2015 Honda NM4 Review
With the new NM4, Honda has another jaw-dropper to offer the world for consumption. Looking like it escaped from an anime storyboard, the NM4 is not a bike for an introvert. Conversations spontaneously erupt as passersby try to come to grips with what they are seeing, and they often refuse to believe it’s a Honda.
One older gentleman, who told me he was considering returning to motorcycling after having given up his trusty Harley-Davidson upon retirement, was gobsmacked. He had been contemplating a BMW, but found the NM4 to be exactly what he was looking for.
Underneath its idiosyncratic styling, the NM4 is actually a practical motorcycle. The Automatic Dual Clutch Transmission makes it easy for anyone to operate. While it weighs 562 pounds full of fuel, the 25.6-inch seat height and laid-down 670cc parallel twin motor keep it from being a handful.
There’s a temptation to mistaken the NM4 for a recumbent scooter, but it is a much different kind of machine. In addition to the six-speed gearbox, which can be manually shifted via paddles, it has an 18-inch front wheel, fat 200mm 17-inch rear, and a chopper-like rake of 33 degrees (a degree more than the Honda Fury!).
As is so often the case with Honda, the numbers don’t tell the entire story. Handling the NM4 is effortless. It is nimble around town, corners nicely with good clearance, and is stable on the freeway, though the wind tried to lift my feet off the floorboards. For commuting or bopping around town, it is a great machine.
There are lots of cubbyholes for small cargo—including one on each side of the forward protruding fairing—but you won’t be able to carry anything of significance. The stylish saddlebags’ angular lines create a much smaller volume than their appearance suggests.
Another guy was walking by as I was getting ready to take off and stopped to ask questions—lots of questions. He was a Honda rider in the 1970s in college, and was so excited by the NM4 that he told me he was going to go to the dealer and was seriously thinking about buying one.
Honda considers the NM4 to be something of a halo product designed to attract attention to the brand, and the NM4 certainly does that. It is considerably less expensive than the DN-01 or the Rune, and at $10,999, it’s the same price as a Suzuki Burgman 650. And, when it comes time to make an in-town statement, few bikes at any price cause more rubbernecking.