Honda NM4 Vultus review – Telegraph.co.uk

Posted: Saturday, November 01, 2014


The seat of the Vultus is remarkably low and it incorporates a fold-up
backrest

The DCT suits a relaxed machine such as the Vultus, although even this
second-generation system can be too eager to change up. The engine is
impressively economical, averaging about 75mpg to give a range of 150 miles
or more despite the fairly small fuel tank.

The handling is also reasonable, despite a substantial weight of 245kg. The
Honda’s length and lack of clutch can make slow-speed manoeuvring tricky,
but stability at speed is good, and cornering clearance adequate. Ride
quality is enhanced by the broad seat, and is reasonable despite the limited
rear suspension travel. But braking power from the single front and rear
discs is surprisingly feeble, and not helped by an ABS system that cuts in
unnecessarily early.

Sadly, the eye-catching bodywork is equally inefficient. Despite its width,
the fairing protects neither hands nor legs fully and holds mirrors that
show mostly the rider’s forearm. The low, non-adjustable screen merely
generates loud turbulence.

Storage space is also severely limited. The fairing contains two glove
compartments, the smaller of which is lockable and contains an electrical
socket, but both are very small and neither looks designed to hold a fragile
phone. Raising the pillion seat reveals a small and not very convenient
surface for luggage, which is particularly inconvenient because the angled,
plastic fuel tank cover precludes using a tank bag.


Cornering clearance is adequate and the Honda Vultus has a good turn of
speed

Built-in panniers are available as an accessory, as are a taller screen and
heated grips, but adding those would add considerably to the already high
price. The Integra, no paragon of practicality itself, is much less
expensive while the DCT-equipped NC750S costs just £6,499.

Honda deserves credit for encouraging its designers to create such a radical
machine, and bringing it to production. But it’s difficult to see who, apart
from affluent Batman fans, will buy it.

The Vultus was never going to be cheap, but with better detailing it could
have been genuinely versatile, instead of merely spectacular to look at.

THE FACTS

Honda NM4 Vultus

Tested: 745cc four-stroke parallel twin, six-speed with Dual Clutch
Transmission

Price/on sale: £9,666 /now

Power/torque: 54bhp @ 6,250rpm/50lb ft @ 8,000rpm

Top speed: 110mph (estimated)

Range: 160 miles @ 75mpg (estimated)

Verdict: Honda’s eye-catching giant scooter is comfortable, economical
and fun to ride, but its high price and impracticality mean you’ll be lucky
to see one outside Gotham City.

Telegraph rating: Three out of five stars

THE RIVALS

BMW
C600 Sport
, from £9,495

Arguably the best of the maxi-scooters available at a similar price to the
Vultus, the sportier of BMW’s pair of 60bhp parallel twins is fast, handles
well and incorporates an innovative, extendable storage area under its
fairly tall seat.

Honda Integra, from £7,699

The Integra won’t make jaws drop like the Vultus, and its slightly higher seat
has no back-rest, but Honda’s other motorbike-come-scooter offers
near-identical performance plus superior weather protection, fuel range and
storage capacity.

Suzuki
Burgman 650 Executive
, from £8,799

Batman would doubtless find the Burgman sadly lacking in style but its 54bhp
parallel twin engine puts it on a performance par with the Vultus, and it
offers generous storage space, sound handling and reasonable wind
protection.

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