Friday, 12 February 2010

Buell is Gone...Long Live Motus

With the demise of Buell motorcycles at the hands of Harley-Davidson part of me began to wonder what could ever replace my Ulysses XB12XT? At first glance nothing out there stirs the senses or gets me as excited in anticipation of jumping on the big v-twin sports tourer and going for a ride, be it a weekend furlong or the daily commute. However news of a new motorcycle has started to wet my appetite, namely the Motus MST-01K as described in the companies own words:



The future of sport touring is taking shape at Motus. The MST-01 is a comfortable sportbike designed for long distance canyon carving and face-melting performance. At the heart of the Motus MST series is a purpose built, liquid-cooled V4 engine with a scandalous exhaust note. Start saving vacation days now.



First though, who are Motus Motorcycles? They have been summed up as "a privately held company developing the first V4-powered American sport touring motorcycle. MST series motorcycles, including the MST-01 and premium MST-R, are next generation sport touring motorcycles engineered for optimum rider and passenger comfort for extended, spirited journeys, and use quality components for responsive handling" (PR Newswire). Getting excited yet?



At the heart of the MST-01 will be an engine developed by engine builder Kartech who have designed and built the worlds first Direct Injection four-stroke motorcycle engine. Kartect have an impressive resume, "since 1977, Katech has been designing, developing and manufacturing engines with a focus on precision, innovation, and durability leading to over 50 championships in American Le Mans (ALMS), NASCAR®, SCCA SPEED World Challenge, and International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). Katech's legacy of durability has led to multiple wins in the 12 Hours of Sebring, 24 Hours of Daytona and 24 Hours of Le Mans. Katech "firsts" include: 1st ALMS Green Challenge winner, 1st E85-powered Corvette, 1st 500 ci small block without block modification, 1st LS7-powered Camaro, 1st modern GM V16, 1st V8 turbocharged win in Grand Prix Hydroplane, 1st V8 turbocharged Win In Class 1 Offshore Racing, 1st 200 MPH Truck In FIA Group II, Class 9, and now, the creation of the first direct injected (DI) V4." (PR Newswire).



So what we are being offered is a 1650cc sports tourer, which should produce 140bhp at 7800rpm and 119ftlb at 4500rpm. This is built from the ground up with what I love...torque! This engine and bike will be built with real-world riding in mind, complete with hard cases, an option of solo or dual touring seating and an engine that is designed for 'bulletproof' reliability. Motus co-founder Case says; "We didn't focus on maximum horsepower, we focused on heightening the rider experience. To us, that means tons of torque over a wide range, low vibes, high efficiency, bulletproof durability and a scandalous exhaust note" (MCN, Wednesday 10th February 2010, p.11). They claim that the engine will be so easy to maintain that any mechanic from 'here to Australia' will be able to look after it.



Here we have the American equivalent of the Corvette, the classic muscle-car, being brought to the motorcycle world. Manufacturers such as Yamaha do offer the V-Max, but that has never been thought of as, or ever designed to be, a sports tourer. Instead this new machine from Motus echoes everything that made me fall in love with the Buell brand. I will keep an eye on how this develops in the future with the hope that one day one shall be mine...oh yes, it will be mine.

Peace and keep the rubber side down.

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