I first blogged in January about the new American V-4 engine coming from Katech for the Motus MST-01. At that time the motor was more concept than reality, never having actually fired to life. That appears to have changed.
Motus just redesigned its website, and released a video that shows the engine being dyno-tested. Motus people in the video seem excited and claim the engine is performing at or exceeding predicted specifications. But there may be more to the story. There are other videos posted on YOUTUBE, including one of an engine walkaround that shows an engine partially mounted to a frame. An audio clip sent out to a few insiders seems to be of a high- performance engine racing by a microphone. Motus makes no claims, simply releasing the audio clip without further comment. But the barely contained exuberance of the Motus staff hint that we may be past static testing. Some of them have the “cat that ate the canary” look I don’t believe would come from an engine bolted to a stand.
This will be an exciting engine. Even though it has a look reminiscent of the muscle cars of the ’70s, it will be a high-tech, powerful machine. Using 1650cc displacement, it will produce 140 horsepower because of advanced features such as gasoline direct injection. My 1500 cc Valkyrie flat-6 is only producing about 100 horsepower, and I can promise you it’s an exciting bike to ride. The 1800 cc engines found in the lastest GoldWings probably top out about 117 horsepower. That’s just a lot of kinetic energy being produced in a small volume.
Motus still plans to mount this thing in a “Sport tourer,” that to my eye is more sport that tourer. I’m still hoping that their second, or maybe even third bike will be a big, comfortable, highway cruiser with no consideration for weight savings. That 140 horsepower should have no trouble pushing saddle bags, light bars, a trunk and big-ol, wind-catching farings down the road faster than anybody really needs to go. And I bet it will still pull your head back even with a top end roll on the throttle.
And if there’s ever been an engine that screams to live in a trike, then this is it.
I’ll be seriously disappointed if I don’t see this thing getting some serious attention at the 2011 Isle of Man TT.
— Guy Wheatley