Motus Motorcycles Shuts Doors After Losing Financial Backers

Motus Motorcycles, a manufacturer of high-performance motorcycles, shut down operations Friday after its financial backers pulled their funding, the company announced.

The Birmingham, Ala.-based OEM worked with  Wells Fargo Commercial Distribution Finance as a floorplan provider and with Freedom Road Financial as its retail finance partner.

Despite the OEM’s well-made models — the Motus MST and Motus MSTR — some dealerships were having a difficult time selling the American-made bikes.

“Basically, as far as sales go, when you are talking high-end, they not going to move right out the door unless you have a pretty good name,” Wayne Powell, sales manager for Mechanicsburg, Pa.-based Motor-Vation, told Powersports Finance. “A lot of our high-end stuff is not doing very well. You’re looking at $30,000 to $40,000 for a Motus that no one has heard about.”

Moto-Vation previously sold one Motus vehicle, and it has another on the showroom floor. However, selling the bike has been a challenge, and the dealership may be forced to sell the bike at auction.

Compared with more affordable and new-rider friendly bikes in the $15,000 range, a Motus bike targets a niche audience in the powersports space, even though Motus’ price range is in line with other high-performing bikes from BMW Motorrad and Ducati.

“A lot of it is the price point,” Gary Latessa, sales manager of Spartan Cycles, told Powersports Finance. “There’s a lot of competition in the market today that has a lot more features. Nowadays there’s a lot of electronic ride features like directional and wheelie control. These bikes didn’t have that. It’s more of a bare bones bike.”

Though dealers told Powersports Finance that the bikes were made of top shelf-products and were likely worth the price tag, they noted the challenge in selling them. However, Indian Motorcycle Greensboro has found success selling Motus motorcycles.

The North Carolina-based dealerships joined Motus’ network in November 2017 and had sold eight bikes nationwide to customers in California, Texas, Montana, and New Jersey.

“We’ve been doing pretty well with them,” said Sales Manager Bob McBride. “I’m not very concerned about the company. I think that [Co-founder] Lee Conn is a pretty smart guy, and they are going to be able to find themselves other backers.

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