Stopping on the way back from the US GP at Laguna Seca this weekend, the Asphalt & Rubber crew stopped by Alice’s Restaurant on Skyline to check-out the Motus MST & MST-R Prototypes. Making a cross-country trek on the bikes, Lee Conn and Brian Case have been gathering some development data while meeting with local dealers and potential customers. Hoping to produce somewhere between 200-300 motorcycle next year, Motus is looking for 25 or so quality dealers for its initial launch.

The bikes are clearly test mules, both because of their unpolished state that has data acquisition boxes clearly visible, and also because of the emblazoned “Prototype” sticker set. Still, it’s also clear that Case’s design is reaching its final-production trim, and fellow Penn State alum has included plenty of interesting details into the Motus MST that owners will enjoy.

The side-mounted clutch is perhaps the one feature that will sneak-up on you the most easily, as it’s a pretty standard vision on motorcycles these days…just not on longitudinally-mounted motors (are you reading this Moto Guzzi?). In fact, much of the Motus MST seems to come from a pragmatic approach, as you can even service the motor without removing any bodywork.

If you have a chance to stop by Alice’s, try the “Harley” burger. The rumors that its applewood bacon and breakfast sausage toppings will take years off your life are probably untrue, but not completely unfounded. Though lighter on the cholesterol, the photos of the Motus MST & Motus MST-R prototypes after the jump may make your heart skip a beat.

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

  • BikePilot

    I wonder if they’ve done much testing for pillion comfort. From my POV a sport-tourer that can’t comfortably tote another is a waste – if I’m alone I’ll stick to a much lighter sporty bike. In that vein the pillion seat looks rather small and poorly shaped and I fear the long passenger peg hangers/exhaust hangers will end up transmitting a ton of vibs to the passenger’s feet (see e.g., bandit 1250 right pass peg). A reasonably light, simple, fun, visceral sport bike for two would get my attention.

  • There was a woman how got a pillion ride. Dunno how much feedback you can get going once around the block though.

  • Ades

    Even for a Prototype it looks a well put together and thought out motorcycle. Love the Trellis frame and swing-arm, and it certainly possesses all the goodies (Ohlins etc). Will be interesting to see the finished product.

    If it’s priced right it could definitely sway a few people away from the Multistrada.

    Good to see some American motorcycle design that is aesthetically pleasing too!

  • MikeD

    I still find it Bland,BLAH & Mehh…The Candy looks delicious (we all have hear that sweet engine screaming)…is just the Wrapping that has me Cold…hope they have a Sharper/Better wrapping for the final product.

    Yes, i understand this is not an R6 or MV Agusta F3 competition (looks and performance wise) and is just a Prototype but dang… (-_- )’

  • very cool jensen … nice feature/scoop.

  • Mickey

    I got up close to it at Laguna and was amazed at how narrow it was at the seat. So far in concept it looks like a really good sports tourer. I’m not loving the kicked in the face look though. If you like the way KTM’s look you’ll probably like this, but I think KTM’s are the ugliest bikes ever manufactured so for me not so much.
    Maybe they can hire a couple of Italians to help with the front fairing.

  • Billy B.Tso

    agree with MikeD, it is very vanilla, especially the R version…whatever happened to the motus they showed in the Daytona video, that looked nicer naked i thought…i think it has potential to be a beauty, although needs some plastic surgery…

  • MTGR

    Looks interesting.

    Incidentally, Guzzi runs a shaft drive so putting side clutch on would require two extra sets of highly expensive, power robbing, potential weak point, helical gear assemblies to make two extra 90 degree turn in the power-train. Not ideal. Motus needs to turn once anyway to make the chain drive work (just as a Guzzi has to once in the final drive of the shaft assembly). Still, I agree they were smart to make the adjustment where they did to allow a conventional clutch location. Lots of good thinking.

  • chris

    well… it doesn’t just look like a ktm. looking at the close-up picture of the headlight…. i can now confirm my long standing suspicion that they’re using an off the shelf ktm 950/990 adventure headlight. why do all that work around someone else’s design? it’s understandable for a custom bike builder… plenty of people using yamaha mt-03 headlights, and v-rod headlights… but those decisions at least come out of the shadow of the original manufacturer and stand on their own… when you look at radical ducati bikes, you don’t think yamaha and harley. for an new manufacturer to make such a novice mistake is just dumb.

  • John Magnum

    Happy you guys in the US have a home grown (me OZ) bike, and a great motor.

    though i think all those in favour of the styling are lying to themseves, its just down right outdated.
    Without the RC8 style headlight it looks like something out of the 80’s with a fresh paint job.

    Take its clothes off and keep it naked / streetfighter. let its character (motor) show.

  • Random

    Hey chris, no need to get mad, they’ve stated long ago they are using ktm headlights and this is not the final fairing design, just a test mule. Maybe those complaints about the bland fairing (i don’t find it attractive too) are just too early, let’s wait and see the final shape.

  • sp33dwagon

    I’d like to see integrated turn signals instead of those stalks, looks disruptive to the lines of the bike. I feel on faired bikes they just fit better. And please, please, please, make the naked musclebike version a reality!

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  • ZeitgeistXIII

    One word “PROTOTYPE” Things often change on final production. Bodywork is easy skin. But it takes time to source custom made stuff.

  • Keith

    ugh! Swapping out that alternator AND adjusting the belt is going to be a BEECH! As for pillion issues…none as that is where the trunk/5gal fuel cell goes. ;^)

  • BikePilot

    Good to hear someone has at least sampled the pillion provisions – hopefully the provisions are more accommodating than they look.

  • TRL

    We’ll see. It seems like it has potential but I’d drop the Two Brothers pipe (if that is the final choice, that weave always looks like crap after a couple of years in the Cali sun). Faring is ok from the saddle but meh from everywhere else.

    The seat makes me laugh, I can’t see the label but I think the reason it looks uncomfortable to you all is that you aren’t Harley riders. I’ll just bet that’s a Harley based seat design, its got just about the shape to be a Softail or Dyna seat….but I could be wrong….

  • A twin

    definitely nix the 2 brothers pipe

  • AZHobo

    PLEASE MAKE IT PRETTY!!! The KTM nose has to go. This bike has got everything else going for it. A bike can sound awesome and handle great, but if I have to avert my eyes every time I walk out to the garage – I won’t buy it.

  • Well, it looks like all my comments were hit upon already. Saw pillion questions / comments, saw questions on the looks (to me, it doesn’t look ugly – it just looks plain; though the MST-R is somewhat improved with the graphics package), saw concerns about the slip-ons (ditto – ditch the Two Brothers…they don’t match the rest of the bike…Go Austin Racing or something similar), finish the dash – cubbies would be cool if that could be arranged….And it’d be cool if there was a shock to match the forks (though I do like the remote preload adjuster).

    It’s getting there guys! Looking forward to checking out a finished one.