Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments

Honda X4

Tue, May 11th, 2010

NOTE: The Honda X4 was never imported for sale in North America.

1997–2003 Honda CB1300DC X4
The X4 was powered by a CB1300 motor that was re-tuned for more low-end grunt. While this decreased overall power, it was more suitable to the bike's cruiser role.
For a cruiser, the X4 was above average, but not spectacular. It was several notches better than the Yamaha V-Max, which was its major reason for being.
The original X4 managed to straddle the fence between standard and cruiser quite nicely, without looking faddish or goofy. Unfortunately, most potential buyers in Japan wanted faddish and goofy, or at least shocking and sinister.
It should rate as high as the CB1000, which did come to the U.S.
A JDM-only model, it could have been a great all-arounder for shorter riders. Most Americans would have found the ergonomic combination of low seat height and rearward footpegs rather cramped. (As is my usual practice, a 2-point deduction for being a non-US model.)
Honda's 'V-Max killer' was too mild-mannered to dethrone the King of the Cruisers. It was actually not much like a V-Max at all, but rather a nice update on the UJM-based cruisers of the early Eighties, right down to their anachronistic ergonomic limitations and un-thumpy engine.
I wish it could have been sold in here, but Honda was smart not to bring it across the ocean. Americans would have refused the bait.