Drive Away 2Day

Honda NM4 : Concept Cars

Industry observers often say that Honda builds models for customers it wishes it had. Today at the 30th Osaka Motorcycle Show, that great company has shown another attempt to set a fresh direction in motorcycle style: the NM4 Vultus.

The “Front Massive Styling” of this 745cc parallel-twin-powered Vultus was clearly emerging in certain models shown last fall at EICMA in Milan. Vultus places the rider to the rear, his back against what may be the pillion seat flipped up (notice passenger pegs). The rider steers through latter-day George Roeder pullback bars—allowing the front of the machine to become an open-mouthed, semi-streamlined box containing the engine, fuel, and parcel storage—and sits up like a patron on an electric bar bull of the ’80s. He does not lean forward into visual anonymity. This is “Here I am!” seating on an urban-practical machine with an aggressive style that NC700/750X lacked.

Remember the “cab-forward” styling of Honda’s aluminum NSX sports car? Cab forward could be seen for years before NSX in the form of every swoopy rear-engined Le Mans racing sports car. Nice try, but no cigar. Cab-forward failed to take, as the public instead endorsed things like Corvette’s enduring loyalty to Ferrari’s classic 1958 Testa Rossa front-engined style. Evidently our species prefers a big thing out front. In 1943, Republic Aviation called it P-47 Thunderbolt. Honda calls it Front Massive Styling.

Skepticism is supported by the question, “Where are they now?” This applies to the ’70s automatics, V-twin Pacific Coast, “entry-level” $13,500 hydrostatic-transmission DN-01, and incomprehensible Rune. Fortunately for us, Honda has the resources to experiment, to simply write off to experience such things as Pacific Coast and to continue trying one novelty after another until it clicks with a Gold Wing or a CBR1000RR.

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Sources : Honda NM4 Concept Photo | Honda NM4 Concept Article


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