Motus MST

Well, I rode a Motus MST. I chose to ride the MST as opposed to the MST-R as this bike is likely the one I’d be interested in buying. I’m not a horsepower junkie and while the BMW, at 110hp, is adequate I would love an additional 20hp. I’m not a particularly aggressive rider but I’m not a casual rider either. If I’m headed out for a day ride by myself I’m usually choosing the BMW. If I’m with friends, or looking to chill, the Victory gets the nod.

Now for the test ride review. Lifting the bike off the side stand gets your attention, it’s pretty heavy off the stand but you don’t notice the weight after that. Reach to the Heli bars for my 5’11” (31″ inseam), 210lb frame was very natural and comfortable. The Sargent seat is firm but comfy. Certainly nothing jumps out saying I wouldn’t want to spend some time here and is actually quite inviting. Fire up the bike and the first thing you’ll appreciate is the sound of the motor. It’s fantastic! Intoxicating really. Couldn’t stop blipping the throttle just to hear the motor rev. Snick the bike into first gear, add some throttle and pull away from the curb to the delight of the power delivery. The way this bike easily delivers 160bhp is REALLY impressive. It’s not snatchy pulling away from the curb and rolling on the throttle builds speed confidently. Having ridden a Ducati Monster 1200S, the power of the Monster feels intense by comparison, the Motus builds speed smoothly and always makes you feel like you’re in control. Whereas the Ducati made me feel like I could find myself in the position of being out of control. Almost like the power delivery of the Monster is TOO intense. If that makes any sense. Heading up onto a major highway was the first opportunity to roll on the throttle and see what this bike is all about. Again, power comes on so smooth and confidently, yet gives the feeling you’re in control of each and every ounce of power being produced. I absolutely loved it. Roll on in any gear produces big grins. Obviously lower gears are gonna push you a little deeper into the seat, but there’s so much power available anywhere and everywhere, it’s easy to ride the bike in just about any gear you happen to find yourself in. The bike prefers to be kept over 3k and will pull strong up to 7k. 7-9k doesn’t produce much more excitement and going there isn’t really necessary. Passing situations are a no brainer for this bike. Wait for an opening, roll on the throttle and you’re past whatever is in your way. The ride leader did an excellent job of mixing up the speeds on the ride. The high speed stuff is easy, the moderate roll along speeds are a so easy for this bike. Some steady throttle to on-throttle transitions can produce some snatchy moments but it’s not on every encounter and never made the bike feel out of character. For now, I’ll leave this open to the possibility of me adjusting to the bike than a problem with the bike. What was really impressive about this bike is that it had 16,000+ miles on it and it felt tight. Clearly this was a well broken in machine, but I would never have thought that. Obviously I can’t compare it to a new bike, but, I came away not being able to imagine a new bike feeling any more new than this one. Pretty darn impressive.

Rolling through city traffic the bike is easy to maneuver. I didn’t play with the suspension before riding the bike so I was riding whatever the setup was. The suspension did a pretty good job of soaking up the uneven city streets and never stepped out of line. I’m confident with some tweaking of the myriad suspension adjustments I could have made it more plush. Get it into the twisty bits and the bike holds a line very well. The bike willingly goes where you point it and doesn’t take much effort to get the bike to turn in. It’s not sharp, like you might find on a sportbike, but it’s not slow, like you might find on a liter class hypersport (Hayabusa?). Think stable, yet maneuverable. Side to side transitions are very good. I wouldn’t say effortless, but, no sense of having to have to muscle the bike around. As noted above, it simply goes where you point it. I’m sure with proper suspension setup it could become quite the weapon. I never felt like I was in over my head with this bike.

This is one incredibly comfortable motorcycle. For me, the only other bike that fit me so well was the KTM Superduke 990, I always felt like that bike was tailored to me. I got the same sense with this bike and found myself saying I could ride this bike all day. It’s really comfortable and I would have loved to have been able to ride the bike for a few more hours. And not just for the incredible comfort, but to keep blipping that throttle. I pulled up next to the ride leader and asked if my bike had the DB killers in or out. As it turns out they were out. I’m not a loud pipe guy, at all, but I absolutely loved the sound of this bike and took every opportunity to spin the motor with the clutch in. Childish, I know, but it sounds that good. And I didn’t have earplugs in on this ride. For comparison, I have the Victory Tri-Oval exhaust on the Cross Country and, without earplugs, it’s too loud for me. With the earplugs in, I’m ok with it. I would like to try the MST with the DB killers in just for comparison. Did I mention how good this bike sounds? The Sargent seat does a great job of allowing the rider to slide forward into an aggressive riding posture where the seat is very narrow and makes for sliding around on the seat very easy. When cruising, or hitting the slab, the rider slides back into a wide seat for much more comfort and support. Well done Sargent/Motus. The foam is quite firm and on my (40 mile?) loop it’s hard to say at this point what the seat would be like on an all day ride. Not to mention that seats are very subjective and what may work for me may not work for someone else. Also keep in mind, I’m coddled by a Russell Daylong seat on the RT and finding something to compete with that, for me anyway, may be difficult.

Here’s what I have to say to the folks at Motus. What you did right? You engineered an incredible motor. It plain works. It’s powerful without being intimidating and sounds incredible. Absolutely love it. Top tier components. From the suspension parts to the seat to the Heli bars to the availability of Clearwater lighting. All top tier stuff. Very well done. What you did wrong. No self cancelling turn signals. Really? Come on. This is a no brainer in 2016. TPM. That well laid out display can certainly accommodate a TPM section. At least offer it as an option. ABS. At a minimum this should be standard equipment. Is it absolutely necessary? No, but. Sport touring riders are typically big mile folks. If it saves my bacon once it was worth the additional cost.

In conclusion could a Motus finds it’s way into my garage? Even at the asking price? YES. It’s that good. It’s comfortable, it screams high quality, it’s as fast and powerful as you want it to be. The bike cruises along as confidently as it attacks the twisties. I enjoyed it immensely. Will it replace the RT? No. The fairing isn’t there for that nor is the top box or passenger accommodations. And my wife was surprisingly comfortable on the back in the showroom. However, an RT isn’t really what this bike is trying to be. I would encourage anyone that’s offered a chance to ride one, take it. You won’t be sorry. Spend some time on one and I think the price comes in to focus and is justifiable.

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