• Mar 9, 2011
Behind the scenes with Motus – Click above to watch video after the jump

It would be planetary-sized understatement to say we're a little excited about the work that the guys and girls at Motus are up to these days. With engineering work from names like Pratt & Miller and Katech, the MTS-01 and MTS-R should prove to be something to write home about. Both bikes get their power from a direct-injection V4 that's essentially a scale version of the General Motors LS-family V8. At just 18 inches across, the engine hits the scales at 130 pounds and cranks out 160 horsepower.

Motus is planning to ride the two new bikes from the Pratt & Miller offices in Michigan to Daytona, Florida for Bike Week, with plans on hitting around 250 locations around the country during and after the bikes' unveil in the Sunshine State. In order to get the word out, the company has unveiled a quick video to demonstrate just some of the work that went into bringing the motorcycles from CAD files to life. Hit the jump to see the clip for yourself as well as a press release on the MTS-01.



[Source: YouTube, Motus]



Show full PR text

Motus Motorcycles unveils MST series of American sportbikes

A new American motorcycle company is born.

Birmingham, AL- March 4, 2011

Against the backdrop of the world's most extensive motorcycle collection, Motus unveiled the stunning MST series of comfortable sportbikes, powered by the first gasoline direct injected V4 engine. The MST's were designed by Motus, and built by one of the world's most sophisticated engineering firms to help reshape the American motorcycle market with a machine that focuses squarely on performance, comfort and range.

The Motus MST's were developed quietly and revealed privately first at the facility of Motus's partner Pratt & Miller Engineering in New Hudson, Michigan and then at Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in the hometown of Motus, Birmingham, Alabama. Next, Motus heads to BikeWeek in Daytona Beach, Florida, for a public launch at the Progressive International Motorcycle Show on Thursday, March 10th at 2:00 pm and various private showings with press and supporters.

"We are so proud to show the world the MST series," said Motus president, Lee Conn. "We poured our hearts and souls into these motorcycles and hope that it shows in terms of the quality and character of the machines. The MST's are exhilarating to ride- a very powerful experience unlike any other motorcycle I've ever ridden. There is usable power everywhere in rev-range, excellent feedback from the road, very responsive to inputs and....the sound of the KMV4 still gives me goose bumps every time one cranks," said Conn.

The MST prototypes, including the base model MST and the premium MST-R, are scheduled to go into production in late 2011 but will complete extensive testing and refinement first. Along with a team of engineers, co-founders Lee Conn and Brian Case are personally riding the MST's on an "American Sport Tour" around the US to make sure the pre-production machines are of the quality and durability they demand.

"There is just no better way to make sure the MST's meet our standards of durability, comfort, and performance than to personally ride the machines and iterate them as we identify issues. Along the way, we are meeting with friends, supporters and high quality dealers that have inquired about carrying Motus in their area," said Brian Case, vice president and director of design.

"We decided early on that no corners would be cut with the MST series. Motus is about precision, quality and attention to detail rather than speed to production," said Brian Case, vice president and director of design. "We are more focused on building great bikes than rushing to meet artificial deadlines," said Case. "Rather than hype the brand with computer renderings of a bike we hadn't even built yet, we engineered the bikes to be functional and actually work first, and then show the world what we have done so far."

Conceived and designed in Alabama and engineered in Michigan, the MST prototypes were built using a combination of sophisticated computer aided engineering tools as well as rapid prototyping processes.
The transmission, chassis, and bodywork are all purpose built at Pratt&Miller Engineering for high performance, durability, all day comfort, and long range.

"Motus came to Pratt & Miller with some very ambitious engineering and technical challenges and we felt we had the right tools and resources to exceed their expectations in terms of a high level of work in a shortened period of time," said Brandon Widmer, director of business development at Pratt & Miller Engineering. "The MST project has been exciting and challenging allowing us to employ many of our core strengths including complex chassis engineering and optimization, gearbox design and testing, metal and carbon composite fabrication and vehicle validation that is taking place now."

"The MST project has been an absolute blast for us at Pratt & Miller. The work ethic and intensity of the guys at Motus meshes well with our mindset and it has been gratifying to apply some of the skills and technologies we have developed from our endurance racing programs to this new American motorcycle" said Gary Pratt, co-founder of Pratt & Miller.


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  • 28 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good power, likely very fast, ok styling. But, the key for me is price. If it comes in at $15K and up, forget about it. The idea of a compact V4 still seems to not have caught on with the automakers. It is inherently lighter than an in-line 4 cylinder engine and more compact (could be as small as 10" x 10" x 10" and weigh only 130 lbs), and would seem to be a no-brainer, but none of the major manufacturers have opted to go that way. Wonder why. Anyhow, bring on this new motorcycle--maybe Harley will finally graduate from the 1960's and get competitive.
        • 3 Years Ago
        No V4s likely because small auto engines tend to be OHC. With an V that means two cams, two cam drives, two heads, two exhaust manifolds, etc. Costs skyrocket.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I still would have liked to see these guys use a 3 cylinder GEO Metro engine that was the lx version those got 58 mpg and were real good at 50 hp but I still like what these guys did and Daytona was great this year lots of people..2011 Certainly keep up the good work...
      • 3 Years Ago
      Betch 80percent of the 'next new American motorcycle' parts are manufactured offshore...where is the millions of dollars the meet federal regs and emissions coming from? pipe dream
      ERChambers
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hello, the teaser says that the bike weighs in at 130 lbs... how stupid. Of course that caught my eye but of course that was stupidly wrong. It is the engine that weighs 130 lbs. I'd like to see some specs on the bike, like actual dry weight and wet weight, etc, etc. you know the types of specs that a motorcycle enthusiast would be interested in seeing.
      Robert
      • 3 Years Ago
      And, oh my gawd!. How the heck did I miss this?!?! A PUSH-ROD OHV CONCEPT?!?! Are you guys straight out of a NASCAR design team? Does the BUYING public need to review with MOTUS the very distinct advantages of OHC? In my professional and experienced opinion, these illustrious American entrepreneurial team must have dreamed up this overall & total concept...right after waking from a nightmare. OHV.and tubular frame? Give the motorcycle enthusiasts a freaking break for crying out the window kids! And may "we" remind the design team, this is the 21st century? NOBODY wants to go backwards simply to support a product haphazardly tossed at Americans...just because it's made in America.(Buell tried this and Americans got REALLY burned) In fact, why not go with the entire ancient package of motorcycles of yesteryear...and make this fabulous engine air-cooled? I say, "Back to the drawing board ya'll."
      • 3 Years Ago
      I really wish they would release some better pictures of the naked 'R' version. It could be a more versatile alternative to the Ducati Monster.

      I like the styling of the 01, and I wonder what it looks like without the hard bags on it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      on a better track than the big outfits , a little too much HP but detuning, down sizing for millage / emissions and longevity is easier than the opposite once a good base engine exists . Weight is obviously key , This Company would be better off making a tube frame light weight dune buggy type commuter car for the masses based on that motor and thier light weight technology than pursuits of motorcycles power and show market. The future of light weight commuters should be dominated by the motorcycle market , Alot easier to make these run on alcohol / dual fuels than cars . Anyway I will definitely keep an eye on them and if they want the market I mentioned I would even invest in them
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wish them luck, of course, but a bike that weighs in at maybe 200 lbs? That can't be safe at highway speeds on a windy day.
      Bob Atol
      • 3 Years Ago
      Beautiful bike, good luck on the build and marketing
      • 3 Years Ago
      Applaud the effort... but the styling... not so much. Is this really what American riding public wants to buy? ST2 plus CX-500 plus VFR1200? If this is more than $10K (which it will be), then you can count on selling < 100 units (at least one to thestig, right?). I wonder how many need to be sold to amortize the tooling and development? Good luck, guys!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Pretty amazing engineering on the engine. Small blocks were already some of the lightest and in terms of external dimensions, smallest engines available.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Small but compact and lightweight with plenty of power to go around...
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well...... it is ugly as hell. Sadly the drawing was not half bad.... kind of snappy... but the ridable bike is pathetic. Looks like a torn down version or a bike that sold a several years ago. I've seen dirty dypers that had more visual appeal than this bike. It's lite but it IS ugly..... lol
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