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Test: Honda X4

Gray eminence

The new Honda X4 muscle bike is threatened with a fate similar to that of the Yamaha Vmax: It should only come to Germany via the gray trade.

The increase in big bikes? Bigger bikes? Quite wrong, even fatter and more powerful than big-biges, these are muscle bikes. The first of thesis species came to Germany in 1985 via the gray market, the Yamaha Vmax: almost 1200 cc displacement, 145 hp, ragged chassis, brutal design. Eleven years later, the official importer added it to its range, albeit in the tame 98 hp version. A second such veteran has been on the market in Japan since April 1997, the Honda X4: almost 1300 cm³ displacement, 100 hp, antiquated chassis, even fatter.
And just as Yamaha Germany once did at Vmax, Wolfgang Murrmann, head of Honda Germany, waves it aside: “The X4 is too expensive for the German market. It would cost significantly more than our CB 1000 big bike (most recently 18,880 marks, editor’s note), and even that we had to take out of the range last year because of the price pressure from the competition. "One’s suffering, the other’s money: Grauimpoteur Dieter Konemann already has the X4 – which costs less than 12,500 marks in Japan – for 18,999 marks in his model range and will in all likelihood now make the mess. His first copy – though still equipped with the 180 km / h throttle prescribed in Japan – was at MOTORRAD in mid-April to be put through its paces.
Tea drive source is a redesign of the CB 1000 engine with a larger bore, longer stroke and changed gear ratios. The CB 1000 was also the inspiration for the chassis: the same suspension travel and stanchion diameter of the fork, the front brake system was completely adopted, the main frame with the two beams and the aluminum swing arm are also suspected of being.
The first time you try out the seat, you will immediately notice the footrests attached to the back, which, from an orthopedic point of view, force you to sit on the extra-wide, comfortable and low sofa that is favorable for your backbone, but somehow essential. The lights for the fuel level indicator and the water temperature are housed in the tank console – how noble. Unfortunately, the fuel cap is not hinged, but removable – how ignoble. In the cockpit you really only miss a timer – there is no such thing – and the choke button, which is there, is no longer in keeping with the times on the carburetor. The narrow, barely cranked handlebars guarantee completely relaxed shoulder muscles, no matter how long the stage lasts, but it doesn’t exactly make maneuvering the five and a half quintals easier.
All the greater is the aha experience once the X4 has picked up speed: it can be maneuvered playfully through the urban jungle and tricky combinations of curves. The oversized 190/60 roller on the rear disc wheel requires enormous angles even at low cornering speeds. But what costs important tenths of a second on the racetrack for super athletes, in the case of a muscle bike like the X4, only increases the fun of driving: like a snowboarder, so diagonally, you swing through the landscape, and the footrests pedaling relatively early on the asphalt protect you Cockiness.
But just like the snowboarder, uneven ground also throws the X4 off its concept: Light waves are enough, and it starts pumping with the rear, it bumps over really bad surface like a horse-drawn vehicle. Mainly to blame for this are the two completely underdamped, but rather hard struts due to the small spring travel (estimated no more than 90 millimeters, exact details were not available at the time of going to press). In addition, there is a fork that occasionally punctures due to insufficient spring progression.
The two braking systems work more convincingly: With the front one you search in vain for a really crisp pressure point, but the dosage with two fingers up to the adhesive limit of the tires succeeds without any problems. As usual, the mounted Bridgestone BT 57 successfully thwart a righting moment when braking in an inclined position. Depending on the vehicle weight, the rear system contributes a considerable part to the overall deceleration and its effect is also easy to dose.
That is also a good thing, something that pushes well should also be braked well. And the X4 unit with a displacement of just under 1.3 liters pushes phenomenally well, even from idle. Even moving off in third gear is smooth and saves you from chopping around in the noisy gearbox. Then it’s best to put in the fifth, because between 2500 and 6700 rpm there is over 100 Nm of torque available. With this wide speed range, both strolling through town and sprinting on the highway can be done in one gear. In pulling through from 60 to 140 km / h, this Honda is not only superior to an open Vmax, but also to all series motorcycles measured so far at MOTORRAD.
Tea power of the X4 initially comes into play in a relatively unspectacular manner: except for a quiet hum, which is not inconceivable for a vacuum cleaner, nothing can be heard or felt from the motor. Only from 4000 rpm the handlebars, footrests and seat begin to vibrate finely, at four and a half then Dr. Jekyl becomes Mr. Hyde and the arms become long. Fortunately for the poor and sadly for the measured values, the Japanese black box puts an abrupt end to this incredible forward thrust at 180 km / h. But a second "unthrottled" black box is already on the way from Japan to MOTORRAD, so that the maximum speed value can be delivered in one of the next issues. The chassis does not get in the way of the measurement, because even leaps and bounds due to the misplaced suspension struts over bridge heels on the highway do not disturb the X4.
F.The fat Honda is clearly marked by its abnormal thirst of almost ten liters at a speed of 160 km / h – that is also a MOTORCYCLE record. In this respect, Mr. Murrmann from Honda Germany is right, the X4 is really expensive.


The X4 is macho and also drinks like one, but is a gentle and good-natured fat man with super easy handling and a funny ratio of cornering speed to lean angle. I have seldom sat on a motorcycle that seduced me to stroll around I swam so relaxed and complacent in traffic. And if someone does get on your nerves, then just open the tap and pass it – immediately, without shifting, of the speed. The X4 is a motorcycle for connoisseurs and not for stokers, if only because of the misplaced spring and damper settings.

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