By now, you’ve seen the Motus MST. An American-designed, American-made sports tourer, it’s powered by a longitudinal V4 that’s basically half a Corvette LS7 motor shrunk down to 1,650cc. The big question has been how much is a small production run of very high-end motorcycles made here in the States with a bespoke motor going to cost? The answer begs another question. Would you pay that much for this motorcycle?
No motorcycle exists in a vacuum. Even a piece of hand-made American exotica must compete for buyer’s hearts and minds with other, similarly capable bikes. Because Motus have chosen to peg their USP to function instead of simply looks or rarity like, say, a boutique chopper maker, its ability needs to be compared to that of other bikes created to fulfill a similar purpose.
A larger version of this spreadsheet, including more bikes, is in the gallery below.
As a high-end sports tourer with an emphasis on performance over luxury, arranging a competitive set casts a wide net. The six-cylinder BMW K1600GT is an obvious point of comparison — big motor, lots of handling, long distance — but the latest generation of performance ADV bikes essentially does the same job the Motus aims to do —distance plus performance — while less sporty bikes like the Honda ST1300 stake claims on that territory too.
In fact, Sean noticed that if you swap “Motus” for “ST1300” in Honda’s marketing copy, you get a pretty good description of what the American bike is trying to do. Here’s some fun with copy and paste:
“Sport-touring bikes have to do double-duty, and do both well. The Motus MST is proof that if you start out with the world’s ultimate touring bike and the world’s best sportbikes, you can create something magical. One part long-distance hauler, one part canyon-carving ace, the MST combines Gold Wing-inspired luxury with Corvette-derived performance. Its wind-tunnel-honed bodywork and hard saddlebags perfectly complement a powerful V-4 engine, chain drive and a race-bred chassis. The result? A bike that’s equally at home swallowing up miles of blacktop as it is dicing through the twistiest of alpine passes. And all without ever breaking a sweat.”
But, as an expensive motorcycle, Motus isn’t just going to be appealing to people that like having their fun a long way from home, but don’t like sore asses. A big part of the bike’s appeal is going to be its rarity and ability to pull the heart strings of rich petrolheads. Which is essentially what the EBR 1190RS sets out to do. Sure, one’s for road riding and one’s for winning races out of the box, but both want you to pay a premium to wave a gasoline-soaked flag.
Which all leads us back to that question. Do rarity, a Corvette motor and performance parity with some of the fastest bikes out there add up to a bike that’s worth $31,000 to $37,000? Would you pay that much for the motorcycle you see here? Do you think other people will?