It’s a sad day for the North American motorcycle industry, as yet another motorcycle manufacturer ceases operations. This time it’s Motus, the Birmingham, Alabama-based makers who delivered America’s fastest pushrod engine bike.
The announcement was made on Facebook, via a Motus owners’ group, and stated that the company was left without the capital needed to continue business operations. “This week, Motus' financial backers unexpectedly informed management that they will not provide sufficient capital to maintain operations and grow the business,” the company’s founders posted to Facebook.
“We are very grateful to Team Motus, truly the finest group of professionals and people, who have each dedicated so much of their hearts and souls to Motus. We are also thankful to our dealers and the many customers and supporters who have cheered us on and put gas in our tanks along the way,” they added. A more detailed, formal statement is expected soon, so until then, details are as scarce as they get.
Motus’ MST and MSTR machines have been a striking presence in the motorcycle scene, as they were powered by an engine derived from the North American muscle car scene. We could consider their “baby block” as half a small block V8 engine, and having such a mill inside a production bike was itself a glorious achievement.
Motus’ power plant produced 180 horsepower and 170 Nm of torque and was mated to other top-drawer parts, such as Brembo monoblock calipers, Ohlins suspensions, Galfer brake lines, Akrapovic carbon exhausts and more.
However, all these led to a price that made the MST and MSTR a rather exclusive choice. With prices ranging from $31,000 for the MST and $37,000 for the MSTR, these bikes were not exactly selling like hot cakes, and this posed some cashflow risks for Motus. Making things even worse for the business was the lack of the electronic bells and whistles most bikes under $10K show today. Now, we guess we’ll never get to see how the small block would have been inside a streetfighter frame, which was Motus’ next bike project.
It turns out that the manufacturers of niche motorcycles may have rough times ahead, especially when the price tags are in the ballpark of decent cars. Even so, Motus remains one of the few true sport-hearted small-run machines we’d have loved to test.
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