The North American motorcycle market is enormous, and every manufacturer in the world understands that. Japanese and European manufacturers are all vying for a top spot in the market. But the USA has only one real major manufacturer, Harley-Davidson, and some other smaller ones, like Indian and Victory, that compete in Harley’s dominant position, that of the cruiser market.
Although the US has smaller sportsbike builders, none have arrived on the scene to compete directly with the Hondas, Yamahas, Suzukis, Ducatis, Aprilias and BMWs of this world. That is until this month.
During the Daytona BikeWeek, the new Motus MST was unveiled officially. Still in prototype phase, the MST is a “comfortable” sportsbike made for touring. The motorcycle was designed from the ground up, and sports a lively V4 1650 cc engine, using direct injection technology. This means that the motorcycle will be fast, and the ride smooth. Good performance and low vibes are essential for touring. Some 161 horsepower, 25% less emission and 10% more power than comparable bikes are impressive numbers. But what’s more important in an era of higher and higher gas prices, is that fuel consumption will be low.
But is the US sportstouring market big enough for their own US based manufacturer, especially considering that the majority of motorcycles sold are cruisers?
The answer would be a hesitant YES. North America is geographically vast, with miles and miles of roads. Riding them on a cruiser is fun, but if you’ve got to go a long distance, riding on a cruiser is not that comfortable. Riding a fully dressed motorcycle like the Honda Goldwing or BMW K1600 GTL is obviously one nice way, but at a very high cost.
Enter the Motus MST. In the tradition of (amongst other) the Ducati ST or Moto-Guzzi Norge, the Motus is made to ride in comfort, but with a high performance. The bike should be able to eat up miles and miles of asphalt, and once you hit the twisties, pure fun.
Add to that a design that makes maintenance a breeze, the bike should sell well. Throw into the hat the fact that people feel it’s their patriotic duty to buy national products, the bike once it’s on sale next year could do very well. There is enough space in the crowded marketplace for an American built sportsbike, particularly in North America.
The biggest question will be the price. But to be successful, Motus will need to sell a lot to keep the price reasonable. And to do that, they will need to compete in Europe. And that is a totally different story.
For more info: Motus