Motus Motorcycles has trickled out a bit more information about its Made in America MST-01 sport-tourer, giving CycleWorld their obligatory first look. What do they have to report? A 1650cc V4 motor with two valves per cylinder that features direct injection, which sums up to equal 140hp. More on that and photos after the jump.

If you forgot everything you know about the Motus MST-01 to-date, and approached the motorcycle motor from a mechanic’s perspective, you might mistaken the V4 motor for half a Corvette. Laid out just like an American-built V8, the large reason for the similarities is because the Motus MST-01 motor was designed by Katech, makers of the Corvette Z06’s 600hp V8 powerplant.

For us, looking at the Motus spec sheet, with its two valve push rod design, forwardly located water pump, and longitudinal configuration, it’s exactly what we’d expect to see from a company that talks in car every day.┬áDesigned to be like a small American sports car, we see both strengths and weaknesses in this design philosophy.

Direct Injection has been around for ages, but just recently it’s become all the buzz in the auto industry. Refined by the American auto manufacturers, this method of getting fuel into the cylinder (the name really says it all) provides for greater efficiency in cylinder combustion, which crudely equates to getting more out of less. For instance, this translates into six-cylinders, which can now do the work done by larger eight-cylinders, etc.

Theoretically, Motus’ gasoline direct injection (GDI) system should allow the Motus MST-01 motor to make more power than a traditional two valve motor of similar size. However this doesn’t necessarily translate into comparisons against modern four valve motors.

Despite the MST-01’s nearly 413cc displacement advantage over the Honda VFR1200F’s four valve motor, the MST-01 makes nearly 20% less power. Of course maximum horsepower output is not the be-all end-all of judging the success of a motor’s design, and we have yet to see how smooth or torquey the MST-01 could be, but it’s an interesting insight into the Motus mindset.

The MST-01 will be the first production motorcycle to use direct injection, which is a technology you can bank on seeing trickled into the motorcycle industry over the coming years.

Is Motus (Latin for motion) moving forward or spinning its wheels in the past? With Motus squarely pegging perhaps the industry’s pinnacle of forward-thinking (at least in the ICE realm), the Honda VFR1200F as its mark to beat, the Alabama-based company certainly is setting the benchmark high. Time will tell if they meet that mark.

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  • eee

    1.65L and only 140hp?with DI!. either its not tuned yet, or they must be rating the hp at car like revs 5500rpm.

  • SabreV4

    I saw the 140hp projections and thought that was low, too, until I noticed the 120ftlbs of torque projected. that is what I’m talking about! MPG’s should be high since you can probably cruise at 80mph at 2000rpms. I want one!

  • Will

    Good Lord, 1650cc’s and 140 hp?

    C’mon fer chrissake!, can’t we get away from this low-tech nonsense already?

  • Maas

    It’s not about the HP in a touring bike, you want torque and 120 lb-ft is plenty.

    Stock Sport Bike:
    GSXR 1000 – about 75 lb-ft

    Stock Touring Bike:
    BMW K1200 LT about 86 lb-ft
    GoldWing about 106 lb-ft

  • mmmmm, tasty, tasty torque, does a body good right?! ;)

    torque is king unless your aiming for un-legal speedy shenanigans.

    give me stop light to stop light over land speed record power any day.

  • Singletrack

    1.65 litres of displacement? I know motorcycles are illogical at best (what makes them fun) but c’mon. Do we have to keep getting bigger and bigger? I agree with Will, Why not focus development on lightwieght, hi-spec, efficient engines? I’d much rather see an 800cc with DI, pneumatic valves, 100 hp, good torque and 50 mpg (for long range sport touring) than yet another behemoth.

    Also, In this current economic era, I imagine a small company would have better luck getting capital to fund continued development with an economical, forward looking design.

    I’ve been fortunate to ride many, many bikes between 1996 and today, and 100hp (regardless of 2, 3 or 4 cyl.) and light weight ALWAYS provided the best smiles for miles. Namely Triumph 900cc triples; any 600cc sportbike, Yamaha TRX850, Honda VFR or Firestorm, KTM950 Adventure … the equation is always the same … pure enjoyment with the fewest limitations.

  • Zimtok

    The American market is a funny thing.
    There are certain expectations that the majority of the buyers want in a “cruiser” type motorcycle. Big displacement, lots of torque, low rumble from the exhaust…. Most American motorcyclists don’t go for long touring rides so they don’t need fuel economy. They want to show off their wealth and status, Luxury items like a big, bad, motorcycle is what they want. This engine fits the major American market.
    (thankfully I’m not in the majority)

    I like my Triumph Thunderbird Sport 900 3 cylinder bike. It will blow the doors off my friends Buell. I find this engine interesting but it doesn’t fit me.

    Lets wait and see if it makes it to the market and if it does what will be the final production design….


  • Diego

    If they designed a v4 based on the Lancia masterpiece but with injection
    and modern pressure die cast technology then wed have something even
    more compact and worth raving about.