Thank you for the extremely well-written post--awesome.
I'll add a bit here since this forum (and interest in the NM4) has become pretty sparse (at least it's something
As Things Get More Complex Problems Are Harder To Diagnose
Look at a 1931 Harley-Davidson Flathead engine: fairly simplistic with loose tolerances, low compression and runs on any old fuel. Norton: Pretty much anything that can go wrong can be fixed on the side of the road with minimal tools and some spare parts. 1953 Royal Enfield Bullet 500: Vibrates like a Norton, breaks as often, also easily fixed. The commonality is: They're simple to fix. They break often. They leak oil. Maintenance is somewhat 1:1 being 1 riding hour = 1 wrenching hour. They didn't have much power or fuel economy for their weight compared to modern engines. And a huge bonus: They're cheap to build if the demand is there: Bullet 500
: Cheap, $6K for a whole new bike. S&S modernized Harley Knucklehead
: Expensive, $10K just for a new engine, if you can get one.
Current Bullet 500s are made on the same machines that are now that much more worn out, so the older REs are actually better made than the new REs. Each iteration of Harley engines fixes major problems with previous engines, starts easier, runs better, etc. Each is more complex than the last. The new Milwaukee Eight still has problems with overheating, even though the valves are liquid cooled on the 114, the rest is air and oil cooled.
The Honda CB750 was the first motorcycle to break with convention and modernize "everything." It is arguably the first "superbike." 4 cylinders, 4 carbs, tight tolerances, so fast they decided to use rotor technology from race cars instead of drum brakes. A much more complex machine with much more performance.
Simple Solutions Fix Complex Problems
Posted this on another forum
Things learned with time:
- The harder something is pushed the faster it tends to break.
- Factory items tend to be very, very reliable compared to aftermarket.
- It's wise to figure out the most probable causes, but start by testing the easiest suspects to test first.
- Diagnoses are based on symptoms, solutions are based on causes--basing a solution on a symptom without eliminating the cause doesn't negate the problem.
If Honda had released a service bulletin you might have been able to fix this yourself.
I'm No Longer Excited About Getting An NM4
Forum participation has mostly died off. Honda releases "new models" every other year, which isn't bad by itself though does show Honda's lack of interest in the bike. NM4 styling is dated to late 1970s
and could use a makeover, much like the Golding received in 2018. While a 2018 Goldwing
is around $32K new, it does add a ton of touring features, and dumping $12K into an NM4 goes a long way toward buying a Goldwing instead. The local Honda dealer has most likely worked on Goldwings for years, but probably not even seen an NM4
, meaning repairs carry the cost of the learning curve
at $110/hour, and your pocket bears the burden.
Sure, a NM4 will get a lot of attention wherever you go, at least for as much attention as 1970's styling
can get. "That '70s Show
" used to be popular too, but interest waned in 2006, 13 years ago
. Did the NM4 get the DTC updates
? Don't know