The Vultus looks ripped right out of Akira. Photo: Honda
While some motorcycles are built for riders hoping to channel Steve McQueen or Marlon Brando, Honda created just the thing for navigating the streets of a post-apocalyptic dystopian metropolis.
The NM4 Vultus, Latin for countenance or facial expression, was created by a team of 20- and 30-year-old designers, who–by Honda’s own admission–borrowed heavily from the aesthetics of Japanese manga and anime. If you’ve ever seen Akira or read the original manga, the Vultus’s angular lines and sharp geometry will look familiar.
“Our intention was to make something that makes every moment feel cinematic,” says project leader Keita Mikura says. “And we want riding it to be an event.” The bike was just unveiled at the Osaka Motorcycle Show.
Underneath the jet fighter-like bodywork is a drivetrain pulled straight from Honda’s parts bin. Its 745cc twin-cylinder engine is from the the NC750X, as is the dual-clutch transmission. Riders can choose between fully automatic shifting, or manual gear selection using triggers mounted on the grips. That might sound vaguely futuristic to some, but Honda’s offered the tech on some models for more than five years. Depending on which drivetrain mode you chose, the backlit dashboard will change between white (neutral), blue (automatic), pink (sport), and red (manual shift). If that’s not enough variety, the dash can be set to one of 25 colors to create a custom display.
The Vultus’s dashboard glows according to its driving mode, but it can be set to a custom color. Photo: Honda
The Vultus’ engine produces 54 horsepower and comes in at a rather portly 540 pounds. That won’t do much for acceleration, but Honda claims it will hit 80.2 mpg, or around 185 miles on a tank of gas.
The Vultus comes with a few other conveniences to appeal to the “young social media-engaged urbanite” that Honda says is their target audience. Similar to the NC700X’s gas tank helmet compartment, the Vultus’ rear end has a 1 liter storage space with an integrated 12-volt adaptor for charging the essential devices for maintaining said social media urbanite lifestyle. There’s also another big cubby on the opposite side for more gear, and the passenger seat can flip up to become a backrest for long rides.
Honda hasn’t made any formal announcements about production of the Vultus. For now, something slightly futuristic–like the Ducati Diavel–will have to do.