Holy smokes, Batman! Honda’s NM4 dark cruiser returns

After a year in hiatus (perhaps spent in a secret underground lair), Honda’s sleek NM4 motorcycle returns for the 2018 model year. It first debuted at the 2014 Osaka Motorcycle Show as the NM4 Vultus, causing a stir in the motorcycle world that eventually crossed over into Hollywood. A modified version of the newer NM4 appeared in the recent Scarlett Johansson sci-fi flick Ghost in the Shell.

The original limited-run bike, with its feet-forward design, was a sort of hybrid scooter-cruiser mashup. It was based on the Honda’s Integra scooter, which itself has motorcycle underpinnings. The Vultus’ 745cc parallel-twin motor was connected to a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission. LED lights all around complemented the anime-inspired styling. While not geared towards outright performance, it was a project of fun and passion that brought two-wheel motoring outside the circle of enthusiasts and riders.

The NM4 Vultus returned as the NM4 for 2016 with a 670cc motor and a new body. There was no production the following year, but now it is back. A low seat height makes it easier to handle for new and smaller riders, while the feet-forward cockpit has been slightly relaxed to a more standard motorcycle position.

According to a press release from Honda, the passenger seat converts into a flip-up backrest, and there are four integrated storage compartments. Combined with bodywork designed for wind protection, this bike should make for a good under-the-radar cruiser.

The DCT transmission features standard and sport automatic modes, and can also be manually shifted from handlebar-mounted controls. ABS brakes deliver confident stopping power.

The customizable 25-color LED dash displays transmission modes, mpg tracking, and more.

“From time to time over the years, Honda has pushed the envelope with unconventionally styled models like the Pacific Coast, Rune, Big Ruckus and DN-01,” Lee Edmunds, American Honda’s Manager of Motorcycle Marketing Communications, said. “The NM4 is very much in this tradition, and while it’s not for everyone, that’s really the point; the model has proven to be a hit with a dedicated segment of consumers from a surprisingly varied array of demographics, including tech-savvy millennials but also veteran tourers and women. Those that buy NM4s tend to put a lot of miles on them, so we’re pleased to welcome it as our first street bike for 2018.”

The NM4 is only available in one color that fits this bike’s stealthy styling: Matte Black Metallic. It will be available this June for $11,299.

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