Sport Touring – American Style!
I recently read an article in the Wheels section on The New York Times Website about the upstart motorcycle company Motus Motorcycles new Sport-Touring bikes, the MST-01 and the MST-R. Motus Motorcycles is based in Birmingham, Ala., and was founded by Lee Conn and Brian Case in 2007. They wanted to produce a line of sport-touring bikes that leaned more towards the European and Japanese sport-touring machines rather than follow the two other “American Made” V-Twin formats. They chose do design the bike from the ground up instead.
The bikes uses a chrome-moly “trellis” frame, similar to what Ducati uses, and with a V4 engine and 6 speed transmission combo that totals less than 200 lbs, the bike weighs in at about 520 lbs. in total. The fairing, fuel tank, seat unit and front fender are all fabricated from carbon fiber. Wheels from Marchesini in Italy are forged aluminum, and sport Pilot 3 radial tires.
The 160 horsepower V4 engine is in essence, 1/2 of a Chevy Corvette V-8, and most of the design work on the engine and transmission were done by Pratt & Miller, an engineering firm that built General Motors factory Corvette race cars. I would have thought that them might use a belt final drive for minimum maintenance, but both of these bikes are chain drive.
The base model MST-01 features standard 43-millimeter Marzocchi forks and Hayes brakes, while the R model adds premium running gear such as Ohlins forks, and Brembo brakes. The both come with direct fuel injection which boosts performance, and is a first in the motorcycle industry. Lee Conn said this about the bikes,
“We designed our motorcycle from the ground up to provide all-day riding comfort with hot-rod performance.”
and a quote from the Motus Motorcycles website.
At Motus, our obsession is to build the next generation of American motorcycles for die-hard riding enthusiasts. To design the ultimate street bike – fast, lightweight and comfortable for long distance canyon carving and high performance riding, whether solo or two-up. To deliver an all new machine that combines legendary racing technology with the practical needs of serious sport riders
The MST is the destiny of everything we imagined a sport tourer could be – an authentic American-made machine with incredible responsiveness, massive torque and enough comfort and practicality to satisfy the most demanding rider.
A small fleet of prototypes is currently undergoing testing and validation, and the Motus executives are embarking on an cross-country ride with Pratt & Miller engineers to evaluate the final prototypes, visit prospective dealers and proudly show off their new take on the American motorcycle.
See the picture below for the engine specs for the Motus MST-01 motorcycle, and the video at the bottom of the page of the Motus on the race track.