Motus revealed the MST at Daytona Bike week. Video posted on youtube includes scenes of the bike on the road. The sound coming through my speakers is hardly high fidelity, but I can hear enough to start getting excited by the sound. This is clearly no V-twin. Idling or decelerating, there is a familiar, small engine, motorcycle sound. But when the rider gets on the throttle, things get interesting. The music emanating from the pipes brings back mental images of those great car chase scenes from the ’70s. If there is language in that sound, it’s saying, “Get out of the way!”
The bike itself is quite utilitarian in appearance. It sports a silver gray front faring with matching gas tank nicely integrated with the frame and faring. But the body is exposed revealing an unimaginatively painted gray engine block with black valve covers. An industrial looking truss frame follows a line from the triple tree toward the back axel. Unadorned pipes exit the exhaust manifold and make their way to a round, depressingly effective muffler. And despite the saddle bags attached almost as an afterthought to the rear fender, this is a sport bike. The design looks to me like something that will be popular in Europe and Japan. Wouldn’t it be a kick to have the latest euro-fad be an American bike.
Time will tell whether this machine lives up to it’s potential. I’m hoping for success on Motus’ part. I’d like the next great V-4 to be an American product. I’d like an Ameriucan company to succeed. And I’d like that motor to go into high production so that Motus will start looking for other things to stick it in.
Unlike Motus, I’m more excited about the KMV-4 engine than the bike as a whole. I can’t get myself to believe that somebody isn’t going to chrome that thing out, with cherry red valve covers, then stick it in a retro-style heavy cruiser with four into four pipes. Lose the chain and give it a drive shaft. Call it a new class of motorcycle, a muscle bike or muscle cruiser. Give it a name reminiscent of the muscle cars of the ’70s, like the Daytona SS.
Just picture yourself cruising America on your cherry red Daytona SS. And when you need to put a little more asphalt in your rearview mirror, you’ll do it with a distinctly American sound. Those pipes will be singing, “Born in the USA” while you enjoy “America the Beautiful.”
I can’t wait.
－ Guy Wheatley