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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm not sure if this forum cares where I post this or not, but it seemed natural to post in the general section. And it did happen at my BMW dealer! BTW, pardon that I copy and pasted this from my post on the Ninja 1000 forum - some references are to the guys on that forum. I referenced the Motus acceleration in relation to my Ninja. To clarify, my Ninja is definitely faster than the 1600.

As some of ya'll know, I had a chance to ride a Motus. My BMW dealer is the Motus dealer in Houston and I was the first one they called to set up a demo ride. Motus is traveling the country with factory demo bikes and yesterday was our day. I also had my riding friend ride along with me. He has a Ninja 1000, Ducati 1198S and FJR1300. Ya'll know I have a BMW 1600GT and a Ducati Panigale along with the Ninja.

I showed up bright and early (as always) and we were the first ride of the day. One of the partners in Motus - Lee, was setting up and he would ride with us. They also had a factory technician there. I met him briefly but didn't talk to him much. I did talk to Lee a lot. He is a really nice, down to earth guy and is a serious car and motorcycle junkie. He took plenty of time to go over the bike with us and answer any and all questions we could think of. They said he had picked out a route, but I had picked out my own. We only had about 20 minutes, and the location of the dealer is not within about 50 miles of any decent roads (nothing in Houston is). But I knew some interesting interchanges that had both tight and big sweeping curves. Turns out he and I had picked the same routes.

When you fire up the engine, you feel it torque to the left significantly as well as reving the engine in neutral. He told us it would do that but would stop as soon as we put it in gear as the engine and transmission rotate in opposite directions. He was right that we didn't feel the rocking while riding, but there was a slight amount of vibration. My friend noticed it more than I did. I did have some tingling in my hands after about ten miles, but I've learned that has more to do with the angle and positioning of the handlebars than anything. And stock from the factory it comes with totally adjustable handlebars in every direction and angle (you may have seen these - made by Helibars).

We were riding the "base" model rated at 160 hp. He told me it dynos around 145 and torque dynos around 112 at the rear wheel, and comes on very low. The bike weights 580 fully fueled and ready to ride. The bike accelerates very hard especially through the mid range, and both of us became quite familiar with the rev limiter. On paper is should not be as fast as my Ninja (mine dyno's at 140 and weighs a lot less), but I can tell you that nailing it in second gear (several times!) I would not have bet against it walking away from my bike - it feels that fast. I think in an all out run through the gears my bike is faster, but it really does feel like it's in the same ballpark as mine. The handling feels very good, but the roads we had to work with didn't give us much opportunity to explore the handling. But my friend and I were both very positive about the way it felt and we did hit the curves we had several times.

I should have mentioned that when I got on the bike I was immediately struck by how you sit up and how much legroom you have. This is clearly designed to be an all day bike. The seat is a Sargent seat btw. If felt okay, but like our Ninjas both of us immediately thought it was angled down towards the tank a little bit. I think for me the seat would need a little work to truly be all day comfortable. On a related note, saddle bags and cruise control is standard on the bike. ABS is not available at all, and he said that they have no plans for ABS. I was very surprised by that.

The "dash" is a rectangular TFT screen like my Ducati or the new R1. It has a number of configurable screens to display what you want, and there are four buttons on each side that are very easy to use to navigate the functions. To say this bike is user friendly would be an understatement. All diagnostics can be viewed by the owner on the screen. The bikes electronics are up to the standards you would expect in any new vehicle - very comprehensive. But unlike most vehicles, you do not need dealer diagnostics - you can do it all yourself. The bike looks super easy to work on, and because it is a pushrod engine, it never needs a valve adjustment. He even bragged that they chose an oil filter that fits many bikes and can be bought easily for $6.00. Several times he started to tell us about a feature by saying "the dealers aren't going to like this....".

At the end of the ride, he asked both of us to sum the bike up in one sentence. My answer was that the bike felt like a modern day Ducati ST4, a bike that my friend and I would love Ducati to come up with. The bike was a very elemental sport touring bike with the emphasis on sport. It even looks a little bit like what a new ST4 would look like as the tube frame and engine are prominent design features of the bike.

The obvious elephant in the room is price. I knew the pricing ahead of time - just over $30,000 for the base model and near $36,000 for the "R"which has 20 more horspower and full Ohlins suspension (the forks on the base model are Ohlins, but not the shock). I really hope he is successful, but I cannot justify the bike. My friend and I agreed that it's really a $15-17,000 bike if taken just for it's function, and worth maybe $20,000 for being unique. I know they have to sell it for as much as they are as it is very limited production and they have obviously spent a ton of money developing the bike. The quality is exceptionally good and they took pains to do some very neat touches. But it's still going to be a tough sell at that price. I hope that every Jay Leno like motorcycle junkie out there who can afford to spend that kind of money without a second thought buys one. It's a very neat motorcycle in my opinion. But I just can't justify spending that kind of money as I am not far from retirement. I'd have to replace my Ducati and Ninja to justify it, and that does not seem like a good tradeoff to me. And I'd never consider it a two-up bike, and I don't think it compares to my BMW as a long distance week long trip bike, so it will never replace that bike. It would be a great bike for a weekend overnight trip to some fun roads, but that is not something I do very often.

If the bike listed for $15,000 I would have put a deposit on it right then. For $18,000 I would have thought long and hard and may have bought it. But even at $20,000 I would have to pass. But I can't stress enough that I hope they do well. Lee is a great guy and we should all be pulling for two gear heads who did what we all want to do - design and built a bike we would like from the ground up. Other than the price they got it right for what it is. We could nit pick a few minor negatives, but there has never been a bike built we couldn't nit-pick, so I'm giving the bike very high marks.
 

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BTW, it would have to be a lot of fun at that price point to make me buy it over the Ducati Diavel, which is the most fun thing I've ridden in a quite a while.
 

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I've not test ridden one, but you've confirmed my suspicions. It's too much money for not enough product.
 

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It's a handbuilt bike with a from-scratch engine. That's not cheap, and they're not going to sell the volume to amortize that per-unit cost down.
 

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Oh yeah, I like them a lot, and if I had the money to have a stable full of bikes I'd have one.

But as it is now, it's not a bike I'd ever tour on. It's a curiosity, and not much more.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the comments. As stated, I get why it costs what it does also. It's a chicken and egg issue. They could lower the price if they sell 10,000 of them, but they won't sell 10,000 of them at that price. But like most motorcycles today, it falls into a niche that won't sell that many bikes at any price simply because we live in an age where there is not a "standard" bike like there was 30-50 years ago that does it all. Today there are way too many variations designed to fit very narrow bands.

In honesty the bike is not much more than a loaded 1600, but the 1600 fills a broader range of needs. It's fast and sporty, its very comfortable for a week long 4,000 mile trip, it's comfortable enough for two up riding etc. It covers a lot of ground. The Motus is designed to sort of be that way, but in reality I'm not ready to say it's a 4,000 mile bike or a two up bike.

To me it would be great for a guy who mostly rides 300 miles every Saturday (I do that) and does a few one or two night trips (I don't do that) but does very limited two up riding. Certainly it could be a viable week long tip bike, but not in the 1600 class.

But what I just described can be done on a $12,000 Ninja 1000 (I have one) and it even comes with ABS and Traction control. If the Ninja came with cruise control it would have the Motus completely covered with enough money left over to buy a brand new RT1200 to go with it.
 

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That's the thing...You can get a brand-spanking FJR that makes great power, has a full suite of electronics, and shaft drive for half of what the base model costs. That leaves an awful lot of money left over for road trips, and you have a more capable motorcycle.

There is a market for Motus, just as there is for Harley and BMW. People will pay more for the name and/or exclusivity.
 
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