2012 NCR M4 Preview
The Ultimate Monster!
Performance purists, lovers of two-wheel cosmetic and engineering simplicity, you have a new sacred cow. The recently announced NCR M4 is devoid of bodywork, powered by a two-valve, air-cooled Twin, weighs less than a MotoGP bike and produces a better power-to-weight ratio than a Ducati 1198 SP.
Like other NCR models, the M4 is a collection of exotic materials and top-shelf components affixed around a Ducati powerplant. The result is a motorcycle of extreme performance and exorbitant price.
Beginning with a trellis-style frame constructed of titanium tubes and weighing just 10.6 pounds, NCR adds to the mix a titanium subframe and a bevy of carbon fiber bits, including its fuel tank, airbox, fenders, BST wheels and various covers, housings and brackets. The end result is a Ducati Monster-esque machine tipping the scales at an incredible 286 pounds (claimed) including oil and battery. The fuel tank holds 3.45 gallons, bringing total curb weight to 307 pounds.
Ohlins suspends the M4 with an inverted 43mm fork up front and a monoshock in the rear. Both suspension units are fully adjustable, and the billet aluminum triple clamps provide a offset adjustment from 24 to 32mm in 2mm increments. Dual 4-piston radial Brembo racing calipers grip 300mm NCR wave rotors at the front wheel with a single Brembo racing twin-piston caliper and 200mm wave rotor performing rear brake duties.
NCR attaches a full stainless steel exhaust system to the stock Ducati 1100 EVO engine powering the M4 and producing a claimed 107 hp at 7,500 rpm and 84 ft-lb of torque, creating a power-to-weight ratio of 0.35 horsepower per pound.
If those performance figures don’t jump-start the salivation process, the NCR M4 has a more diabolical twin brother, the M4 One Shot. Visually equal to the standard M4, the One Shot features a host of internal upgrades to its air-cooled two-valve Twin including a stroker billet crankshaft and high-compression forged 102mm pistons that bump displacement by 100cc, titanium connecting rods, custom cylinders and cams, ported heads, and a dry-type slipper clutch. Externally the One Shot engine features an NCR oil cooler and titanium engine fasteners.
The cumulative result of these changes is a decrease of eight wet pounds to 299 lbs. and an increase of 25 horsepower (a claimed 132 at a high 8700 rpm) and 21 ft-lb of torque (total claimed 105), bringing the One Shot’s power-to-weight ratio to 0.44 horses per pound. Comparatively, an 1198 SP with a claimed 170 crank horsepower and a 412-pound wet weight produces 0.41 hp per pound.
Both M4s come equipped with a Magneti Marelli CPU with traction control and a military wiring harness with quick disconnect interfaces. NCR provides laptop software for tweaking the M4’s performance. NCR also makes available mini to full fairings and carbon fiber tail sections that can be swapped for the original equipment in a matter of minutes.
Of course all this wonderful exotica comes at a lofty price. The standard M4 lists for $49,900, while the One Shot is an additional 20K, retailing for $69,900. Both models are currently undergoing homologation for the U.S. market with Europe and other markets following.
NCR says it’s the company’s goal to set new standards in simple, lightweight motorcycle design.
“It is difficult to describe what a 278-pound, 1200cc streetbike feels like because it is not like anything you have tried before,” says NCR COO, Joe Ippoliti. “After riding a NCR M4, it is difficult to enjoy riding a motorcycle weighing 100 to 150 lbs more, regardless of the amount of horsepower it may have.”
Requests to secure a ride on an M4 One Shot and confirm Mr. Ippoliti’s claims have already been submitted. Although we tend to agree with the ‘light makes right’ maxim, there’s no substituting riding the bike ourselves. If and when this happens, MO purists will be the first to know.