A futuristic take on the classic cafe racer.
After presenting the ‘CB4 Concept’ at EICMA, Honda takes the ‘Neo Sports Café’ design theme further with a striking concept. The head turning CB4 Interceptor bike provides a futuristic interpretation of the popular Honda cafe racer bikes, while also adding a ‘Sport Endurance’ flavor to the build. Designed in Honda’s R&D department in Rome, the bike oozes style.
The all-black palette gives the bike an elegant look, while the flowing lines soften its sporty character. On the aerodynamic front section, a large LED ring sits around a central fan which uses kinetic energy to power the touch-screen display. This panel not only connects the rider to digital maps and various controls, but it also allows the user to make emergency calls or link different devices. CB4 Interceptor made its debut at this year’s EICMA show in Milan. We’re pretty certain that we’re not the only ones hoping this Honda cafe racer goes from the concept stage right into production. Photographs© Honda.
Honda CB4 INTERCEPTOR – 360 view
- 2018 NM4 Vultus Horsepower: 46.9 HP @ 6,250 RPM (USA)
- Euro Spec NM4 Vultus 750: 54 HP @ 6,250 RPM (40.3 kW)
- 2018 NM4 Vultus Torque: 44 lb/ft TQ @ 4,750 RPM (USA)
- Euro Spec NM4 Vultus 750: 50 lb/ft TQ @ 4,750 RPM (68Nm)
- 2018 NM4 Vultus MPG: * 61 Miles Per Gallon
A ground-breaking motorcycle inspired by the desire to establish a unique riding experience and an identity not bound by standard motorcycle design, with strong echoes of futuristic bikes seen in Japanese movies. Created by a young design team who remained true to their original concept at every stage through to production, the NM4 Vultus brings radical style to the streets, with function from the future for a new breed of rider.
If you’ve ever wanted to transport yourself into the future, this is your machine. By design, the NM4 shakes up the status quo and explodes conventional barriers in order to attract a whole new segment of forward-thinking riders to motorcycling. Beneath its futuristic bodywork there’s a 670cc (745cc European model), liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engine with four valves per cylinder, automatic dual-clutch transmission and ABS. Storage pockets in the fairing plus saddlebags add real-world utility, and the rear turn signals are neatly integrated into the rear bags. The rider settles easily onto a comfy seat that’s perched a low, 25.6 inches off the ground, and there’s also a cool and practical rider backrest feature—the passenger seat flips up and can be set at three different angles and slides fore and aft to one of four positions. Full LED lighting lets the NM4 stand out whether it’s coming or going, the fat, 200mm rear tire imparts a cool look, and the meter display can be illuminated in any of 25 different color choices—nearly one for every day of the month.
Six-Speed Automatic Dual-Clutch Transmission
Honda’s revolutionary Automatic DCT transmission is changing the way people ride. It’s smooth, smart and the clear choice for a machine as futuristic as this one. Want to shift yourself? The handlebar-mounted paddle-style buttons put you in control. It’s the best of both worlds.
Styling That Stands Out
Want to turn some heads? The NM4 does more than just that. It’s easily one of the most unique motorcycles on the road. The first time you see one up close, you’ll never forget—and neither will anyone else. The angular fairing, the presence the front-end commands, the integrated storage. The NM4 is as futuristic as anything on two wheels.
Advanced Twin-Cylinder Engine
No matter how revolutionary a motorcycle looks, we all know great bikes start with great engines. The NM4’s 670cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin is pure Honda. Tipping the cylinders forward also contributes to the NM4’s low center of gravity, a big plus in terms of handling.
The local launch of the new Fireblade was held recently at Redstar Raceway. The President of Honda in SA, Toshiaki Konaka, reaffirmed the Fireblades flagship sportbike status, reminding us that the Fireblade legend started in 1992. The new ‘Blade’ is true to the mission statement of the original bike, namely, excellent power to weight, handling, cornering and balance.
For all intents and purposes, the new ‘Blade’ is a totally new bike, sharing only 10% of its parts with the previous model. Power is up to 141kW @ 13000rpm, with 114 Nm of torque @11000 rpm. The new chassis is lighter and tighter, improving aerodynamics with a reduced frontal area. The ‘Blade’ sports a slipper ‘assist clutch’ with 17% less lever effort required. [Everyone seems to have discovered this ‘assist’ technology, as it is vogue on many new bikes. However, I have never seen or heard complaints about heavy clutch pull before, but whatever!]
Wheels are lighter 5 spoke Mags, and the exhaust is now titanium. The SP has a titanium fuel tank and a 1kg lighter lithium-ion battery.
Electronics include a fly-by-wire throttle, various power modes, ABS, traction control and even adjustable engine braking – technology that has trickled down from the mighty RC213V-S.
The throttle has a conventional return spring to give the rider the familiar ‘cable’ feel. Wheelie control keeps things tidy and works with the traction control. The SP comes standard with a bi-directional quickshifter, (optional on the double R).
Suspension is electronic, adaptive Ohlins on the SP and fully adjustable Showa on the RR. The Ohlins have settings for Track, Windings Roads and Street and adapts the damping characteristics to suit.
Colours are HRC Red, White and Blue for the SP and Victory Red (with black and white accents), as well as a sort of Graphite Black, for the RR. All the colour schemes are stunning, however, the SP in HRC colours and gold Ohlins forks, is breathtaking.
Visually, the new ‘Blade’ is truly beautiful. Sleek, small and tidy, every styling element hangs together to create a bike that is as satisfying to look at, as it is to ride. The Fireblade, from the first 1992 model, has flattered the rider’s ability but this ‘Blade’ takes that flattery to a new level. Simply stated, it puts you in control. Accelerating, turning, braking or strafing sweeps, is all achieved effortlessly. I rode the RR and really enjoyed it. Despite feeling more like a 600 size-wise, I found the riding position reasonably comfortable for my 6’2” frame. Not ‘tour-to-Cape Town’ comfortable but rather ‘breakfast run’ comfortable. At around R240,000 the RR offers fair value in this day and age.
And the SP? How am I going to put this in a way that you will ‘get it’? Both SP and RR are gorgeous to look at and lovely to ride. However, if these bikes were identical twin supermodels, the SP has read and applies the Kama Sutra! Everything the RR does, the SP does better. The sheer quality of the Ohlins suspension package elevates the SP to another level. The standard quickshifter is superb. Ride only the RR, especially on the road and you will probably want one. Ride the SP on a track and you will have to have one! – the extra R60000 suddenly seems small change.