Getting on board is very easy.
Secondly, and just as importantly however, is how easy the Honda NM4 Vultus goes, too. The chassis and powertrain are based on the Honda NC750 / Integra platform, hence the NM4 name. As such it uses the same ultra-flexible 750cc twin cylinder engine in combination with the second generation Honda DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) automatic gearbox. And while the propect of no clutch or gear lever seems daunting at first, in reality it's mastered and reveled in before you're out of the car; simply start it on the button, prod the right thumb switch into D for drive and, literally twist and go.