Motus MST Tourer Public Debut at Daytona

March 9, 2011
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
Editor|Articles|Articles RSS|Blog|Blog Posts|Blog RSS

Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

The Motus frame is an eye-catching tubular steel design  as is the swingarm. Motus engineers incorporated the V-Four into the chassis as a stressed member.
The Alabama-based Mous Motorcycles will debut its direct-injected V-Four-powered sport-touring concepts to the public at Daytona Bike Week.

American manufacturer Motus Motorcycles has chosen Daytona Bike Week for the public debut of its V-Four-powered sport-touring prototypes. The Birmingham, Alabama-based company revealed its MST concepts earlier this month at the New Hudson, Michigan headquarters of its engineering partner Pratt & Miller.

V-Four Power

The KMV4 powerplant anchors the MST design, and represents the first American-built V-Four motorcycle. Developed with Katech, a Michigan-based firm renowned for its V-8 engine development, the KMV4 lops the iconic American V-8 in half. The KMV4 also features gasoline direct injection (GDI), which as the name implies injects fuel directly into the combustion chamber, instead of through the intake ports. The direct injection technology claims more efficiency than traditional fuel injection systems, with Motus citing up to 10% more power and as much as 25% less emissions.

Developed with Katech  a Michigan-based firm renowned for its V-8 engine development  the KMV4 lops the iconic American V-8 in half. The longitudinal 90-degree V-Four on the Motus prototype is liquid-cooled and displaces 1645cc via 86.5mm bore and 70mm stroke.
The KMV4 engine powering the Motus MST takes its internal architecture from
American V-8 musclecars, divided by two. It also features direct injection technology.

The longitudinal 90-degree V-Four on the Motus prototype is liquid-cooled and displaces 1645cc via 86.5mm bore and 70mm stroke. The valvetrain features two-valves per cylinder (44.5mm intake, 36.9mm exhaust) moved via pushrods and a single chain-driven cam. The Four revs up to 8000rpm redline with peak power claims of 161 horsepower at 7800 rpm and 122 lb-ft torque at 4500rpm. A six-speed transmission divvies out the power, with a very un-sport-touring-like chain final drive.

Pratt & Miller designed the transmission, and gets credit for the chassis and bodywork too. An inverted, fully-adjustable 43mm fork takes care of suspension duties up front, with a fully-adjustable rear shock out back, the latter featuring a remote preload adjuster. The front brakes are four-piston radial-mount calipers clamping on dual 320mm rotors, with a single rear rotor pinched by two-piston caliper.

The Motus frame is an eye-catching tubular steel design, as is the swingarm and Motus engineers incorporated the V-Four into the chassis as a stressed member. The prototype’s claimed dry weight is estimated at 500 pounds, so add on another 35 pounds or so once topping off the six gallon tank.

Motus Motorcycles MST sport-touring prototype.
A longitudinal V-Four powering a sport-tourer isn’t new, but the made in America stamp makes the Motus unique.

American Sport-Touring

The Motus prototypes are targeted as sport-touring models, with integrated luggage from Givi another defining characteristic. The sport-touring credentials will be put to the personal test by company founders Lee Conn and Brian Case, who will ride the bikes themselves from Michigan to their Daytona debut.

Conn takes care of the business end of the Alabama startup, with Case handling the design responsibilities. Most riding enthusiasts are already familiar with Case’s work, as the co-designer of the Confederate Wraith. Notable styling cues on the Motus are the exposed carbon fiber heads of the KMV4, as well as the slight forward sweep of the exhaust headers before terminating into the conventional looking right side exhaust. The conservative lines of the bodywork figure to appease the traditional ST demographic.

Motus pitches its two prototypes, the MST and MST-R, as 2012 models with a production date of late 2011. Noticeably absent from the initial specs are the bike’s MSRP.

In the meantime, more durability testing is underway. Again, it will be personal as Conn and Case are leading a cross-country tour. Daytona is just the beginning, with around 250 stops expected (hey, fellas, we got great roads here in our Medford, Oregon headquarters…).

Read more on the MST project at www.motusmotorcycles.com and watch the embedded YouTube videos below, courtesy of Motus. (UPDATE: See and hear the Motus MST en route to Daytona)

Facebook comments