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Topic: 2017 Motus MST test ride  (Read 1484 times)

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Motorcycles: 2012 FJR1300
GPS: Rio Rancho, NM
Miles Typed: 2557

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« on: March 10, 2017, 02:43:01 pm »

I signed up for a demo ride a couple of weeks ago and yesterday was my lucky day. Got to the dealership shorty after open and checked out the base model and R model. Very nice bikes and put together well with no signs of having been "cobbled" together. The demo had eight miles on the clock and I would be the first demo rider.

I was pleasantly surprised at how thin it was and it did not feel as heavy as it should have. The controls were standard Jappo. The windshield had three positions and after getting it up all the way we couldn't get it back to the lowest setting where I wanted it. Nice instrument panel. Has four buttons on one side and four on the other. Some practice/learning time for sure. But I wanted to ride.

After starting, the motor made a heck of a racket! More on that later. The clutch and front brake actuation was not right. More on that later. So, I gear up and take off. It has immediate torque. I short shifted as I ride that way 95% of the time. The suspension was smooth, some engine vibration but not too bad. On the freeway it turns 3,500 RPMs at 80 MPH in sixth gear. Want to pass? Turn the handle half way and zoom.  It is more flickable than my FJR. Loaded with gear I could ride that bike as I do the FJR. All day! Real nice. It has a seat that I felt comfortable on but really made for someone taller than me.

After putting a few miles on it I pulled over to allow the freeway traffic to go by. Pulling out and getting on it the wheel pulled a couple feet off the ground and I hit the rev limiter. Got to get used to the motor characteristics. Going back to the dealer at a red light I let out the clutch quickly and went WOT and immediately went to the 12 o'clock position! Did I write earlier about immediate torque?! So I like the fit and finish, it runs great, is smooth, has a sound no one else has, feels much lighter than it actually is and the suspension felt good and is fully adjustable.

I cut my ride short because I couldn't use all of the front brake due to not having all of the travel available. The clutch was terrible for the same reason. I'm sure it was dragging and when I shifted it made a loud clunking. Not good. When I got back and got off the bike I looked at a great bike with a great motor that didn't work. I spoke to the sales guy and sales manager and asked that they have their service people check it out.

This morning I emailed Motus for an explanation of noise and the hydraulic issues. Lee Conn immediately emailed his phone number. We had a thirty minute conversation. Very nice guy. He has had a few reports of hydraulic issues related to atmospheric differences or some such. He told me it takes a minute to correct the problem. He's done it himself. The engine noise is normal and related to a "chingus" attached to the back of the crank. He sent me a picture of it and now I understand. As soon as any load is placed on the engine the noise goes away. I got it and the dealers need to be educated on this. "they all do it" ain't an answer.

Lee told me about the dyno runs every new motor is put through and the few miles every new bike is ridden before the instrument package is installed. I feel much better about Motus now and would encourage anyone to take one for a spin. I'd like to try again with a good clutch and front brake.

Past bikes: Dirt- '74 MX360, SC500 x 2, '77 YZ400, '78 YZ400, '83 CR250, '85 CR250, '86 CR250   
 Street- '74 S3400, H1500, '72 H2750 x 2, '78 GS1000C, GS1000EC x 2, '80 GS1000S, '00 1200 Bandit, '05 FJR1300, '07 ZX14, '16 1250 Bandit, '17 KTM SD GT

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Years Contributed: '09
Motorcycles: '02 Moto Guzzi Le Mans, '04 Triumph Thruxton, '16 BMW R1200RS
GPS: Western N.C.
Miles Typed: 14347

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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2017, 03:12:50 pm »

I took a ride down to the Motus dealer just outside Atlanta last fall. They had a Motus R available for a test ride.

The R bike is the one with extra power and suspension goodies. It was fitted with Heli-bar risers and a Sergeant seat. They said that flatter, sportier handle bars were available. The dials seemed a bit, busy and a bit hard to read although, it might get easier once you're familiar with the layout. The engine of course, sounded like a Guzzi on steroids.

The dealer lined me up with a short test route that included some tight curves as well as some faster sweepers. Although in short distance, it let me get a good sampling of the bike's traits.

The bike clicked into gear with a bit of an agricultural feel. Not terrible but, not terribly smooth either. Once underway, the bike handled with a light feel. Nothing bad to report there. The brakes felt nice and strong. Unfortunately, I didn't feel at home on the Sergeant seat. I felt as if I was perched on the front lip an ordinary seat. I forgot to ask if seat height was adjustable. The wind screen is rather tall and I detected a tad more turbulence than the lower screen on my RS. Wasn't terrible. I think I prefer a bit more wind pressure to alleviate pressure on my wrists.

The engine lived up to expectations with big gobs of torque, just like a Guzzi. Excellent. Perfect for riding "the Pace". To be honest, despite the eye-popping torque figures, the bike really didn't feel that much more powerful than my 86 hp Guzzi. I seemed to have a problem with fueling on my test bike. As I tried to ease onto the gas after an apex, I was met by a big surge in torque that would drive me to the outside of a curve and force me to back off momentarily. I didn't raise the issue with the salesman as, I didn't want to seem critical. Maybe can be fixed with a different map?


The Good: Guzzi characteristics. Always good for touring. Nice, light handling.

The Bad: Didn't gel with the Sargeant seat. Fueling seemed off. Slightly agricultural transmission. No shaft drive. High cost.

All in all, considering the $32,000 asking price, I'm afraid that, despite all it's Guzzi-ness, the Motus may not be enough drive me off my current RS1200. With a better seat and better fueling, the decision would become more difficult.

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