Honda NM4-02 reaches production

Second take on NM4 Vultus theme on sale in Japan in a week

HONDA has announced that the second version of its NM4 Vultus – imaginatively called the NM4-02 – will go on sale in Japan next week, on Tuesday June 10.

While all the European press photos and information relating to the NM4 have concentrated on the basic version, the NM4-02 is arguably the more significant machine, since it has the added practicality of built-in panniers. Given that, despite its comic book styling, the NM4 is intended to be a practical bike, capable of both commuting and touring, it’s likely that the luggage-bearing version will be the bigger seller.

Are we getting this version over here? Almost certainly, although perhaps without the ‘NM4-02’ name. Honda’s official line is that panniers will be an option on the NM4 when it reaches showrooms in Europe. Given the NM4-02 has totally different rear bodywork, with the luggage built-in and other changes including new rear lights, it’s effectively a stand-alone model.

The bike was shown alongside the luggage-less NM4 when it was revealed in Osaka a couple of months ago, but details have been limited until now. It turns out that the luggage adds 7.5 litres of storage on each side and in Japan the NM4-02 will cost £6,777, which is around £950 more than the base NM4.

As well as adding practicality, the restyled rear also reduces the NM4’s front-heavy appearance, arguably resulting in a more attractive overall shape.

Based on the NC750, the NM4-02 is the highest-spec model in the ‘New Mid’ range that includes the Integra scooter, NC750S, NC750X, CTX700 and CTX700N as well as the base NM4 Vultus. Like the Integra, it has the DCT semi-auto transmission as standard with no option of a conventional gearbox.

While the £6,777 price in Japan sounds tempting, it’s worth bearing in mind that over there the Integra cost just £4,780 including tax. Here, the Integra is £7,699, hinting that the NM4-02 could push towards, or even breach, the £9,000 mark.