Okay, we admit it – this was an April Fools’ prank. It’s not really true, but it was pretty funny. See if you can spot the clue we threw in to lead you to the truth. And check out my mea culpa in the comments. – Ed.
Honda’s first all-electric motorcycle for the North American market will be based on the NM4 cruiser platform, but with an animé look and feel.
The original NM4 was known in some markets as the Vultus; the project name for the electric NM4 is ReVoltus, which seems like a bit of a play on Chevrolet’s Volt electric car. Hub-mounted electric motors will replace the original NM4’s parallel-twin engine, while the battery will sit in the traditional engine space.
Although still officially a concept, it’s considered a “near-production” concept, which means production is already scheduled after some final tweaking.
Reaction from the Internet has been mixed; while some have applauded Honda’s bold step forward, others question Big Red’s wisdom in building yet another oddly-shaped motorcycle, departing so far from traditional design cues.
Honda, however, is sticking to its guns on this one, saying it’s found a strong market for the bike through its acceptance in popular science fiction. A much-modified NM4 is ridden by Scarlett Johansson in this weekend’s new movie release, Ghost in the Shell.
“We believe there’s a huge market for a bike like this, and riders are ready to make the leap into the future with Honda,” said Honda spokesman Kobayashi Maru. “There’s no reason any more why we cannot actually put a motorcycle like this into production — the technology is there, and we already have the NM4 design. The future really is now.”
Maru said the ReVoltus will even have some semi-autonomous elements to help riders. It will balance itself, like BMW’s futuristic Next100 motorcycle concept, and like the manufacturer’s cars, it will use sonar and camera imagery to scan the road ahead for obstacles and provide automatic braking if needed.
Despite Honda’s optimism, the ReVoltus is not yet ready for the road. Maru said its final status, and production date, will be released a year from now, on April 1.