The Motus MST-01, self-proclaimed saviour of the American bike business, had some surprises in store for MCN photographer Bob Clarke when he became one of the handful of people to take a first-person view of the bike from the hot seat.
Bound to feel a bit American-shoddy but sound awesome, right? You better read on...
"To sit on the Motus it felt like the latest Z1000, about the same weight, but a lot lower in the saddle. I'm 5.6 and could sit on the Motus with both completely feet flat on the ground.
"Very similar feel to a Ducati Monster or a Buell XB, but heavier and with the footrests lower and further forwards. I jumped straight off a Buell XB9 onto the Motus and it felt much the same balance, but as I say, the footrest position was more touring than race.
"I commented on this and the Motus people said that the footrests couldn't be grounded in the turns. A challenge if ever I heard one. It was very narrow at the front of the seat and the frame was waisted below the seat to accomplish the low seating position and ease of touching the ground with both feet to suit the vertically challenged.
"Women would also find the seating position and ease of balance/manoeuvrability very accommodating. I commentated that I would probably find the narrow 'nose' of the seat uncomfortable - but Motus assured me that this was a prototype seat and a more comfortable gel seat would be fitted to production bikes.
"The overall quality of the bike was very high spec, very much a sport/touring genre, except maybe for the chain final drive. The quality of the bodywork and paint finish was excellent, as was the quality of the frame welds and the engine cases.
"It had two power points for phone charging, GPS, iPod etc and seemed to be a well thought-out concept as a fast touring bike that would be fun to ride for hours at a time.
"From what I'd read I expected the Motus to be 'American', as in big, heavy, fat, ugly and loud - but it was none of the aforementioned. Instead I was pleasantly surprised with the Euro-feel of the Motus.
"I also expected the engine to be 'half a Corvette V8', but while it shares the V-8 pushrod concept, albeit a V4, as in ease of maintenance, good torquey spread of power, low rpm, and is claimed to be almost vibrationless - the engine is very small for its 1645cc.
"It also runs very cool, after both the featured bike, (and the stripped test bike), had returned from being run back and forwards for film/photos for an hour or so in 85-degree temp, there was no noticeable heat being transferred from the engine to the frame and surrounding cycle parts.
"I also commented on the lack of protection for the engine in a low speed spill, or merely falling over, as the carbon fibre rocker covers looked especially vulnerable. Motus said that production bikes would have some kind of slider or protection bars fitted.
"Motus claim the bike has a unique exhaust note, but personally I didn't like it, a bit too raspy - but then again I'd just been riding a Buell with a D&D race exhaust.
"Motus wouldn't be drawn on a price, so that would be where the bike would succeed or fail. It reminded me very much of of the BMW 1150R I had a couple of years ago - as in quality of finish and sold feel.
"I liked the Motus, but it would come down to being priced against competition, (like my old BMW 1150R), before I'd consider buying one."