Among the stories of 2011, there were a few events in the motorcycle business I thought were significant. Will these continue to be big news in the future?
Introduction of the Motus MST
This past March, Motus introduced the MST and MST-R, the all new, from the ground up, American made “comfortable sport bike.” Partnering with Pratt and Miller Engineering, Lee Conn and Brian Case brought us their vision of a sport touring motorcycle built entirely in the USA using the brand new compact Katech V4, an engine designed specifically for this bike, but having huge potential for applications in all sorts of vehicles.
Since the intro, they’ve toured the country and shown it to dealers and riders while collecting feedback from the road, testing the bike as they rode it. Development is still underway. Everyone is watching for the next announcements from the company. Go, Motus!
Indian Motorcycles has come and gone quite a few times, but the last resurrection by Stellican looked like they were doing it right when the tough economy put the whole company in danger. Polaris, stepped in to give it the financial support necessary to carry it into the future, in what will hopefully be the last time it needs to be rescued and, perhaps, preserving the Indian name for good. I’m hoping, too, that once firmly reestablished, Polaris will produce some significant and distinctive Indian models worthy of the name.
2012 Erik Buell Racing 1190RS
After Harley Davidson put Buell to rest, Erik struck out on his own to build what he wanted to build without restrictions from anyone. Everyone waited for the first new motorcycle to emerge and the Erik Buell Racing 1190RS was the result. As noted in our article, it’s no wonder Harley had a hard time trying to fit Buell into the company fold, this doesn’t remotely resemble a Harley. More importantly, this is, quite simply, one helluva bike. Everyone who has had a chance to ride the 389 pound, 175 horsepower 1190RS has been very impressed. Work is still progressing, but now it’s up to the customers.
Enigma 1050 – Brand New British Motorcycle
In just the last few weeks we saw the emergence of the Enigma 1050, a homegrown British bike powered by the Triumph 1050 triple. Jim Lindsay and his team bring loads of experience and skill to the project and we expect to see the bike testing in the second quarter of 2012. It’s great to see this new company and perhaps we’re seeing the beginning of the reemergence of a British motorcycle industry, and wouldn’t that be a fine thing?
I’m encouraged by the work already done and, especially, by the confidence shown in each of these cases in the face of an economy that has hardly been cooperative. I wish great success for each of these endeavors and look forward to seeing big things in the future.