Some people on this planet are born lucky – when faced with a seemingly insurmountable set of circumstances, they manage to get through with flying colours. Donald Trump is a great example of this – despite the numerous failed businesses (and the dodgy do), there are still banks and investors willing to give him their hard-earned cash for his latest venture.
There’s no doubt that Niklas Ajo also fits into this category. The Finnish Moto3 racer managed to survive a serious wobble coming into the final bend in Assen, The Netherlands, recently and crossed the line sliding beside his KTM on his knees.
Honda have built a batbike. At least that’s the easiest way of describing the NM4 Vultus, which sounds like the name of an ice planet several thousand lightyears away, combined with a regional road network in Britain.
In its recent announcement, Honda maintain that the team of youthful designers behind the Vultus (meaning ‘appearance’ in Latin) drew inspiration from the futuristic machines on display in Japanese anime and manga. It’s not the first vehicle to do so – apparently the latest iteration of the Toyota Aygo has its origins in cartoon superhero, Astroboy. Having never actually seen any of these Japanese products, we can’t say for sure – all we know is that with its matte black surface and stealth bomber echoes, the only cartoon the Vultus could relate to involves one caped crusader.
We here at Car Craic aren’t really the biggest fans of motorbikes, mostly because we can’t drive them, and also because of an unfortunate incident involving a bicycle when we were six. Still, there’s something undeniably cool about the C-01 – the first ever motorbike from Lotus.
Lotus aren’t the first car manufacturer to produce a motorbike – Caterham have already got in on this act – and on first glance, it doesn’t appear as though they’ve done a terrible job. It’s not quite modern in its style – more of a blend of a drag racer and early motorised bikes. It’s early days yet, however, and until the design comes to life and our roads, we can’t really tell if you’ll look really cool, or a like a twat.
Designed by Daniel Simon of the VW Group – the man behind the design of large parts of the Bugatti Veyron and a futuristic Tron motorbike – the C-01 will be powered by a 4 stroke 200 bhp V-Twin engine, while weighing in around 181 kg. There’re no official figures available just yet on how fast this thing will go, but expect the surrounding countryside to blur into oblivion. Only 100 units of the limited edition motorcycle are going to be made, which instantly makes two things clear – it’ll be in huge demand, and it will undoubtedly be expensive.
Now that Lotus have dipped their toe in unfamiliar waters, perhaps it’s time for Lamborghini and Ferrari to take things in a different direction? For now, a prototype of the C-01 has been built, equipped with 200 bhp to tear along the roads in test mode. Keep an eye out on a ditch near you.