Motus American Motorcycles – New American Motorcycle Company Breaks Cover

Motus American Motorcycles

Motus American Motorcycles - Brand New U.S. Motorcycle Company

News Flash! - New U.S. Motorcycle Company Building V4 Sport Touring Bike!

A brand new motorcycle company, right here in the U.S., has been operating under wraps for the past year and, with their permission, it's now time to let all of you in on a very big breaking story, Motus American Motorcycles is well along in their development of an all new next-generation, sport-touring motorcycle with a proprietary V4 powertrain. Partners Lee Conn and Brian Case began one year ago, to design and manufacture a motorcycle, the type of motorcycle Brian wanted for himself but, he found, did not exist. This is a clean sheet design, fresh and new, not an old name brought back for another try.

"Motus is developing a next-generation, sport-touring motorcycle with a proprietary V4 powertrain. Engine and chassis prototyping are currently underway with highly respected, automotive engineering partners. The design calls for a comfortable, lightweight machine that blends American muscle performance with proven range-extending technology. Motus believes there has never been a better time to bring something truly unexpected to the motorsports world."

Brian Case, a contributor to The Kneeslider, is someone many of you already know. He is the ex-Confederate designer who played a large part in the development of the Wraith and his partner, Lee Conn, is a successful Birmingham businessman who, before selling it, grew his last venture into one of the largest durable medical equipment dealers in the state. They've combined their efforts to start Motus at a time when many companies are hunkering down, which, as it turns out, is the best possible time to begin.

When companies and manufacturers are doing their best to retain the highly trained and expert designers and engineers they have on staff, they are willing to take on smaller projects they might not find room for in a booming economy. The now available expertise meshes perfectly with the needs of a new company like Motus and projects can now be completed for far less than would have been the case in better times.

Engineers working on this project are from some VERY big names in the automotive industry and you can be sure, Motus will be manufacturing an extremely high quality machine. Current projections are for annual production of 450 units. Some manufacturing partners will be able to utilize capabilities that would otherwise lie idle, a true, win-win partnership.

I've been writing about how it's Time to Start a New Motorcycle Company and asking What Recession? Just Do It! Motus is doing it. They're not thinking about it or wishing times were better, ... they're doing it!

Some of you may have noticed the story in the latest Cycle World magazine about a possible Harley Davidson Nova project resurrection, well, while H-D is now rumored to be working on their V4, a small startup in Alabama has been quietly developing, in Brian's words, "a next-generation American V4 face-melter." Gotta love it.

More announcements will be coming soon, ... stay tuned.

Link: Motus


  1. Phoebe says

    That’s awesome. I hope they are successful, and I’m looking forward to seeing their product(s).

  2. says

    Oh Boy, another “custom” big inch $40,000. for the poseurs. I can’t wait to see it. Americans just don’t get it. RideSafe, Mark.

  3. Spangler says

    Couldn’t find a V4 sport tourer? How about a VFR800? My best guess is that it turns out to be VFR sized, 425-500lbs, with a 1000-1200cc engine with lots of carbon body work, billet aluminum, unique lights, an odd shaped seat/tail section and probably a 20k price tag. It’s a good start and could lead to some interesting things if they play their cards right and stay afloat.

  4. taxman says

    well, there sight specifies light weight and high performance. i’m anxious to see what it looks like. pictures speak volumes. aspects of the confederate bikes really called to me. i hold youthful optimism for this project.

  5. ep says

    can we put a halt to any premature VFR comparisons? it’s a v4 sport tourer, so it’s only natural, i understand. but the current gen VFR is hardly a “face melter”. nice bike. but kinda gutless.

    more torque, more power, lower weight, better looks. not a VFR i hope.

  6. says

    Hi Paul, Thanks for the heads up on the Motus. I wonder if this will be like the Rohr. Lots of Bells and Whistles but a pie in the sky price. I guess time will tell. Let me know if they wish to have test riders to take one home to evaluate. Best, Skizick

  7. Troy Cardenas says

    I hope it works. That’s what this country needs. Not the ‘rally caps’ from one of the big three.

    Good luck and best wishes to Lee and Brian.

  8. Azzy says

    Good luck on the ventures…

    At the mark for per year production, I dont see that price range anywhere near my budget.

  9. says

    This is GREAT news. That Birmingham Biz article was very interesting.

    I wonder if this is the engine referenced in the recent Cycle World. I hope it is.

    Count me in with the optimists.

    Glad to know Brian didn’t peak with the Wraith………..

  10. says

    Best of luck Brian and Lee. Your continued good fortune will be our eventual good fortune.

    A purpose-built forward-think sport tourer not even ‘based’ on a pre-existing sportbike? I’m dizzy with anticipation.

  11. The Ogre says

    I hope this is not a another VaporCo. I’ll believe it isn’t when I see actual bikes being sold. Other than that, I hope they do a good job – proof will be in seeing/riding/testing it. I wish them luck.

  12. todd says

    Good going, great for them. I wish them luck. I’m more into sub 400 lb and sub 100 hp bikes; touring or otherwise. There may not be anything that appeals to me though that doesn’t mean it’s not an interesting venture – just more competition. Instead of jumping right in with something any other company can (or might already) produce, how about taking a different approach? I’d love to build 350 – 500cc cafe racers and 750 touring bikes. Actually I already do that…


  13. JC says

    “The design calls for a comfortable, lightweight machine that blends American muscle performance with proven range-extending technology”

    I’m curious what “proven range extending technology” means.

    Good aerodynamics? cylinder deactivation? hybrid?

  14. says

    Here we go again. Another potential legend out of the Southwest but nothing more than words at this point. As a one time rider for Yamaha I appreciate all the efforts that have come and gone since the beginning of the motorcycle era but I must admit that after owning fifty four different bikes in the last fifty years. I have never seen any design including Arlen Ness that have measured up to the price tags that have been hung on them. I wish these buikders the best of fortune but I don’t see this one staying afloat any longer than the previous marks.

  15. John McDowell says

    Let’s See… Honda VFR-400, VFR-750, VFR-800, VFR-1000, ST-1100, ST-1300, Magna-750, Yamaha V-Star-1600, V-MAX 1600, Any Others ?. Best of Luck

  16. Morpheous says

    Didnt Honda already do this bike in the 80’s, then evolve it to its present state, looking at a 1000cc version for 2010? (ie the Interceptor V-4 V-tec 800cc sport tourer) Dont get me wrong new Moto companies are great, esp US based. But the V-4 is old news.

  17. says

    Many of the last posts are missing the point. There has been a gaping market hole for *this* bike for a LONG time (since the early Buell tourer before HD owned them).

    An American Sport Tourer with unique styling and distinctive American sound will do very well. Consider the changing rider demographics which will also be supplemented by a flood of sportbike riders who are about to enter their late 20’s – 30’s.

    In addition, the sport tourer segment runs the performance spectrum (Kawi 14 – Guzzi Norge), so this bike does not necessarily have to “beat” the spec sheets of the Japanese or European tourers. Offer great styling (which, until recently, most tourers are lacking) and other unique attributes with comparable handling & luggage and it will compete.

    Very smart move that fills a business market that could grow very large as the sportbike riders move onto something else as they get older…this time, the boom might not be the cruiser.

    I’m stoked for them.

  18. Mark L. says

    Speaking from experience with a motorcycle company startup, I know the hurdles and obstacles that they face. I wish them the best of luck! I would love to see more American motorcycles, and not just air-cooled V-twins.

    Looking forward to more details.

    Mark L.
    Pie-in-the-sky motorcycle co. (AKA Roehr)

  19. chappy says

    Hmmmm, don’t live but about 10 minutes from the Innovation Depot building where they are located (the company I work for did the signage for it actually). I may have to pop in one day to see what I can find out about this project.

  20. Nortley says

    Uh huh, Indian, Excelsior Henderson, Norton, Cszyz,…… could happen, but my chest still rises and falls as I continue to breathe. Meantime, H-D, has rediscovered the V4 and apparently dug up the Ducati Apollo and replaced some technological cobwebs with chrome. Any effort expended on motorcycle developement is not wasted, so best o’ luck.

  21. John says

    I don’t see quite the gaping hole. There is the new concours, hondas V4 st1300, and BMW K1300 GT Plus yamahas FJR. How different can someone make a faired bike look? Unless they go futuristic concept bike style. A V4 isn’t particularly sexy to look at if the engine is exposed. How fast does one need to go on a sport tourer? All of the existing bikes are capable of 130mph and you can really only do that legally on autobahn for short distances. Sure they could build a 20-30k bike but would it be significantly better than what can be bought for around 13k? It would be great to have an american alternative motorcycle that is not cruiser but for 20k or more?

  22. says

    John – the VMax is a handsome v4.

    Although I agree there are plenty of great options as you pointed out, the “gaping” hole is not just looking at the sport tourer model range. The gaping hole refers to the complete absence of an American-made, purpose-built sport tourer. Plus, I think the market would respond very well (domestically & abroad) to a stylish American LeMans-type of bike if the execution is there..

    There are lots of innovative aspects waiting the sport tourer platform.

  23. dimitri says

    Having had a look at the demographics and the ethographics of the American and European motorcycle market and its consumers I do not see any gaping hole in the market for sport touring motorcycles. Maybe the american made tag can make a difference.

    I wish them the best of luck and hope they will come up with something new and appealing.

    Now is the time to make a difference.

  24. John says

    I can’t believe these guys discounting something offhandedly without knowing anything about it,and then some of them calling a V4 old news? What about your beloved inline 4?Thats not old news? Why not just wish good luck and wait to see what it is or go build your own if your so smart.Paul,I’m interested in hearing more on the HD V4 also.

  25. John says

    I like the look of the vmax but modern liquid cooled engines just don’t have the flair of air cooled v twins or in line fours. Just look to the right there is a picture of a hayabusa v8 engine, not to much to look at. All the fins and stylized parts are only cosmetic on a modern liquid cooled engine. Victory had a cool concept called 800 or something that looked very cool. What I’d like to see would be some cafe racer/streettracker/streetfighter style bikes with air cooled singles, twins, triples, and fours with fi, modern suspension and modern brakes that could be bought new off a showroom floor.
    I’m in the demographic they’re shooting for. I went from ZX7R to a Z1000 to a M109r. The concours actually looks cool to me. A segment that is sparse is the comfortable sportbike. Bikes like the vfr 800 and the sprint St maybe a late model ZX-9R could fit in that category.

  26. pabs says

    so they have raised $800 k and want to raise double that and then sell the enterprise in 5 years ? the article isn’t clear but that makes no sense
    i wont get into the costs of tooling, supply chain and service issues etc this kind of money won’ t even buy lunch
    if that is the case however then i doubt it will work recession or not but i wish them all the best

  27. Jim says

    While I wish these guys luck and hope that the bike arrives soon, but I don’t see a gaping hole in the market either. In fact the motorcycle industry faces the challenge, in NA and Eur. anyway, of finding enough new riders to replace the aging ones who will be leaving the sport over the the next 15-20 years.

  28. kachunk says

    Good luck to Brian in this new venture. Wish Motus the best!
    Confederate has its own burdens to live with. Hopefully Motus allows Brian & crew a new opportunity to be creative and succsessful.
    I think the idea of an independent American tourer works. It seems to me that touring riders are critical and passionate of their machines (as they rack up many miles versus other riders) so there needs to be a lot of research and engineering to get it right. As a startup, I think this will be a challenge. But not insurmountable.
    fingers are crossed…

  29. chris says

    No sneak peaks? show us some rubber, a tail light, reflector, or a wheel spoke or something! I’m so anxious, I just peed a little. I’ll second skizick….if you need some test riders….I’d be happy to take one camping accross country.

  30. ep says

    for those who are saying that there is no gap, give me just one example of a production bike that meets the following criteria:

    The design calls for a comfortable, lightweight machine that blends American muscle performance with proven range-extending technology.


  31. Schneegz says

    Sweet! Buell hasn’t quite built a bike I really want to own (close, but no cigar), I had high hopes for MotoZcyz, but they seem to be floundering (and would be too expensive anyway), Rhoer is way too expensive not to my taste… I’m running out of American motorcycle manufacturers on which to place my hopes for a home-grown bike I’d actually want to own.

    I hope Motus hits a home run right off the bat.

  32. todd says

    “The design calls for a comfortable, lightweight machine that blends American muscle performance with proven range-extending technology.”

    Sounds like a Buell Blast with a 10 gallon Acerbis tank…


  33. mark says

    I hope you guys have had a chat with Deus ex Machina in Sydney… Hopefully it would fit right in in their showroom. A cafe culture beast with the sweet sound of a V4 and proper technology is what I’m holding out for.

    Good luck!


  34. says

    WOW. All we released was four little sentences!

    Thank you Paul, and THANK YOU to everyone who left comments.

    We are truly amazed with the positive support we have received from all over the world in the last two days. Then again, Kneeslider has a HUGE readership, so I encourage advertisers take note.

    I think most of the comments here are positive and genuinely filled with hope and anticipation. Those are the comments that are driving us. There’s a few ‘slider regulars that REALLY get it. Thank you.

    And, while a few commentors have the wrong idea completely, that was expected based on how little we revealed. We are aware of some of the challenges we face, both in competition and perceptions. Some of you may take more convincing than others, and maybe Motus won’t be for everybody. But, we are lucky to have a great research facility here in Birmingham called the Barber Museum, and it has been very useful to us in determining what’s missing. To us, and to hundreds polled, there’s a hole. We’ll work hard to prove it.

    So, we’re doing now what we feel compelled to do, and that’s engineering a great motorcycle for many to enjoy. We’re not creating an entirely new market, we’re disrupting an existing one, and we think that’s a good plan. We will listen to riders, and we don’t plan on letting any of you down.

    Plus, the engine, well, it will speak for itself.

    Warmest regards,

    Brian Case
    VP, Design Director

  35. Schneegz says


    I’m very excited to see what you guys come up with. I wish you and your company the best of luck.

    You’re absolutely right that there are holes in the spectrum of motorcycles available to us now that the major manufacturers are unable/unwilling to fill – maybe because it’s not profitable for a large corporation to do so. Obviously it’s much too early to begin thinking beyond your first model, but I hope you can branch out from there and fill more holes in the market.

  36. Mehul Kamdar says

    The Motus company are entering the business at a difficult time, but, on the other hand, they will be able to take advantage of the recovery when it happens. It would be exciting to wait for pictures and more about their first design – I know where I would need to look when these are officially released.

  37. says

    Brian, I really hope you guys can swing this deal. I’ve been on a VFR (sorry to continue the comparison) for 7 years and I’m not on a new one because I just haven’t been drawn to the “BOLD NEW COLORS”. They haven’t progressed in over 7 years now. I love what I have but there has to be a progression of sorts over the years other than just new paint. The VFR is turning into the old Kawasaki Concours which ran 20 years with little/no improvments. It sold great simply due to price point for years – I had a ’97 – but you can’t even sell “old” for cheap after too many years. Thankfully, Kawasaki opened their eyes. I would love to see an American sport touring bike that doesn’t weigh 700 lbs., comes WITH removable hard bags (not 1K extra like Honda’s), ABS, a decent warranty, and at less than $15k. You can find new ’09 VFRs with the above ammenities in the $10 -11k range. There are left-over ’08s and even some new ’07s for even less, but based on current model year bikes, that would give you about a $4k per bike range to make improvments. I would think a guy could do a lot with $4k per bike. I’ll keep my eyes out. GOOD LUCK!!!

  38. DaveR says

    I am listening.

    Bring on a good product and make it something that is reliable like my nine year old Triumph. I’ll pay cash money if I like it.

    Good day America.

  39. JohnB says

    Good luck Motus! I sold the Harley and the GSX-R last year. Now I want the Motus! At least get us some t-shirts to promote you guys!

  40. sdnomad says

    I look forward to more info on this bike. Honda has a V-4 design that I have heard is very smooth.I prefer to buy USA but I`m bored with the same old design redone.

  41. says

    I have had a love affair with motorcycles and scooters for 58 years and still are thrilled to see the adventure into the new bikes I will be too old to ride at 71. My first experience was with the bicycle wizzer and have to see a bike sitting in my garage or I get that feeling my life is closer to the end. I don`t ride much anymore but cleaning and keeping everything proper is like hanging on to the good memories of life. I want them to continue. I truly loved the Mustang that was built in California. I grew up there with the wonders of the Vincent Black Shadow,Moto Gussi thru all the models of the Triumphs but never had a Harley untill 2003. I didn`t have the money, there were just to many other bikes to explorer. Its strange to say now that were certain bikes I wish I could ride one more time.There is a place for all kind of bikes that have gone by, some I don`t nowhere. Not much help in what I`am saying to those with the visions to extend there interest in keeping memories alive.I wish I was there to watch and help you.I had so many I can`t even guess anymore. The really good ones I never remembered untill years later, looking back. But that is better than not knowing I really had some great ones. Keep up the love is all I can say and always look for the little guy that never gets to see it ed