2018 Honda NM4

If Darth Vader rode a scooter.

2018 Honda NM4Honda

In case you thought “brain freeze” only happens when drinking a Slurpee, behold the NM4. Honda’s most radical styling departure since the Rune presents as half scooter, half stylized bagger. But is it, really? With its forward-mounted footrests and controls, a pullback handlebar and a backrest, the riding position certainly points to this rolling art form being a cruiser. Although not an overly formidable one, because the machine is pushed along by the CTX700 DTC’s 670cc parallel twin, a sophomoric powerplant tuned for relaxed riding and not hard-core hammering. Honda’s six-speed dual-clutch gearbox allows fully automatic or electronic “manumatic” shifting via handlebar-mounted paddles.

What of the "futuristic" (Honda's term) NM4's dimensions? It has a long wheelbase of nearly 65 inches, a relaxed steering angle of 27 degrees, and 4.3 inches of trail. As Barbara Billingsley said in Airplane! we speak geometric jive here, and these dimensions mean the NM4 goes down the road like a Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham—composed, steadfast, and steady. As another plus for easy riders, the seat is just 25.6 inches high, helping shorter or less experienced pilots feel in control.

Likes: As radical as radical gets in streetbike styling

Dislikes: The steak doesn't match the sizzle

Verdict: An extremely bold design overlaying proven engineering

2018 Honda NM4 Specs and Pricing

MSRP $11,299