It is a rarity that an A&R reader is better informed than us on a topic, but one of the great things about online media is that there is an instantaneous two-way dialogue on every subject we publish. As such, a special hat-tip goes out to commenter “Bob” who spilled the beans that Motus had dropped gasoline direct injection (GDI) for the Motus MST sport-tourer that the company is soon to unveil at the Daytona Bike Week. We followed up the comment with Lee Conn, President and Co-Founder of Motus, about the comment, where he confirmed that Motus would adopt a port fuel injection & ride-by-wire scheme instead of the heavily touted GDI setup.
“Having ridden the MST’s with GDI all over America, I can report that we pioneered a really cool GDI system and it works great,” said Lee Conn. “GDI is a modern, smart and efficient way to fuel an engine, but after a lot of discussions with dealers, customers, technicians, and tuners, we concluded that there is not enough support in the current industry to roll out this technology yet.” After seeing what bikes A&R commenters were using in comparison to the Motus MST, Lee made a joke about how the Motus team would have to rethink its product messaging, and then said something that is very central to the Motus MST ethos.
“We want the MST’s to be accessible, understandable, fun to work on, and easy to modify, so we are removing barriers for dealers and regular riders that like to wrench and tune their bikes. No big conspiracy, just makes more sense for our goals. We hope people will hold their fire until they ride the production MST’s, which will begin shipping to dealers this Fall and will exceed expectations in terms of smiles per mile, our benchmark of what a kick ass motorbike is about.”
Having never ridden the MST, I won’t get into the comparable products debate here, but this idea that a motorcycle should return to a form where a regular handyman could wrench and modify on his bike until his heart’s content has been a time-honored and common theme for the southern-based startup. This idea was one of the key elements in Motus’ decision to use a Corvette inspired push-rod design for the KMV4 motor, and it is the company’s hope that the familiar block will strike a chord with hobbyists and tuners alike.
When Motus first broke cover, it was right on the heels of Honda’s VFR1200F announcement, and I remember asking Lee about how his bike would stake up to the dual-cluch transmissions of the world. In a market segment that has become the proving ground for most of motorcycling’s real innovations, the Motus team is zagging with its back-to-basics approach while everyone else zigs with their sport-tourer designs. It is possible that such an approach could be Motus’ folly. Or, could it be that the American company is shining a light on the fact that we have strayed too far from motorcycling’s fundamental core of riding for enjoyment?