Motus American V4

Postby Lmo » February 18th, 2013, 1:07 pm

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You may be familiar with this project. The Motus American V4 motorcycle has been under development in Birmingham, Alabama since 2008 and was recently granted inventory financing, by GE Capital, to stock it's expanding dealer network. That's a positive step for any start up. But with a only two-year warranty, a US/Canadian network of only fourteen dealers, and a suggested retail price of between $30-36,000 I think they're going to have a rough row to hoe. But who knows ... there are still a bunch of folks with money to play with.

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But what may be more exciting, especially from a designer's point of view, (several of our members come immediately to mind) is that Motus' proprietary, Katech designed, 1,650cc, 165 bhp, water cooled "Baby Bloc" V4 has recently been offered to qualified customers as a "crate" engine; $10,220USD. The weight of this engine (sans the m/c transmission) has not been yet disclosed publicly, but the entire motorcycle (wet) is stated to be 530 pounds.

Image Image

With 165 bhp available, I can imagine a number of "conversions" that this little mill might fit into (VW bugs, Ghias, and Vans, MG Midgets, A-H Bugeye Sprites, etc). Considering that many after-market V-twin "Harley style" engines fall within the $6-9,000 range, and the versatility of the discrete engine/transmission longitudinal crank layout, I'd think Motus has a pretty good shot in the market.

Automobile engine? Boat engine? Hovercraft engine? Aircraft engine? Snow machines? 1 Hr. Design Challenge anyone...?

Dyno run at the end of the vid.

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Re: Motus American V4

Postby Mr-914 » February 18th, 2013, 1:36 pm

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Lew: Cool project!

I'd hate to be a bike start-up. Global sales have been plummeting. I think NA sales are still weak. Maybe with less young people buying cars, they will turn to bikes though...

When I hear v4, I think of Saab (with a Ford engine):

Image

Also...while searching I ran across this great website of car sketching:

http://ashcraftsketchbook.blogspot.ca/
Ray Jepson

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Re: Motus American V4

Postby wallflower » February 19th, 2013, 10:43 am

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mr914 wrote:I ran across this great website of car sketching:


I enjoyed scrolling through the old school monochrome auto sketches. An interesting mix of styling and engineering drawings.

Thanks for sharing!

Re: Motus American V4

Postby Mr-914 » February 19th, 2013, 12:26 pm

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That guy says he went to Art Center and it sure looks like it. I love the pen work. I'm so used to seeing Alias renders with tablets now, which I don't have time for at the moment. I still have a pen so this is far more inspiring.
Ray Jepson

"Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end, an end which it was already but too easy to arrive at...." Thoreau

Re: Motus American V4

Postby nxakt » February 19th, 2013, 10:48 pm

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Engines, yum. :) Not a lot of free agent engines available.

We looked at Weber engines out of Germany last year for running marine systems, jetpack pumps. The engines used in Polaris snowmobiles, something like a couple hundred thousand in service if I remember right. It would be cool if an American made engine could compete in this space.

The turbocharged two cylinder at 104 HP was interesting and about 6 grand as I rememeber.

V4 Engine: http://www.weber-motor.com/en/products/ ... index.html

Ray, love those illustrations, thanks for that link. When I was in high school that style of drawing was as good as it gets, still wish I could draw like that. The clarity of communication in that kind of illustration is hard to beat.

Re: Motus American V4

Postby Kung Fu Jesus » March 1st, 2013, 8:49 am


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Any pics of the bike naked? not a fan of fairings.
"Furniture that is too obviously designed is very interesting, but too often belongs only in museums." - MBJ

Re: Motus American V4

Postby Lmo » March 1st, 2013, 12:15 pm

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Not really a lot out there yet. The bike isn't offered "nekkid". The major difference between their MST and MST-R is that the R model has upgraded rear suspension components, Brembo M4 monobloc calipers, and BST carbon fiber wheels.

Image Image
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Re: Motus American V4

Postby Mr-914 » March 1st, 2013, 1:02 pm

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As much as I like the engineering, the styling is kind of "made in China". Also...tube frame? I know it's the only real cost-effective solution for a boutique small-volume make, but still, it's 2013 for chrissake.
Ray Jepson

"Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end, an end which it was already but too easy to arrive at...." Thoreau

Re: Motus American V4

Postby Lmo » March 1st, 2013, 2:10 pm

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... the styling is kind of "made in China" ... I know it's the only real cost-effective solution for a boutique small-volume make, but still, it's 2013 for chrissake.


It is kinda messy isn't it. But ... they did afterall develop the entire engine/electronic throttle/direct-injection fuel management system/transmission, invested in proprietary tooling for the head light nacelle and fairings, frame forgings, and miscellaneous knick-knacks. Fitting the bags from Givi, BlackStoneTek wheels, Sargent seat, stoppers from Brembo, and other sundry off the shelf items makes good sense. Whaddaya want for $36,000, a 250bhp V-5 Honda MotoGP?! :wink:

That said, for something just a bit north of $16,000USD you can buy a 150bhp Honda VFR1200F even if it does weight few pounds short of 600. Then again, it isn't overall weight, it's how it's distributed. You can even get it with an "automatic" transmission. :?
Lew Morris
"It's what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden

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