Motus Motorcycles is bust

3rd September 2018


MST | MSTR | V4 | Sports tourer | 101ci


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Motus Motorcycles

US boutique/niche motorcycle manufacturer, Motus, has informed all its customers that the company has "reached the end of its financial backing from investors", meaning that the well has run dry and there's no more money to stay solvent. The news broke by email on 31st August 2018 and will be greeted by both huge disappointment and concern from the firm's customers. A formal notice of liquidation is still being drafted. But unless someone comes forward with some cash, energy, enthusiasm and vision, it's game over.


Motus, founded by Brian Case and Lee Conn, came into existence in 2011. The firm's first motorcycle—the 1,650cc 90-degree, liquid cooled, pushrod V4 MST—appeared in 2012. This 101 cubic inch sports tourer with its Moto Guzzi style fore-and-aft crankshaft claimed a power output of 165bhp (123 kW) @ 7,700rpm and was reputed to be good for around 170mph with excellent handling.


Motus Motorcycle engine cutaway


Motus V4


The first prototype was unveiled at Daytona Beach in 2011. A crucial partner in the Motus venture was Pratt & Miller, aka Corvette Racing, and their current position in this collapse (with regard to investment and rights, etc) is not clear.


Initially, Motus was hoping to build around 250 units per annum and was planning to quickly recruit 20 or so dealers in the USA. But despite good press reports and an enthusiastic response from the general American biking public, sales were considerably slower than hoped. Actual build numbers aren't available at the moment, but Motus has only recently managed to count 30 dealers.


Motus Motorcycles frame


At around £24,000 ($30,975) upward, the Birmingham, Alabama manufactured muscle bikes were noted for their simple, rugged, no-frills, two-valves-per-cylinder construction, and were aimed at pretty much the same niche as recently defunct Buell.


There are just two models in the current range: the MST, and the MSTR.  Features include a chromoly trellis frame, carbon fibre (fiber) panels, Öhlins forks, Brembo brakes, Galfer braided lines, OZ Racing forged aluminium (aluminum) wheels, and Akrapovic titanium mufflers. Touring accessories include top cases, Clearwater LED auxiliary lights, heated grips/seats, and a range of windscreens.



The dream of building a highly successful American sports bike/sports tourer didn't begin with Motus, and it probably won't end here. But this firm gave it a very good shot and hit all the right targets except for sales.


We checked the Motus website. It's still active, but the online shop is not accepting business at present.




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