- The legacy motorcycle of Tron and Akira
- In the saddle
- In the city
The legacy motorcycle of Tron and Akira
Is it characteristic of a great manufacturer to dare to even go beyond innovating? In any case, Honda succeeded once again by unveiling the NM4 Vultus, a vessel of the future, worthy successor to the DN-01 but by borrowing the frame and mechanical part from the NC series.. Could we talk about making something new with something proven? The NM4 Vultus is poles apart from such remarks with a line unlike any other to such an extent that it is difficult to place it in any particular category. Motorcycle, custom, scooter, running concept-bike? Test of an improbable machine that we will not see much since France will only host a hundred …. to tear them away ?
Aside from the two-wheelers and the saddle, the NM 4 Vultus is unlike a stealth plane…. except to return to the first edition of the film Tron, or even an episode of Batman or Akira. And it’s not just the matte black color of the outer shell that says so. So it made sense to see her land at ComiCon recently.
The NM4 Vultus stretches in length with its almost 2.40 meters (2380mm) with a front end almost seeming to protrude from the front wheel to the rear light overhanging a huge 200mm coil. The saddle seems almost hidden in the middle of the set, so low it is, especially compared to the handlebars which it seems necessary to hang on. The exterior fairing is simply huge and unparalleled on the market, allowing it to offer side storage spaces, including locked (left). The front end really impresses, not so much at the level of the central light – even if it is surrounded by leds – but of the indicators and an overall V shape, bodybuilder. And if the headlight seems almost small and could make one imagine a limited night vision, it is on the contrary surprisingly effective at night with a beautiful and large beam on the road in simple low beams. And in high beam, it’s simply impressive efficiency while providing real night driving safety..
However under the ramage, the Vultus takes again the twin cylinder of the NC with its 54 horses. But beyond the horses, it is especially the torque of 68 Nm, available from 4,750 rpm that appeals and finally sticks rather well to a machine with a big heart..
Those nostalgic for the DN-01 will just regret the absence of the gimbal and its synonym for reduced maintenance. Here, we find a traditional chain.
In the saddle
The 1.60 rider puts his feet perfectly on the ground, thanks to a saddle that peaks at just 650mm. The wide saddle is able to accommodate the largest hindquarters and all with comfort, especially as the rear saddle can straighten up to turn into a backrest. The feet then extend noticeably forward on the huge platforms to engage the brake pedal, with a position close to a custom …. even if here, the back can remain straight, without fatigue. The arms then move apart noticeably to hang onto the handlebars in height, the latter literally coming to the rider via two arcs of a circle. The head seems to pass under the bubble in height.
The pilot then has before his eyes the on-board instrumentation available in the cockpit with a huge fully digital screen with speedometer, tachometer, clock, partial trip, fuel gauge, gear indicator engaged, outside and hand temperature. and on the other, information inserts surrounded by LED nets with indicators: parking brake, engine, indicators, neutral, ABS, etc..
Note that the color of the speedometer and the led edges change color depending on the stealth mode: light blue in neutral, sustained blue in automatic mode, red in sport mode and orange in manual mode. Because the Vultus benefits from the engine and especially from the automatic gearbox with double clutch DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) disengageable from the NC 750. We therefore find the standard stems of the NC with on the right the choice of normal or sport mode and on the left the paddles for manually change gears on the handlebars.
As for the colors, there are no less than 5 colors, which are still available at the choice of the drivers for twenty-five colors in the end..
The side stand is almost hidden under the fairing and therefore requires a little practice to unfold it with the tip of the heel.
Starter, we find the serious sound of NC. Press on the right stalk and the first engages. Grip the accelerator and the whole thing takes off with a certain amount of swing. Simple impression linked to being like inside a cockpit, with a bubble hanging over it or simply proof that there are indeed 245 kilos? The low saddle, the feet firmly on the ground and a low positioned weight make it easy to recover any hazardous maneuver anyway. The first few meters are smooth and the large lever arm allows wide maneuvers at low speed without difficulty. Then all you have to do is accelerate and the gears shift automatically. In fact, despite the effective weight on the scale, it is completely forgotten from the first few centimeters of rolling.
In the city
The NM4 Vultus will not disorient the regular to the NC 750s, whether or not it is an Integra. The normal mode is pleasant even if the reports pass quickly to the next one automatically. We then drive more on the torque and we naturally find ourselves in fifth in town, under 50 km / h and in sixth gear at 60 km / h. In this game, consumption is regularly under 4 liters per hundred. Economical and yet not devoid of sensations with the large torque of the twin. Normal automatic mode is even the most pleasant driving mode for the Vultus, which does not encourage its pilot to play the departures stopped at a red light. The sport mode is a little more brutal in town for this model (compared to an Integra for example) and we may not be satisfied with the speed / ratio chosen by the gearbox with more jerks than the normal mode . In fact, it is better then to go directly to full manual mode, especially since the first accepts to go up to 65 km / h! Without going for the laps, we can stay between first and second gear to appreciate a dynamic machine, quick to take the laps, far from the possible first impression of docility given by the standard automatic mode..
At almost a meter wide (933mm to be precise), you’d think the Vultus struggled to pass between cars. And yet on a day-to-day basis, the interfacing is carried out without thinking about it, even if from time to time it just goes by the line.
And if the look and the position can make believe in a custom, the ground clearance of 130 mm close to a motorcycle, makes that one never scrapes in the roundabouts.
And when stationary, you will not forget the parking brake, located on the left … mandatory in the absence of first engagement.
The Vultus voluntarily engages on the highway in automatic mode, cruising to 130 km / h at just 4,000 rpm. Conversely, in manual mode, it can still be in 3rd gear at 115 km / h with a dynamic allowing all possible overtaking to be considered in complete safety! And this would be only because, even in automatic mode, it is possible to actuate the pallet and thus to lower one or two reports, thus forcing the box to downshift. Better, stalled at 150 km / h on the last report in automatic mode, it suffices to give a sharp blow to the level of the right wrist for the Vultus to go down a gear to drop a gear and return to 5th and thus resume the dynamics for overtake.
The Vultus then literally takes off, all with exemplary stability, reinforced in particular by the 33 ° caster angle. And stability is not at fault, even in large curves that they swallow naturally and effortlessly, including on hazardous road junctions..
With a rather low position, the bubble protects particularly well by deflecting the air above the helmet, without generating noise or particular infrasound as we often see. Even if the screen is adjustable in three positions (via screws), the three positions do not materialize by major changes, ultimately having little influence on the height level. To try therefore according to the size of the pilot.
With a single 320 mm diameter hydraulic “lace” disc at the front with 2-piston caliper and a single 240 mm “lace” hydraulic disc with 2-piston caliper at the rear, you might think that the braking is a bit sluggish. just to stop in particular the 245 kilos all full made. In fact, the rear brake alone is almost sufficient to stop the machine, at least in town and calmly, even if the ABS comes into action well on strong rear braking. The front brake offers excellent feeling and the necessary power on its own too; and with a weight rather carried on the rear, it is more difficult to make the motorcycle plunge forward. Suddenly, the "combined" braking is very much enough to stop the machine, especially since the Vultus does not encourage teasing the top of the meter.
The passenger discovers a new world thanks to a very high position which allows him to see well above the pilot’s head.
On the comfort side, the passenger seat is more of the order of the folding seat … more useful raised to serve as a backrest for the pilot than to consider a long romantic weekend, especially if the comfort is at the rendezvous for the pilot, the passenger feels there the defects of the road with a suspension felt as hard overall. And without a passenger handle, acceleration must be damped to avoid losing the same passenger during acceleration. The advantage is that it strengthens contact by forcing it to cling to the pilot. To reserve for lovers therefore…
The Vultus has two storage compartments located at the front in the fairing, the left of which even locks with a key, with the added bonus of a 12v socket for recharging a mobile. The storage space on the right can just accommodate a disk unit or even tightly packed rain pants, but not much more. There is then no space under the saddle, neither rider nor passenger.
On the other hand, we can take advantage of the two fabric rings of the passenger seat to secure a bag to the rear, passenger seat raised or not. On the other hand, watch out for the pretty shiny bodywork which risks losing its shine with friction.
We appreciate the parking brake now on the left, compared to the DN01 which placed it on the right: more practical when you are on a slope and the right hand is already taken with the front brake.
The average consumption is close to that of an NC with an average consumption of 4.2 liters per hundred. It must be said that in town, with the automatic gearbox in normal mode, we are regularly doing nothing in fifth or even sixth gear on the expressways (70 km / h). Consumption then rises to 5 liters per hundred on the motorway … or even in manual mode. If the first of the five sticks of the gauge does not fall until after 50 kilometers, the following ones fall almost every 25 km, igniting the reserve from 200 kilometers. And with an 11-liter tank, it thus allows an overall range of 250 kilometers..
It is fun ! As much as the NCs aren’t really fun, driving a Vultus is an undeniable pleasure, as much related to feeling like you’re driving a kid’s toy that doesn’t have to be late as to being transported to another world. It does not have the power of a motorcycle or a good roadster, it does not have the advantages of storing a scooter, but it is damn good on a daily basis, not only to make things look good on the Croisette. but quite simply to move in the city, to make peri-urban, even of the road, with a comfort superior to all the existing models of NC. There are only a hundred more planned for France. So, for sure, you are unlikely to find another near you. Only the price, at 11,599 euros (almost the same price as the DN01) but with standard ABS, can make you think.
- look (general and details)
The technical sheet of the Honda NM4 Vultus
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