MOTUS: New Sport Tourer to be built in Alabama

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Reverend12, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. earthroamer

    earthroamer Stuck in Pindadesh

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    Direct Injected KMV4 undergoing laser valvetrain analysis at Katech.

    [​IMG]
    #61
  2. sands

    sands Been here awhile

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    I don't care what anyone says about Alabama or whatever....That engine looks looks like a clean design and has a very nice quality finish to it...It doesn't seem to surprise me at all that they're going after BMW...
    #62
  3. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    They're now taking $1000 refundable deposit (minus $100) for delivery sometime in 2011. :lurk
    #63
  4. earthroamer

    earthroamer Stuck in Pindadesh

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    I assume you mean "now" taking.

    Motus Reservation Agreement


    I'm really rooting for these guys. An American built sport touring bike with muscle-car DNA and chain drive. They have my attention.
    #64
  5. 101N

    101N peccavi

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    I'm a noted, ahem, skeptic. But this looks cool. That engine could find it's way into alot of cool off-spring:)
    #65
  6. Kradmelder

    Kradmelder Banned

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    This thing looks dead on arrival to me!
    Who in his right mind really wants to buy the american version of a Honda ST1300 but with a pushrod Chevy Smallblock cut in half and chaindrive???
    Especially in todays economic climate/reality those automotive supply boys from Katech will be in for a surprise...
    Nothing against making some shit at home again but this is just ridicolous!
    A heavy tourer with chaindrive...L.O.L.
    #66
  7. tonymorr

    tonymorr Malta,NY(Saratoga Spring)

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    It's certainly not for everyone. I think the motor is a bit more than what you described. From what I've read they started with a HP/Torque @ certain RPM goal and went from there. If they can build this...... "Katech Air Attack Corvette Z06 produces 1,008 hp, and 827 lb-ft of torque" I think they ought to be able to figure out a simple motorcycle motor.

    "they were targeting a weight in the low-500 pound range (about 10 percent lighter than the Honda), which with a lower seat height (another priority) would result in a pretty nimble and user-friendly bike, considering itÂ’ll be one with hard luggage and an adjustable windscreen."

    More here http://www.roadracerx.com/features/...takes-a-claim-in-the-us-sport-touring-market/
    #67
  8. 1 Bored Clerk

    1 Bored Clerk Mama, I'm goin fast!

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    Engine looks cool. Should sound great. I'm a little worried that all we have is a 3D computer rendered chassis (unless I missed something) and a very rough sketch of the final product. At least I hope it's a very rough sketch. Seems a bit early to expect delivery in 2011...and to be asking for deposits. At least it's refundable. That's decent. I'd really like to see more developed sketches of the look of the bike...
    #68
  9. jfurf

    jfurf Been here awhile

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    I just wonder why they decided to develop their own engine. That just seems crazy to me. Why not find someone willing to supply you with crate motors? Like Rotax or Suzuki?

    That frees you up to focus on the things sport-touring buyers say they want... like a lighter chassis and touring-friendly accessories. I've never heard anyone say they can't find a sport-tourer with enough power nowadays.

    They could do for sport-touring bikes what Bimota does for sportbikes. Lighten them up, use exotic materials, radical new looks, etc.
    #69
  10. ferrix

    ferrix Been here awhile

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    I don't know but here are some possibilities that spring to mind:

    - Suzuki and other major players were not willing to provide them with engines.

    - Rotax could not provide them with engine to the spec they wanted, or if Rotax were to develop one, the deal was no better than what was offered by Katech.

    - they felt that getting their engines from someone like Suzuki or Rotax would make them a 'me too' player rather than a provider of an innovative and highly distinctive solution - an important consideration given the price point they seek for their product.

    - they wanted to trade on 'all American' sentiment and felt that using Suzuki or Rotax engines would compromise them just a bit too much in this respect.

    - maybe they just have some sort of prior connection to Katech?
    #70
  11. MookieBlaylock

    MookieBlaylock Long timer

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    actually i think a bunch of people, way more appealing than anything from harley. The problem will be producing a product with as few reliability issues as possible, that must be difficult for a small startup
    #71
  12. jfurf

    jfurf Been here awhile

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    And a huge consumer objection for sport-touring buyers, who demand proven reliability, parts access and wide dealership networks. Are people really gonna trust a boutique brand on 1000-mile trips? I'm rooting for these guys, but geez, that seems like a tough proposition.
    #72
  13. Croak

    Croak Been here awhile

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    There are quite a few riders that would jump on a Guzzi or Aprilia and trust it for 1k, without ever being in range of a Piaggio dealer.

    There are quite a few riders who get nervous at the thought of taking a late-model K-bike that far from home, for worry about final drives and throttle issues, even with a BMW shop always in range.

    Different strokes for different folks, different tolerances for risk, and different superstitions. Besides, a 1k trip isn't even a long weekend. :)

    Me, I'd imagine the Motus would use a lot of off-the-shelf bits for common maintenance items (chains, sprockets, filters, plugs, switchgear, lighting), so the only real worry would be engine and transmission issues, and it sounds to me as if the V4 should have a lot of inherent reliability, being a low-RPM pushrod setup, and a wet-clutch tranny should also be pretty bullet-proof.

    Even Japanese motors fail in the warranty period, and if they do when you're on the road, most times you won't be given a loaner and sent on your way to continue your trip, you'll have to find your own way home, and hopefully won't have to pay to have the bike shipped back once repaired/to be repaired.
    #73
  14. LVSFXS

    LVSFXS Guest

    I met one of the guys from Birmingham probably just under a year ago, some point last summer. He was a younger guy, probably late 20s, and his girl was with him. They rented a BMW R1200RT in Las Vegas and rode it to Salt Lake City, planning to fly back to Birmingham after.

    He sat around the shop and picked my brain for probably two hours while we changed out tires and did a quick oil service on the bike (it had just come back from rental that morning). Asked me a million questions about sport-touring bikes. Everything from what kind of performance and weight the average ST rider looked for, to what kind of repairs were most people capable of on the side of the road.

    The biggest point he made to me, and probably the most daring part of the venture I took away from the conversation, was the reason for the in-house engine.

    Now, assuming that the vision the company had will follow through to the final product: they wanted the bike to use parts for ancillaries, such as the alternator, and spark plugs, that would be available from Autozone/Checkers and equivalent. The vision was a bike that would be immediately repairable in the closest auto-parts store parking lot. Not relying on a dealer network or a large group of specifically skilled technicians. Just the average Joe armed with the included service manuals, an included tool-kit, and an easily accessed and maintained engine. I work on Euro bikes for a living, and I can certainly testify that ease of maintenance is intentionally not a manufacturers priority.

    Like I said, if form followed vision, then a lot of the speculation about this motor is missing the mark. No major manufacturer makes an engine everyone can work on and get parts for in the middle of nowhere.
    #74
  15. jfurf

    jfurf Been here awhile

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    good stuff. i know those guys spent time on sport-touring.net asking questions too.
    #75
  16. Gregster

    Gregster Been here awhile

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    Maybe they saw the writing on the wall for Buell a few years ago?
    Cool concept, I hope they are sucessful.
    #76
  17. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Likely Lost.

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    What exactly is wrong with a chain final drive? Particularly with a SSSA adjustments take all of 3 minutes...literally.....and I can (and have) changed sprockets and chain in a parking lot if I need to, with the bike on its side stand. Look at that Triumph and Ducati SSSA set, if you notice that the sprocket is outside the cush-drive. You undo the bolts and the rear sprocket falls off the hub. Add to the fact that with a decent X-ring chain and a LITTLE cleaning every so often that chain drive is going to be good for upwards of 25,000 miles or more.

    Now blow a seal on a shaft drive, and try to fix that. Because you know, that would never happen.

    If they are trying to build a bike that I can get parts for at a Napa or Autozone, they are building a winner there.
    #77
  18. barnyard

    barnyard Verbal tactician Super Moderator

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    +1.

    Fabulous idea. I hope it all pans out.

    Tom B
    #78
  19. Dilligaf0220

    Dilligaf0220 Miserablist

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    Does look more like something from Shadetree Mechanic than Sport Rider.
    There's a reason I've come to like older, carb'd Kwack's to turn high miles on, there's nothing on it I can't really fix with two screwdrivers, some box wrenches and a socket set.

    Hope they can meet their 2011 goal.
    #79
  20. vicmitch

    vicmitch Been here awhile

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    They really need to rethink the chain drive. A belt would not be much, if any more to develop than the chain drive and, I believe would be a deciding factor for many people when buying a sport tourer. If this bike could be as maintenance free and bulletproof as my Victory, I'd be all over this bike.
    #80