Riders looking to purchase a sporting, performance oriented American made motorcycle now have a choice, Motus Motorcycles of Birmingham Alabama. The focus of the new company is their MST-01 sport-touring machine designed for long-range comfort, performance and fun. If the warranty guarantees big-grins, I'm sure they won't get any claims.
The bike is equal parts BMW touring bike, American muscle car and Ducati superbike. Powered by a 1650cc, high torque, high horsepower, V-4, specifically designed for Motus, the bike sounds like a hooligan. "It is a brute force, high displacement, wicked American engine," said Motus President and Co-founder Lee Conn.
The nasty growl is no surprise when you learn that Motus based the motor on a Chevy Coverette V-8 design. Expected torque is 120 to 122 foot-pounds and horsepower estimates are 140 to 160 at 7800 RPM.
The liquid cooled motor is no throwback to a nostalgic yesteryear, however. It uses gasoline direct fuel injection (GDI) to increase power and reduce emissions. GDI optimizes the air/fuel ratio to engine RPMs, hundreds of times per second, maximizing power while minimizing waste. Its use is the first ever on a motorcycle.
A proprietary, 6-speed transmission gets the power from the motor to the rear wheel.
The chassis and suspension are equal to the power-plant. The standard model comes with a 43 millimeter Marzocchi fork and Hayes brakes. The R model uses an Ohlins fork and Brembo brakes. Carbon fiber in the fairing, fuel tank, seat and front fender keep the weight at around 500 pounds.
The beautiful chromoly trellis frame -- built by the automotive race engineering firm Pratt & Miller -- gives the bike a sculptured appearance that inspires comparison to Italian designs. The motor is a stressed member, longitudinally mounted: similar to Moto Guzzis. Marchesini forged aluminum wheels provide lightness and complete the Italian connection. Michelin Pilot Power 3 tires are stock and stick the whole package to the road.
New motor-officer ride?
The machine was the idea of Brian Case and Lee Conn, who are motorcycle enthusiasts with backgrounds in design and engineering, and high-tech stuff that goes fast. Case trained at the Art Institute of Pittsburg and was the Chief Designer for the radical Confederate Wraith. Conn is an engineer and pilot with a background in aircraft manufacturing.
The two are so confident of their prototypes, they have undertaken a cross-country ride to promote and test them.
Plans call for production to begin in late 2011 or early 2012, depending on when a satisfactory supply chain is established. The duo will defer the production to hit their quality targets, which is a prime goal.
Vermont dealers interested in carrying the brand should contact Motus. Local riders should encourage their dealer to apply!