Fuller Moto Custom 1,600cc V-4 Motus

Bryan Fuller builds a mean motorcycle

“Holy hell.”

“Sweet geezes, my shins are on fire.”

Although I was straddling the Fuller Moto custom Motus when Brian Case, designer of Motus motorcycles, reached over and hit the start button, I wasn't ready.

The exhaust system on this beast is a pair of 2-into-1 headers that barely reach the firewall. The firewall was my legs.

I’d buy this custom but there’s only one of it, and it’s not for sale. Bryan Fuller built it at Fuller Moto. It’s nuts. It’s a loaded gun. This bike is owned by John Bennett of Sacramento. Bennett had a bit of an unplanned get-off from his Motus, so he decided it was time to customize it some more but this time with purpose.

fuller moto custom motus on-road action
Fuller Moto MotusMatthew Jones

Before I ramble on with hyperbole, some facts. This bike weighs about 100 pounds less than a stock Motus. And, like all Motus motor­cycles, as you may have heard, its 1,600cc, V-4 engine was refined by Pratt & Miller and is basically half of a Corvette engine. It has more torque off idle than any literbike has at any rpm whatsoever. One doesn’t wind up even a stock Motus to do a wheelie; you just roll on some throttle. Torque flight, no?

Now wearing gear, I straddled the bike again. This time it was my thumb about to press the start button. I knew what would happen. I placed my feet out wide.

“%#&@!”

I still wasn’t ready.

It’s the least restrictive exhaust I’ve ever heard outside of a dragstrip or on a bike that isn’t made of iron. Plus, when this bike first ignites it revs up a few grand then settles down into its idle. It’s crazy to ride a bike that’s this loud on public streets. It’s also very, very sweet.

fuller moto custom motus static side view
Fuller Moto MotusMatthew Jones

Fuller’s Motus is a giant engine with a seat on it. He tossed everything that wasn’t absolutely necessary.

Despite the open pipes and open airbox, the ECU wasn’t remapped. An oxygen sensor is in each collector, and the brain adjusts to deliver smooth power all through the rev range. This bike seems angriest at idle, yet it has impossibly implausible and insane power when opened up. The art of riding this bike isn’t in trying to wheelie; it’s in trying not to wheelie. Just forget it. I laughed every mile that I rode it. So distracting is this bike’s performance that I didn’t notice it has an asymmetrical paint job until looking at pictures afterward. It is beauty and the beast all in one—pathologically fast yet with a great complexion.

Between this project from Fuller Moto and the dozen others brought by their owners to the new bike and car show Caffeine & Octane At The Beach, the consistency of craft and Fuller’s detailed finishes are strikingly obvious from build to build. The bike’s subframe alone deserves pondering.

Fuller’s Motus is a giant engine with a seat on it. He tossed everything that wasn’t absolutely necessary. He also has a thing for small seats. And maybe also for tiny dashboards and little buttons. Yet it all works, aesthetically and functionally.

fuller moto custom motus cockpit view
Fuller Moto MotusMatthew Jones

Like all Motus motorcycles, it has ride by wire and EFI but no rider aids. The rider is the traction, stability, and wheelie control. I’m still trying to figure out how to explain the delight of that to those who think electronic features are necessary today. I know a factory racer who competed on a brand with the best electronics package on the market, yet he shut the system off at the racetrack. It makes him slower. The beauty of this beast is that its rawness requires a practiced, earned feel. I don’t make excuses for that; I admire it and desire it. I respect it. I could see fear in faces of some watching me ride away.

Fuller fabricated the spaghetti exhaust out of 1.75-inch-diameter stainless steel. The collectors are custom made with Cone Engineering parts. The headlight is a custom creation by FM’s Bryan Heidt, fashioned in aluminum, with LED lighting. The Plexiglas face is a cut-up helmet shield. The bezel is fabricated steel. The fuel tank is stock, with an aftermarket aluminum gas cap sourced on eBay.

The custom single-seat tailsection is aluminum, patterned in clay then hand formed out of 3003-H14 aluminum. At the tip of the tail is a CNC-machined rear diffuser with Motus logo. The cowl's taillight is from a Victory Octane. Rear lights are custom LEDs from Jonathan Patten. Beneath all of that is a custom Fuller Moto subframe made of 0.065-inch-wall chrome-moly tubing. The seat features an aluminum pan covered with foam and leather by Cato's Custom Upholstery. The battery was relocated to a pivoting tray that hangs behind the engine.

fuller moto custom motus side details
Fuller Moto MotusMatthew Jones

Front and rear suspension are stock in performance, though the fork was black anodized. The shock is Motus-spec Öhlins. The swingarm is stock, except of course for its finish. The asymmetrically painted wheels are BST carbon fiber and wrapped in Pirelli Rosso Corsas.

Wiring is a pared-down Motus harness, created by Wes Hines and Brian Case. A tiny MotoGadget gauge replaces the dash, mated to billet switch blocks and turn signals. Once the parts and mods are added up it's easy to see how this machine lost 100 pounds.

It’s a crazy bike, a wild ride, an untamed beast. It’s amazing how a diet and increased lung capacity can transform something. Thank you, Bennett, for letting me ride your motorcycle. Thank you, thank you.

fuller moto custom motus sunset beauty
Fuller Moto MotusMatthew Jones
fuller moto custom motus static side view
Fuller Moto MotusMatthew Jones
fuller moto custom motus headlight details
Fuller Moto MotusMatthew Jones
fuller moto custom motus front wheel details
Fuller Moto MotusMatthew Jones
fuller moto custom motus right grip details
Fuller Moto MotusMatthew Jones
fuller moto custom motus front section view
Fuller Moto MotusMatthew Jones
fuller moto custom motus fuel tank details
Fuller Moto MotusMatthew Jones
fuller moto custom motus engine details
Fuller Moto MotusMatthew Jones
fuller moto custom motus exhaust pipe details
Fuller Moto MotusMatthew Jones
fuller moto custom motus rear section details
Fuller Moto MotusMatthew Jones
fuller moto custom motus rear suspension details
Fuller Moto MotusMatthew Jones
fuller moto custom motus taillight details
Fuller Moto MotusMatthew Jones
fuller moto custom motus headlight details
Fuller Moto MotusMatthew Jones