The deal with the naked Motus

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A lot of you have expressed interest in the unfaired version of the Motus MST-01 that popped up in the background of the first live photos and in videos from Daytona Bike Week. Well, we just got off the phone with Motus’s Lee Conn, who gave us the lowdown. Turns out they’d brought along the naked model just to show off what’s hiding under the fairing, but feedback’s been so positive they’re considering making it.

The thing to remember about this new Motus is that it’s still in prototype phase. Having just unveiled that prototype on March 3, the company now plans a year of on-road validation testing, touring around the country to drum up interest in the process. Things like a price and dyno charts are still a work in progress. While the company and its products are still gestating, decisions like a making a naked version can still be made.

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Two versions of the sport tourer have always been on the cards. The MST-01 is the “base” version, while the Motus MST-R brings Ohlins suspension and radial Brembos. Both use the same steel tube frame and 1,654cc V4 putting out 161bhp and 122lb/ft of torque. The difference between the 01 and the R is sort of like the difference between an RSV4 R and Factory; same bike, fancier components.

The Motus MST-01.

Lee tells us that the black bike you see here does happen to be an MST-R, but the intention never was to create a naked version of that bike, merely show off the radiator, engine and frame sans fairing. Now, due to positive feedback from you guys and in-person at Daytona this weekend, they’re beginning to like the sound of making a naked version. If they do, it’ll obviously look a lot like this bike, but Lee suggests the final product would get cleaned-up cosmetics, a different headlight treatment (ie non-KTM) and some sort of fly screen.

We happen to be fans of the naked version too. The two strongest visual features on the Motus are its steel tube frame and across-the-frame V4 and ditching the somewhat bland fairing shows them off much better. As the original intention was to create a sport tourer, this will obviously reduce the bike’s utility, creating a big (550lbs wet), brawny muscle bike in the process. But since when were motorcycles about rational decision making? Somehow, a muscle bike just seems like a more fitting home for an engine based on a Corvette’s V8 anyways. Would you ride a naked Motus?

We’ve covered Motus extensively, including articles on both Wired and Jalopnik. Check out our Motus tag page for complete coverage.

  • andehans

    They consider making it? Any good reason why the shouldn’t? Hope they have the resources to design it as a naked bike, not just remove fairing, but this bike already looks brutal.

    • Ducky

      honestly, considering how great it looks like with a simple fairing removal, they should offer the option considering it shouldn’t cost that much more!

  • gregorbean

    Nice. Ditch that headlight for something round and tasteful with a little screen and you’re good to go!

    I’ll add this concerning touring: anyone who says you can’t/shouldn’t tour on a naked hasn’t done it. You get used to the wind. Sure, it’s not optimal, but I’ve done 4,000 and 6,000 mile trips on naked bikes with no problems. And I wasn’t going slow either.

    • Grant Ray

      Really? A single round headlight? Since there aren’t enough bikes with those already?


      • gregorbean

        Yep, that’s why I don’t design motorcycles.

      • Ben

        I wish there were more bikes with single round headlights instead of that new oblong fad. The new Monster is what really made me first notice. I couldn’t figure out why I liked the older models so much better than the new ones, until I focused on that horrible headlight they put on now.

        • gregorbean

          After watching that video again, I stand by my round headlight comment. I think something too angular or alien looking might detract from what should be the obvious focus of the bike, the motor and frame. Maybe yawn-worthy to some but it’s a time tested classic and simple look.

          • Grant Ray

            May as well put outsized fenders on our auto-carriages.

            • gregorbean

              I recommend that too! See my treatise on entitled: Auto-Carriages in the Modern Age; Why Outsized Fenders Will Never Go Out of Style

          • Chuck

            Ditto on the round headlights. All these odd-ball headlights don’t do it for me. And don’t even get me started on the bug-eye duel headlight look. They make me want to poke both my eyes out.

            It is an irrational dislike I know, but every time I see a speed triple I think, “that would be a fine bike if you swapped out those goofy punch buggy lights.”

            • Devin

              I think dual bugeye headlights would look great, just like on a 50′s Corvette. Call it a tribute to the engine.

      • Ben

        Doesn’t need to be round, but just not alien-style ugly like the Kawi ER-6N. The new Speed Triple pulls of the bug eye look pretty well, something like that could work.

    • Dan

      Back in the day,when I was young(stone tires)naked was the only way.How many of my fellow geezers remember when warmth was determined by how many news papers you could stuff in your jacket and down your pants? Gerbings? wimps!

      • gregorbean

        Dan, I wasn’t around yet in those days, but I always respect when I hear stories from older guys about crossing the country on their CB350, or riding down to Central America on 125′s or 250′s and the like. Nowadays a lot of these fat rich babies need a fully decked out GS, full Gerbings, accessory plugs, GPS, heated grips, bluetooth communication devices, etc. just to ride a couple hundred miles to their local BMWOA rally.

    • tears

      I say dual projectors. I would say halos like the new Camaros that are out, but I thinking that’s a bit too squid. :-/

  • Cheese302

    i would ride it just like that.

  • dux

    I’d ride it naked.
    Err…that’s what you’re asking, right?

    • Taco

      huh. Who’d be naked, the bike or the rider?

    • Miles Prower


  • Alex

    Why is the demand for a naked version so suprising to Motus? The sport touring segment is always going to be way too conservative for that sort of radical thinking. Make it what the VROD should have been, a proper Vmax and Diavel fighter.

  • Denzel

    These guys, bless their hearts, need to look into some better videographer and photographer talent… Grant???

    • zipp4

      Add a designer to that list. Every time I see this bike I find something else I don’t like. The 90′s would like that tail section back as well.

      • Miles Prower


        That tail section looks big enough that a top case seems unnecessary. You could pro’ly fit a bag or two of groceries under the pillion pad.

  • jonoabq

    nekkid with luggage.

  • Don

    Now price it less than the big Ducati Monster … Winning!

  • RocketSled

    Oh Hells yeah. Unfortunately, if I’d have to cough up the money to do so, I have kids I need to send to college first. Perhaps when the used market is lousy with them? (one could hope.)

  • David

    While I’m not as emotionally invested in hating the faired version as others, I too would vote for the naked version over the sport tourer. It just looks way better.

    Yes, drop the KTM headlights. Give it a double bug eye Speed Triple treatment. Motus could redefine the streetfighter segment…

  • Roman

    Yeah, I definitely dig the naked version. Clean it up a little, put a handlebar on instead of raised clip-ons and do something about the headlight…and you’re all set.

  • BeastIncarnate

    I’d absolutely be interested. The sound of that engine and promise of power delivery is tough to resist.

  • Peter88

    No question, the naked is the way to go. I’d like to see how those red valve covers look on a black one.

    • Jeff

      Naked version please. Would make a nice upgrade to my 10year old dual headlighted naked SV650.

  • NickK

    Mmmm, now that’s something I could see my self on. The fact that the naked is so tasty is proof that the faired proto needs mucho worko.

  • mugget

    Hell yeah!! So glad to hear they’re considering the naked… I must have mis-understood from the start – I thought the MST-R was going to be a naked, but that would be sweet!

    Anyways if they didn’t come out with a naked I would just take the fairing off and ride it like that! Or do custom biking fairing. Oh yeah.

  • Ducky

    A better question would be, who HATES the naked? From the sounds of things, an exceedingly small population. Motus, you know what you should do.

    • tears

      Yeah, but how many of us go for sport-tourers? If you even bother posting on here, chances are that you like sportbikes/cafe racers more than anything.

      • Ducky

        I’ve been posting here since before HFL became a pay site. And I like the small displacement/alternative energy bikes.

  • holdingfast

    thank god they dropped the cheesy as hell rock at the end, along with the puslating logo. geez, i still get embarrassed just thinking about it now.
    the nakid version looks awesome. It’s funny – the tourer looks obese in the vid, next to the naked one.

  • Keith

    Looks wayyyyyy better without the Tupperware.
    Double headlight would be nice too.
    They need to get some serious design people involved to make the “touring” version look good.
    In the meantime, release the naked version!

  • jason

    That beast has all the mechanical beauty and spirit Ducati USED to have. That definitely could throw down a gauntlet that hill have to be answered. If Motus ignores this, they will be doomed, a two-wheel Delorean.

  • Steve

    Gimme the naked version. Is it pretty? No. Is it the business? Absolutely. Oh, and dual headlights are functional for those of us ride at night beyond the pervasive amber glow of the city.

  • tears

    Motus should make a naked. Besides it will likely be priced lower and appeal to a different set of customeres (hence expanding market reach)

    And any clue on how much the MST is going for?

  • slowtire

    Like to see a quality rendering of what the naked would look like after it’s “cleaned up”.

  • Daniel

    Looks great! Yeah that tail needs some work and the front needs cleaning and a proper dual headlight but…still looks great this way :)