The Motus MST, a completely American made touring motorcycle is nearing release after years of development. If you haven’t heard of the Motus MST, it’s been in the works for many years to become the Duke Nukem Forever of the motorcycle world. After the initial concepts and ideas were formed when the founders got together in 2008, a prototype was built in 2011 and toured around America to show prospective buyers.
Fast forward to today and the Motus MST (and higher specification MST-R) should be hitting dealerships within the next month to bring an American spin on the motorcycle touring segment which has for so long been the dominion of the Europeans.
While Motus doesn’t have the same history to it as Harley-Davidson or Indian Motorcycles, or even whatever company Erik Buell associates his name with, the Motus MST is about as American as you can get. The most impressive thing that Motus have done is with the engine. No engine (American or overseas) suited what Motus was trying to achieve so they built their own – a pushrod powered V4. Think of it like have a V8 you’d get in a Corvette. It sounds unlike any motorcycle out too – listen to a few of the samples here and here.
The result is a 1650 cc engine producing 165 hp @ 7,600 rpm and 123 ft-lb @ 5,000 rpm. Bore and stroke is 88 mm x 67.80 mm with a compression ratio of 11.5:1. The torque curve is one of the flatest we’ve ever seen. At 2,000 rpm, torque is a shade over 80 ft-lb until hitting peak at 5,000 rpm, but it remains above 100 ft-lb all the way to redline at just over 8,000 rpm.
The rest of the componentry on the bike appears to be pretty top notch, too. It features a 6-speed, dual overdrive gearbox, Öhlins NIX30 adjustable forks and a progressive adjustable mono-shock. The MST comes standard with Brembo calipers and OZ forged aluminum wheels. No ABS, traction control or other electronic aids.
Also standard is a centrestand (hooray!), adjustable windscreen, adjustable handlebars and cruise control. Optional items include a removeable top case, heated seat, heated grips and different spec screen and seats.
So far, so good. But like the EBR 1190 RX and SX, the Motus MTS suffers from the same issue of being built in America by Americans and that is the cost of production. Economics dictate that low volume vehicles such as these that are built in America are just going to be more expensive than mass market machines built in South East Asia. The Motus MTS will retail for $30,975.
Compare that to the BMW K1600GTL. While the Motus MTS has a big advantage over the BMW when it comes to the sheer uniqueness and character of it’s engine, the inline 6 cylinder German machine costs only $23,995 (and comes with ABS as standard). That’s a massive price difference and one that most couldn’t ignore.
But if you’re looking at purchasing a machine like the Motus MTS, price probably isn’t really the main factor. It’s owning something unique and rare and also something both American designed and made.