These photos of the new NM4 Vultus from Honda might look like a sci-fi inspired concept bike that will never see the light of day, but if press reports are to be believed we can expect these machines to start rolling off the production lines in the near future.
The 745cc twin offers a laid back, low down riding position and looks that will convince other road users that their being tailed by a stealth-bomber when they see you coming in the rear-view mirror. Ignoring the future-shock appearance, the bike seems like it might fit nicely into the super-commuter category, for riders who need to do long distances in comfort and don’t need super-sports performance or handling. We wouldn’t be surprised if that engine is very softly tuned for fuel efficiency rather than raw power.
As you can see from the pics, one version of the NM4 Vultus comes with a set of panniers built into the bodywork, which also hints at a commuter market, as does the fact that the bike offers a choice of manual or automatic gear modes. It might look like something out of Neo-Tokyo, but this motorcycle will probably appeal to riders who need to grind their way to work through in the more mundane cities of the present day.
The NM4 Vultus will be priced at $1100 in the US, and word is that the American market will be getting a slightly smaller 670cc motor, while the larger version will be available in Europe. More information on the Honda NM4 official site.
This armour plated battle-motorcycle, featuring a pair of front-mounted Gatling guns, might be just what you need for a cruise through down-town Kabul, so long as you’re not too worried about fuel economy, performance and cornering speed.
Also, despite the bad-ass looks, this bike isn’t really going to office much protection for the rider, because it does kind of leave you a little exposed from all sides except the front – although it’s obviously the ideal machine for an insane kamikaze charge into the enemy lines if that’s what you’re looking for.
We have absolutely no information about this bike, so if you know who built it please share the details with us in the comments, we’d love to give credit to its creator.
Concept motorcycles – we love them. The fevered imaginings of some raving lunatic who spends his entire life locked away in the product development department of a motorcycle factory, and get lets out once a decade to share the fruits of his labours with the rest of the world.
Most of the loopy machines they come up with never even make it past the initial sketches, but just occasionally the manufacturers decide to build a one-off prototype of some ridiculous bike to show the world what kind of awesomeness we could enjoy if it wasn’t for stupid things like practicality, economy and safety forcing them to stick with more conservative designs.
Here are ten examples of our favourite concept bikes, all of them as awesome as they are insane – which is pretty much the essence of what motorbikes are all about, if you ask us.
This futuristic motor-unicycle is a concept bike from Bombardier Recreational Vehicles. It’s electrically powered using hydrogen fuel cells, and keeps its balance with gyroscopes like a Segway – although it leans into corners like a conventional motorcycle.
This concept bike was unveiled to the world back in 2003, and still looks pretty awesome today. Although the bike was never put into production in this form, any visitor to Japan will notice a lot of similarly styled super-scooters on the roads, so it clearly had a strong influence on the country’s motorcycle designers.
Another belter from Suzuki. This brutal looking cruiser may have the turning circle of an oil tanker, but who needs to go round corners when you look this awesome?
Indian Speed Racer
This is about as ‘concept’ as concept motorcycles get – its outlandish styling (by designer Dan Bailey, for the Indian Motorcycle company) takes cues from the Alien films, and while it may look amazing, there are few clues as to how the rider actually sits on the bike (where are the footpegs?) never mind control the thing.
This nuts concept bike looks more like a buffalo than a motorcycle, and the vertical handlebars are barking mad, but it does look like a lot of fun to ride. Shame it never got built – the idea came from Finnish design student, Heikki Naulapää, who chose to brand it as an Aprilia (it certainly does look like the kind of thing they might do).
This might look like an insane, drug induced steampunk hallucination, but unlike most of the motorcycles on this page, there’s an outside chance that you could actually own and ride one of these machines. Yup, give the Confederate Motor Company a call, and if you’ve got enough cash they’ll probably build you a road legal Wraith of your own – just don’t expect it to be cheap.
This project by design student Arron Rogers takes a lot of inspiration from the classic British manufacturer’s cafe-racer heritage.
Victory Vision 800
Half motorcycle, half locomotive train, the Victory Vision 800 looks like the kind of bike you could go ram-raiding on.
Another machine that looks like it should have stayed in the concept phase, but is actually a (very expensive) production motorcycle. You can buy one of these bubble-rocket things from Swiss company Peraves.
No. Just no. Stick to making cars, please, Jaguar.