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Motus MST Tourer Public Debut at Daytona

Wednesday, March 9, 2011
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)

Motus MST Prototype Photo Gallery
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themountain   April 5, 2011 02:30 AM
Wow ...what an awesome bike to get in the business...love the growl of the engine, sounds like my old VFR on steroids...hope they will have a successfull entry and make some other american builders think!!
Scoot   March 31, 2011 09:00 AM
Erick Buell should get together with this outfit. They could use his already proven frame and ideas with the Motus motor instead of the air cooled crap Harley motor that Buell was using. That would be a winning combo plus no moron Harley dealers to deal with.
Rufi000000   March 26, 2011 09:49 PM
I like these guys. If they can keep their taste in motorcycles one step ahead of their "taste" in music, I'll be excited to see what they can come up with. On a more serious note, coming out with a tourer as an opening salvo is a testament to their understanding of the market they're attempting to enter. You see more of the touring oriented Harleys rumbling down American highways than anything else.
RJ   March 23, 2011 08:23 AM
American ingenuity is great to see and these two seem to have the synergy to get it done. An American sport tourer, with that type of growl has us all frothing at the mouth. There is a lot to like about the bike so kudos to the design team. Let's see some videos in the twisties or better yet look me up when in the northeast. :-) I hope the same amount of effort that is going into concepts and designs are also going into the Governance Model and business process design to endure the initial start up and successive growth when this takes off. There needs to be enough flexibility to the controls and performance measures (metrics) of the organization to support rapid growth. It's great to see an actual working motorcycle and believe in the product, it's better to see solid demand forecasting, resource utilization plans, and fiscal controls to ensure the company will stick around for the long haul. Tools, process, and people all tied together to achieve defined goals are just as important as the logistics in delivering the final product of any manufacturer. Good luck guys!
Scoot   March 22, 2011 12:08 PM
Well the morons at Harley sure shot themselves in the foot when they killed Buell. Now at least we will have an American motorcycle company that will be building modern up to date motorcycles - no pirate outfit needed.
wildpig   March 11, 2011 11:44 AM
harley would be better off givin motus 50 million to buy them out.... clearly a superior bike than most of harleys line up -- and im fanatical pro harley-- looks like the motus crew DID NOT CONSULT WILLIE G..... thk the Lord............. now motus needs to stage a SPORT BIKE VERSION................. I EXPECT IT WILL BE COMING SOON................ AN AMERICAN BIKE BUILT FOR AMERICANS
Oliver   March 11, 2011 07:31 AM
I wish them the best of luck. It's a good looking bike and a great sounding engine. As a small company, they could employ some of Ducati's strategies such as using this engine in several different platforms, e.g., ST (as they already have) and I bet it would make a very cool naked bike, a la Monster. It's too bad the American market is not great for naked bikes. With the Euro as strong as it is, maybe Europe could be a great market for them. It's great to see Americans with ingenuity and grit go after their dreams. This is what the American dream is all about and in part what made this country great. They personify what is good about American business.
sloppy   March 10, 2011 05:09 PM
I really hope that this company makes it. I hope they have deep pockets to weather through the first few years. The engine is extraordinary and with the low weight, it should be an unreal ST. It is great to see some American ingenuity. Good luck Motus. This may be my next bike.
twinrider   March 10, 2011 01:25 PM
First I've seen this new video clip. What a glorious noise that thing makes! Reminds me of an RC45 in race trim.
wildpig   March 9, 2011 04:39 PM
this is the bike HARLEY R & D cannot build due to lack of imagination and a blind drive to call a different paint scheme an different handlebars --innovation..... yea babe i hope Motus succeeds.............................
twinrider   March 9, 2011 03:03 PM
This looks to be a promising bike. It's good looking, has great performance potential and a very enthusiastic group of people behind it. The components all look to be top notch, the direct injection is a proven technology in the auto world, the push rod technology should make the engine reliable and long lasting. Is the chain final drive a downside? While I'd rather see a belt and some would rather have a shaft drive, it's proven and hard to screw up engineering wise. The only downside I see will be the price and support network. I wish them luck as I'm in their target demographic and I would love to see an American made alternative out there that isn't a cruiser. Go Motus!