Motus to Reveal Production Plans at Daytona Bike Week

03/09/2012 @ 1:37 pm, by Jensen Beeler34 COMMENTS

Motus to Reveal Production Plans at Daytona Bike Week motus mst prototype alice 26 635x425

The last time Motus Motorcycles graced the pages of A&R it was August 10th of last year — yes, I actually went back thru the pages to check that date. Since that time, the American motorcycle startup has been busy getting its sport-tourer finalized and ready for production. Launching the Motus MST prototype at the 2011 Daytona Bike Week, Motus Motorcycles will be returning to the Floridian biking event this year to announce its production plans, pricing, and availability of its American made motorcycle.

While we’ll have to wait to hear from Motus for its official plans, we expect to hear something along the line of a production run of under 300 units, with pricing in the $30,000+ range. Certainly exclusive, it remains to be seen if Motus can sell such an expensive sport-tourer without the gadgets and gizmos that normally accompany that market segment. Featuring the gasoline direct injection (GDI) 1,645cc KMV4 engine, the Motus MST will make over 160 hp from the power plant, which is also being sold as a crate motor.

I’ll have to keep prodding Lee for a chance to swing a leg over the MST, but the bike is expected to put the “sport” in the term sport-touring. There is a lot about this project that remains to be seen, but you have to give the whole Motus crew a heck of a lot credit for trying to start something during the worst economy since the Great Depression. Expect to see more details on the Motus MST in the coming weeks.

Up-Close with the Motus MST Prototypes at Alice’s Restaurant:

Photos: © 2011 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

Comment:

  1. Keith says:

    This and a Horex would be the two new motorcycles I’d buy if I hit the lottery. Now, if you will excuse me… I’m off to get some powerball tickets. wish me sense, I’ve no luck.

  2. Bob says:

    Gas Direct Injection is out according to Lee. It will be a port fuel injection with ride-by-wire. But they have selected the componentry, such as Ohlins, Brembo, Progressive, Braking, OZ and BST.

  3. Thanks for the info Bob, I had not heard that, though I haven’t talked to Lee and Brian since late-July.

  4. I’m not sure how Motus can expect to sell a $30,000 motorcycle against such heavy competition. For instance, you can get a six-cylinder BMW for about $9,000 less. A Ducati Diavel is about $12,000 less. An MV Agusta Brutale 1090 is about $13,000 less. (I know that none of the above are exactly sport-touring motorcycles, but they are competitive. And, by the way, the sport-touring segment has never been a particularly popular one in the U.S.)

    I hope that Motus brings something to the table that their competition can’t match. Now it looks like they can’t even tout being the first motorcycle to offer direct fuel injection.

  5. Hugh says:

    Longitudinal engine with chain drive? Seems like the worst of both worlds?

  6. MikeD says:

    I think MOTUS at the end of the day are going to be making a profit (if any) selling crate engines for small garage projects and not by selling whole bikes.

    No more GDI, ah ? STINKS OF OVER BUDGET AND CUTTING COSTS…..LMFAO…..so much for it.
    Will this thing start to look outdated before it goes on sale like the upcoming Triunph Trophy 1200 ?

    Randy have a point….why choose this over a K1600GT and yet pay more ? Bragging rights ? Wich one when this thing doesn’t even have GDI anymore ? What a joke.

  7. JasonB says:

    As an American and a performance enthusiast I can’t help but be a little romantic about this project. Unfortunately they started at the wrong end of the product line up. To come into this segment as an unknown with so much competition, even at $20k they’d probably still be doomed to fail. It’s a shame, the thing sounds amazing.

  8. Johnny B says:

    So, some muscle car/motorcycle nuts in Birmingham, Alabama come out of left field to show up with a completely bad ass, fire breathing, Z06 Corvette inspired, American sportbike. Nobody can figure out how they did it. Everybody who’s ridden it says it absolutely shreds. Anybody who’s heard it won’t shut up about it. The Motus completely rocks and is among the most charismatic motorcycles built in a generation.

    They will be hand built in Mr. Barber’s back yard by craftsmen in small batches. Most guys can’t afford one initially, but tens of thousands of guys spend a lot more on custom Harleys, Trikes, etc. Why not a comfortable American sportbike with top of the line European components?

    I saw, heard, and sat on it at the Vintage Fest and gotta say, it’s nothing like a K1600, Diavel, Triumph Tiger or anything else that it has been compared above. It is a whole new type of bike. I want one bad!

    The air cooled V-twin is tired. Long live the V4 Baby Block!

  9. Tommy Bahama says:

    GDI is cool tech, but I read somewhere they tested both port injection and direct injection and determined the cost, complexity, and potential safety issues of GDI (2500 psi fuel rails inches from the family jewels) didn’t justify any minor gains in power. I suspect 160 HP and 125lbs/ft in a 520 lb bike will give most of us a chubby…

    Electronic throttle is really cool, though. Power modes?

  10. mxs says:

    Throttle by wire, might be cool, but is more less a norm nowadays and you command a premium for something like this (you could for GDI I suppose). The price needs to come down, seriously.

  11. Tom D says:

    C’mon Motus! Looks great, sounds great, just what the proverbial doctor ordered for this country! Not sure why everyone is bitchin about price. At Daytona, you won’t even blink an eye at the tens of thousands of HD’s, choppers, trikes and even Hayabusas that guys love to sink $30k, $40k, $50k into. It’s about character, uniqueness, pride in craftsmanship. If the bikes ride as good as they look, you’ll sell out year after year. Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. MikeD says:

    @Tom D:

    Man, im sorry…and beauty is on the eye of the beholder and all that…BUT this thing looks like it came straight from the LAME part of the 90’s. She may have a lot going on other sectors…but GOOD LOOKS ain’t one of it.

    Again, just this guy’s opinion…we all have the right to like and have different taste.

  13. JasonB says:

    To Tom D,

    The problem is that the sport touring market isn’t populated by image seekers like the categories you listed out. People that buy into the sport touring category value real world features and price above everything else. You don’t see guys slamming, chroming and air brushing Concours and FJR’s for a reason, it adds nothing useful to the motorcycle. Motus will have a hard time selling this bike in a category full of competitors with more features and known reliability for half the price. Like I stated above, they started at the wrong end of the product line.

  14. Mr. X says:

    Mike D, it’s a “joke?” That’s a hell of a lot of work, passion, and money poured into a project for you to call them a “joke.” Who the hell are you? What have you done?
    The Motus doesn’t look to be a great seller to me either, or a good business model. But you’d better be one hell of an accomplished cat to be throwing out judgmental nastiness like that…and even then, why would you?

  15. MikeD says:

    @Mr. X:

    Do u happen to be one of “The Parents” of this thing…if so i would understand your RAGE Tone…if not….then…put yourself a suppository…take an Olimpic Size &^%$…and relax…is just the Internet.

    The creators couldn’t possibly CARE LESS about the opinion of some Schmock(me) that’s not even a potential buyer by the biggest and longest shot.

    BUT, People shouldn’t expect less than some “name calling” when they start changing plans after saying “i will this and i will that and my &^%* will smell like Roses”, etc…yes, is hard out there, specially on the bike sector…but this kind of thing comes with the territory…let it be known.

    and…Cat ? Seriously….LOL. (^_^)

    As to what do i do and acomplishments…..let’s just say the world would be a much nicer place with out me…and many others. LOL.

  16. Damo says:

    @Johnny B

    You work for Motus or something?

    I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but I am with Randy and MikeD on this.

    Interesting bike and all (personally I think the cosmetics look abhorrent) but I am just wondering why they would go after a market segment that already has so many options? Arguably better, faster and substantially cheaper options at that?

    It doesn’t make sense to me. If you wanted a screamer fast sport tourer with a V4, just get a Tuono or a Honda VFR1200F.

  17. Anvil says:

    FYI, GDI doesn’t work right now at above about 10,000 RPM. That shouldn’t be a problem for the Motus, but I bet there are other issues and complexities that come with GDI. Not really bothered by the switch, myself, but it does rob them of a very unique point of difference.

    I don’t doubt that Motus will be able to sell out a small production run. There will be plenty of people who are willing to spend the cash to get the first runs of these bikes.

    What I really wonder about is what happens next. Where do they go from there? They eventually have to get economies of scale favorable enough to sell at a competitive price. That seems to be where most of these ventures really struggle. Or do they stay a high-priced niche manufacturer? There probably is still a place for that, even in this economy, but that doesn’t seem to be Motus’ plan.

    Perhaps what they’re trying to do is lure a partner or a buyer, like EBR seemingly has done.

  18. John says:

    I think a lot of people are looking at the Motus from completely the wrong angle. Comparing the Motus to the likes of K bikes, Diavels, and Concours leaves you with an apples to oranges comparison. Why a Motus over a K1600GT? Because the K1600GT is a 700+ lb, 7.5′ land yacht compared to the Motus. At barely over 500lbs fully wet and dressed with hard bags, the Motus is a lot more like a VFR800 with much better suspension and ludicrous power on tap than anything it’s been compared to.

    I think people are missing the amount of SPORT emphasis there is in this bike. It’s something you could ride 6 hours to a track, pull your 1-piece suit out of the hard bags, and proceed to blow the doors off 1000 cc superbikes.

    Honest question, is there anything else out there or in the pipeline under 550 lbs road-ready with 120+ ft lbs of peak torque and race-ready suspension and brakes?

  19. JasonB says:

    @ John:

    “It’s something you could ride 6 hours to a track, pull your 1-piece suit out of the hard bags, and proceed to blow the doors off 1000 cc superbikes.”

    You’re kidding right? Riders being equal there’s no way this bike will hang with the likes of an S1000RR or ZX-10R on a race track. I’m sure it would be capable of having a good time on, but it’s no supersport bike.

    Maybe based on the points you bring up it would be better to compare this to the likes of the Hayabusa or ZX-14R. The new ZX easily hits your torque target, it is heavier but comes with traction control and known reliability. Even with suspension/brake upgrades you’d still be well under $20k.

    The Motus is unique and exclusive, I can’t argue that. But I will argue those two traits are well down the wants list in the sport touring segment. Had they built a lower priced competitor for bikes like the Monster or Tuono I think their approach would make more sense. But by building their personal dream bike first I don’t believe they’ll generate enough profit to stay viable, let alone develop new product to grow their customer base.

  20. John says:

    @JasonB:

    Of course it couldn’t hang with those bikes given equal rider skill, but that wasn’t what I was implying. Let’s face it, the majority of people riding a superbike at your average track day don’t have a clue how to use it to its potential. But maybe I just used a bad example.

    The ZX-14 comparison seems more apt than anything that has been thrown out there so far. But I still think the Motus is probably a more capable and comfortable long haul bike, despite being lighter and more nimble. And the peak power numbers are similar, but keep in mind the ZX-14 motor is still an I-4, and that peak torque doesn’t hit until 7.5k rpm. The flatter torque curve of the KMV4 is something to keep in mind.

    I also expect lower price numbers that what is quoted above. I spent a lot of time at the Motus booth at the Progressive IMS in DC January, and I heard more along the lines of 22-24 for the base model, and even fully loaded, it would come in under $30k.

    As far as sales go, keep in mind some Harley dealers will be part of the Motus network. Harley guys don’t seem to blink an eye at droping $30-40k on a two-wheeled toy as long as it’s ‘Murican. Show them the spec sheet, let them hear it, and tell them it’s all American-made, and a lot of those Harley guys will be all over a bike like the Motus.

  21. MikeD says:

    John says:
    Why a Motus over a K1600GT? Because the K1600GT is a 700+ lb, 7.5′ land yacht compared to the Motus. At barely over 500lbs fully wet and dressed with hard bags, the Motus is a lot more like a VFR800 with much better suspension and ludicrous power on tap than anything it’s been compared to.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Point taken. (^_^)…legit reason.

  22. MikeD says:

    Anvil says:

    FYI, GDI doesn’t work right now at above about 10,000 RPM.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Well……..that’s news to me ! ……would u care to share some light into the matter ?
    Maybe some fancy website with some fancy explaination ?

    ***********************************************************************************

    Tommy Bahama says:

    GDI is cool tech, but I read somewhere they tested both port injection and direct injection and determined the cost, complexity, and potential safety issues of GDI (2500 psi fuel rails inches from the family jewels) didn’t justify any minor gains in power.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Honestly, i have only heard good things from GDI (allows higher CR because of the cooling effect of the injection event, more HP, jada jada jada, etc)…

    But…i guess that with your points(cost,complexity and “safety issues”) + if what Anvil posted stands up…GDI ain’t all that….on bikes…YET.

    Personally, im an advocate of GDI, saw it working on an ANCIENT Kawasaki STX1100 2Smokes Triple and the thing is the cat’s meow…it has the ability to control the Idle by controling the injection event.
    Much like a Diesel.

  23. Bob says:

    Mike, to answer you questions about GDI…

    In all truth, the rpm limit for GDI is right around 6500 rpms, not 10,000, and that is really pushing it. The problem is the ability for fuel to atomize in a given time. With port F.I., fuel is quirted into the intake tract and gets anywhere from 4-6 inches of distance where it gets to start atomizing before it ever enters the combustion chamber. The time is measured between 25 and 75 milliseconds depending on the rpm. ( At 7000 rpms, that would be 47 ms) That’s not a lot of time for fuel molecules to mix with the air properly for complete combustion.

    Squirting fuel directly into the combustion chamber at higher rpms gives the fuel probably 5-10 ms atomize. That’s not enough time. The fuel is still liquid. Only vapor ignites. In order for this to work, you would need a nozzle with 30-40 extremely small holes. Smaller than anything we’ve ever seen on a vehicle. The fuel pump also has to be larger and more durable to put out the 10 times higher pressure needed to push the fuel through tose nozzles.

    It works fine in diesel engines due to much lower rpms and the fact the fuel is squirted out over 90 degrees of crank rotation and the “heat of compression” is able to vaporize the fuel while it is continuously being injected.

    Trust me it’s not ready for bikes yet.

  24. Damo says:

    “It’s something you could ride 6 hours to a track, pull your 1-piece suit out of the hard bags, and proceed to blow the doors off 1000 cc superbikes.”

    Wow…just wow…

  25. MikeD says:

    Bob…Thanks for the insight…interesting…to say the least.
    Another reason i don’t design motorcycles…lol.
    Oh well…so much for it…thinking back now…i can see why all or most of the HP Machines are coming with dual injector set up from factory.
    At the end is all about time…what a B*&% !

  26. JasonB says:

    @ John:

    “As far as sales go, keep in mind some Harley dealers will be part of the Motus network. Harley guys don’t seem to blink an eye at droping $30-40k on a two-wheeled toy as long as it’s ‘Murican. Show them the spec sheet, let them hear it, and tell them it’s all American-made, and a lot of those Harley guys will be all over a bike like the Motus.”

    I’m sorry but you’re talking about two very different buyers. A $30-40k HD is nothing more than a penis extension. There is nothing technically amazing about a chromed out street glide, it’s slow, heavy and ill handling. A sport tourer is more an extension of the hands, a tool with a very specific purpose that it must live up to. The fact that it’s American made adds some value even for me, but not enough to justify paying that much more for a bike that probably won’t out perform its competition.

    I just wish that Motus approached their launch a little differently. I’d love to have an American manufacturer that can build a decent motorcycle, something we’ve apparently been unable to do for a long time in this country. Motus has definitely done a great job with this bike, but is it great enough to hinge the entire success of the company on?

    I would have been a lot more excited to see a cool standard street bike or all rounder, something that showed me Motus was in it for the long haul and looking to develop a full line of bad ass American motorcycles. It amazes me that all four of the Japanese manufacturers are text book examples of how to enter a market and yet no one with the capital and innovation to start up a motorcycle company in the US seems intelligent enough to follow it. Start small, reinvest and let your customers dictate the evolution of your product and brand. If I ever win the lotto….

  27. Anvil says:

    Bob is quite correct. I have read that it’s conceivable to make injectors today that can run GDI to about 10,000 RPM, but not with the injectors used in automotive applications, which max out at about 6000-6500 rpm. (If I remember correctly, a the fuel droplet for an engine running at 9000 RPM will need to be about a third smaller than those in standard automotive applications.) F-1 cars may run GDI with a rev limit of 12,ooo RPM, but that will probably take some development and money. According to Motus, the MST’s rev limit was set at 8000. Believe what you will.

  28. Marc F says:

    No one who has seen the Motus chassis in person would compare this bike to anything shy of a Bimota. And that V4 is a work of art, too. The VFR comparison is an apt one, as this is the bike the VFR1200 should have been but isn’t. Not even close. There isn’t another bike out there like this one – the folks who want it, will want IT, not some bike with approximately similar specs. Whether there’s a huge market for it, no one will know until they start moving off dealers’ floors or not. For a product like this, the founders get into it out of a passion for the bike THEY want and no one else is building. Like our venture, you crunch the numbers to death, but at the end of the day they are projections and guesses. All you can do is build your dream and then hope to god there’s a enough folks out there that want the same bike you do.

    Here’s wishing the very best of luck to the Motus guys. They have built a hell of a bike.

  29. Bjorn says:

    Best of luck to Motus, they are producing the bike I’d park my bum on given the funds.
    I like simple; I do not want tilting headlamps, sat-nav, stereo, full enclosure fairing. They are all fantastic items and should be available to whoever wants/can pay for them. Me; I want a fuck off torquey engine, top off the line running gear, comfortable sporty ergos and light[ish] weight.
    I’m a bit over 40 and want a bike I can comfortably ride hard all day and night, which tends to rule out most clip on equipped sports bikes.

  30. Bjorn says:

    *top of the line*

  31. Chrome says:

    @JasonB

    You mention that try should had built an “all-rounder” or a “cool standard street bike.” But it seems to me this is exactly what they built. looking at the two variants (full fairing and naked) and it looks like you have a great all rounder and a cool standard street bike. The inspiration was a bike that could do everything. Often times in engineering you run into situations where being good at everything means you are great at nothing. But I would submit that thinking is lazy and inaccurate in this instance. I would argue that it is possible to be great at everything even if you are not the best at any one thing. I don’t know if motus will be great at everything, but let’s keep an open mind and give them a chance to prove themselves.

    It seems to me that part of the issue is that we love to categorize motorcycles. Is it a touring bike or a sport bike or a street bike or an enduro? And if it is going to try to be any one of those things, it has to be the BEST, because we all like to have the best as I helps us feel good about ourselves. But I wonder if there is a group of people out there who would like to have a bike which was great at everything (except off roading), that can go rip up some twisties, or take the wife on a long lunch, or take a longer trip, without needing or affording the BEST bike for each of those functions? I know there is at least one. The reason I am looking at an FJR/Concourse/k13gt is because I want to most capability In the most categories, rather than emphasis on one element. Compared to the above, the motus would give me more sport, at the expense of amenities, so depending on price (ie whether I can even sniff a motus), I will need to factor the cost vs capabilities calculus and see what is most important to me.

    Also, as a fellow entrepreneur, I am deeply emotionally involved with the concept of Motus and am rocking a major Man-Machine crush. Sadly for motus I am ruthlessly cheap, which is why I ride an ’03 FZ1 and haven’t forked out for one of my sport touring fantasies.

  32. Damo says:

    @Mark F

    “There isn’t another bike out there like this one – the folks who want it, will want IT, not some bike with approximately similar specs.”

    I wish Motus the best of luck along with everyone else, but can we stop with the nebulous statements?

    The bike is a great idea and the motor looks cool and all that, but right now we are just looking at pictures and spreadsheet surfing.

    If you are making a bare bones sport tourer, I want to see actual “at wheel” dyno data, lap times, MPG, etc. Right now everyone is talking emotion with the bike and I can see we are getting very polarized.

    Personally I believe the market hasn’t a sport touring bike better than the last generation Interceptor.

  33. Random says:

    Wasn’t the naked variation (R) just a prototype? Last time I heard, there was no naked variation planned.

    Not that I didn’t like it, personally I thought it was way more cool with the fairings off.

  34. JasonB says:

    @ Chrome:

    Maybe I should have added smaller displacement and lower price point to my statement. From a business perspective I don’t think it’s wise to come into the market with a $25-30k price point when you don’t have the brand equity to justify it.

    As for the rest of your post I think you perfectly made my point about the type of buyer that this bike will appeal to and their considerations before purchase. I have a 2011 Ninja 1000 and I bought it for all the same reasons you mentioned. It will do just about anything I want it to well and can fit a variety of rolls. From commuting to weekend touring to twisties it fulfills my needs and then some. And just like you I bought it because I’m cheap, nothing else I can compare it too comes close for the price.