2014 Motus MST Review - First Impressions

The Motus MST is the most distinctive motorcycle we’ve seen in years. Designed and built in America, and using what is basically half a Corvette V-8 engine, the 1650cc MST offers a bold new take on sport-touring motorcycles.

Building a new motorcycle from scratch and certifying it for production is a long and winding journey, but the Motus crew is getting near the end of that road. The engine’s 15,000-km (9320 mi.) durability testing is being completed this month, with EPA-certification testing scheduled for this spring. Once EPA and CARB standards have been achieved, Motus has a full warehouse ready to begin production.

Motus says its 16 dealers have already taken orders for more than 200 MSTs, adding it intends to build 250 bikes in its first year of production. A hand-built sport-tourer with a bespoke (and powerful) engine is never going to be inexpensive, and so it is with the MSTs. The base version retails for $30,975, while the high-spec MST-R has a $36,975 MSRP.

We can’t wait to ride it, but in the meantime, here are some riding impressions of a pre-production MST from our buddy Neale Bayly, a freelance motojournalist who has been closely following the Motus story from its inception. We’ll bring you our own impressions once the bike nears production. – Kevin Duke, Editor-in-Chief

A word I’ve never used during my career to express my feelings after riding a new motorcycle is “proud.” But it was the first word to mind after stepping off the pre-production Motus MST following a high-speed blast along Interstate 20 outside of Birmingham, Alabama.

I was buzzing on pure adrenaline, blown backwards with how well the bike had performed and just so unbelievably proud of what the small crew at Motus have achieved with this motorcycle.

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2014 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS Review – First Ride

Introduced in 2011, the Ninja 1000 bridged a gap between the uncompromising performance of Kawasaki’s flagship ZX-10R and its more docile, long-distance counterpart the Concours 14 ABS.

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2014 Can-Am Spyder Review

Back in 2008, Can-Am shook up the motorcycling world by introducing its intriguing, not-a-trike, not-a-bike Spyder RS line of V-Twin-powered, three-wheeled sport riding vehicles. Solid initial sales of the RS encouraged the Bombardier-owned Canadian company to produce an encore, and in 2009 the Spyder RT luxury liner was introduced. It was an instant hit among touring riders who were advancing in age but didn’t want to give up the freedom of the open road.

COMPARE: 2013 Can-Am Spyder ST-S Roadster Review

Then, in 2013, Can-Am debuted its Spyder ST sport-touring models along with a redesigned chassis for the entire Spyder platform. With such an aggressive product development strategy in just six short years, it would seem that Can-Am could stand pat on what was now an impressive Spyder lineup. It seemed like the Canadians had left no stone unturned and there was nothing more left to do.

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Best Sport-Touring Motorcycle of 2013

Adventure-touring bikes can also make great sport-tourers, and none more so than Ducati’s 2013 Multistrada S Touring model. With amenities such as traction control, ABS, lockable/removable hard luggage, heated grips and an adjustable windscreen, Ducati’s Multi differs from its sport-touring counterparts mostly by way of styling and suspension travel.

But when it comes to the sporty side of the sport-touring equation, the Multistrada, with a curb weight of just 516 pounds, is significantly lighter than popular S-T bikes such as Yamaha’s FJR1300 (the lightest bike in our Sport-Touring 1.0 Shootout), making it a far nimbler bike in the canyons and around town.

For 2013 Ducati introduced Skyhook semi-active suspension which uses Sachs electronic solenoid valves in the left fork leg and the shock to actively alter damping circuits depending on inputs such as road speed, brake application and four accelerometers placed around the bike. The result is a semi-magic carpet ride that’s ready for all situations whether they be crossing the Continental Divide or the Alaska Highway. A few of MO’s editors have claimed that if there was only one bike in the garage, the Ducati Multistrada S Touring would be it.

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How The 2013 Ducati Multistrada 1200S’ Skyhook Suspension Works
2010 Ducati Multistrada Review

Best Sport-Touring Honorable Mention: Triumph Trophy/Yamaha FJR1300

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2013 Ducati Hyperstrada Review

Ducati’s new-for-2013 Hyperstrada wheelies, slides the rear wheel, jumps curbs, is nimble and flickable, and a hoot in urban environments. Characteristics, according to Ducati, distance riders look for when considering a new model to go “touring, Italian style.”

Joining the Multi and Diavel, the Hyper brings Ducati’s current number of strada models to three. But whereas the Multistrada, from creature comforts to carrying capacity, is a true sport-tourer laden with superbike performance, and the Diavel Strada its performance-cruiser-tourer counterpart, the Hyperstrada is a thinly disguised supermotard with no serious touring convictions.

When compared directly to its Hypermotard stablemate, the Hyperstrada differs by way of a taller windshield, 20mm taller handlebars, a wider seat with thicker foam, 50-liter semi-rigid saddlebags, a centerstand, a passenger grab handle, larger front and rear mudguards, a bash plate and two 12V outlets.

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