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  1. #1
    screamer
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    New Motolite: first (lengthy!) report

    So after lurking here for months on end, I can finally and legitimately come out of the shadows and show off my spankin' new Motolite. You've all helped me out a lot with info & inspiration, and I couldn't be happier with my choice. So thanks for that. Now, on to the good stuff....

    When I picked up the frame from my LBS (Roaring Mouse here in SF, whom I can't recommend enough; they are GREAT to deal with) after a six week wait, the first impression was that this is one of the most carefully thought out bikes I have ever seen. The welding is absolutely first rate, the tube forming is impeccably designed, and just holding the frame (OK, "fondling" is probably more accurate) is an awe-inspiring experience. I do design for a living (buildings, not bikes), and the hallmark of quality is a product that immediately tells you how it performs at first glance. The Motolite definitely fits this category. On the superficial side, the grey is VERY dark, almost black. Mmmmm.... black....

    After the fastest, and probably most trouble-free, build in history, I hit the trails. Disclaimer: my first time out I was feeling pretty crappy with a head cold, and if it hadn't been for this sexy new toy I probably would have just wussed out on the couch watching the World Cup. I'd set up the rear with the recommended sag (which was actually about 20psi below what Fox recommended for my weight???), and on the first fire road climb I could tell already I needed a bit more pressure given a couple of pedal strikes. So that put me at about 15-20% sag; weird. Even with my snot-filled head though, I was climbing like a rocket. I hit a couple of steep & loose short cuts, and scooted up them no problem. Totally incredible! The front end felt a lot taller than what I was used to (the Rev was set at 130mm max), but wasn't lifting up at all. Cool.

    Once I hit the singletrack (starts with a really tight twisty descent), it took me a couple of minutes to get used to sitting up taller and steering wider -- I've been riding a 3/3" horst XC bike. It didn't take long for me to figure out that the bike responds much better with weight forward, aggressively working the bars and hammering out of the turns. At the end of the trail, I reduced the fork travel to about 120mm, and turned around to do the ST backwards. With the lower front, the handling through the twisty stuff felt much better, and I just blazed through it, making a couple of off-camber switchback climbs that in the past have given me a lot of trouble. I've heard people talk about "razor-sharp handling," and finally I understand what they mean. Again, I scooted up the steep technical climbs with so little effort, I felt like I was hallucinating! REALLY cool.

    On the second lap, I hit a steep, loose & rutted descent that in the past has been about a 50:50 prospect for me. I've always lowered the saddle here, but didn't bother today and felt completely comfortable; the Moto felt absolutely stable. My one complaint is that the front end didn't bite as much as I'd like through the loose stuff, but I have a suspicion that my 2.1 Weirwolfs might be a little overwhelmed by the increased speeds and aggressiveness that the Moto allows here. Food for thought. Later in the day, when I was cruising down another portion of singletrack, I almost hit an uphill rider that materialized around a blind corner; it wasn't until then that I realized how much faster than normal I was riding.

    So the next day, with a little less pressure in the fork's positive chamber, plus some cockpit adjustments (lowering the stem, scooting the saddle forward), I hit my next favorite trail which is a much faster ST circuit. I rode the first lap pretty bullish, with some really clumsy lines. The bike was totally forgiving of my sins, and just bowled over everything. I felt like I was looking down the trail easily 10' further than normal. When I dawdled, I definitely felt that the small-bump compliance suffered, but with just a little more gas everything seemed to open up and erase all the obstacles. The stiffness of the frame really rewards the slightest effort, and the bike just launches itself forward. I'll have to do a bit more tuning to get to the bottom of this, but it really seems as if the bike rewards good fitness and whatever hammering you can muster. I'm just not sure what happens when you bonk. On the second lap, I focused more on smoothness, taking care to make all of the technical sections and picking lines a bit better, and again the bike really seemed to shine with that riding style. Verdict: a poised and centered stance worked better than hanging back and plowing through everything.

    Overall, I couldn't be happier with the bike. I haven't yet played with the ProPedal settings on the RP23, but so far I'd say there's a big difference between the on & off lever settings, which I wouldn't say was the case with the RP3's I tried. The 20% sag seems great to me; I'm getting full travel out of the shock and it feels plenty plush. I still need to play with fork settings, but so far I have about 10psi less than RS recommended for my weight in both pos and neg chambers. Still too early to give much feedback on the fork, although on first impressions it's really precise and working well right out of the box.

    As for the build, it's not very sexy. I built it up mostly with parts taken off my old bike: a beloved RM Element which developed a crack in the top tube. I'll upgrade as they wear out. So far the paint seems just fine; I added a liberal dose of clear tape where there might be cable rub, and gave it a good couple of dings on my rides, and so far so good. I'm hoping that Titus ironed out all the issues.

    Anyway, thanks again to the Titus board for all the help & info you provided, and I'm looking forward to many good years as a Titan!
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  2. #2
    thats right living legend
    Reputation: blackagness's Avatar
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    Nice Report!

    Very detailed, and nice discriptions. Swweeet looking bike!

  3. #3
    the 36 year old grom
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    Quote Originally Posted by budgie
    My one complaint is that the front end didn't bite as much as I'd like through the loose stuff

    I had the same complaint. I called titus for some pointers. and they said to try and get a little bit more weight into the front tire. now that I started to make a point of shifting my weight forward the front traction is way solid. and it only takes an inch. I ended up going to a longer stem ( 90mm -> 110mm) and that made everthing natural for me. I didn't have to think about getting my weight forward.

    my buddy just got his fox gray frame last week, and the new 2006 frames are a work of art. the welding is awsome. puts my 05 to shame. the Fox gray looks like black ano to me. only a hint of grey to it. they seem to look different in person, what I'm saying is that in all the pictures the fox grey looks like it has a blue tint. but in person it looks like a stealth jet color.

  4. #4
    screamer
    Reputation: budgie's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip. I have a longer stem also, so I'll try it out to see if that makes the difference.
    Also, I think they should change the name of the color from "Fox grey" to "Vader grey," or possibly even "Death Star grey." And I like your "Stealth grey." Sci-fi dorks rule the school.

  5. #5
    "El Whatever"
    Reputation: Warp's Avatar
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    Hey, budgie!!

    Nice ride there! Awesome!

    That's 100 THP's!

    Congrats!!
    Check my Site

  6. #6
    "Its All Good"
    Reputation: Whafe's Avatar
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    Budgie, great write up and great scooter. My first ride report was worded terribly compared to yours. But what you described etc was more or less the same as my ride.

    I cannot get over how stiff the rare end is, it feels liek a 2 inch travel bike with 5 inches. I still do not have my saddle stem perfect yet, will take a few more rides...

    And if you read my posts, you will know my thoughts on decending and cornering......... I haev used the same tyres youa re once before, but am really enjoying this Blue Groove Stick-E, fantastic thus far.

    Keep the reports coming, glad you are as stoked as I ma with the frame............ So many people think I am nuts, but frames are liek art to me, the detail and workmanship is fantastic, love it..............

    Keep enjoying....
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  7. #7
    mtbr member
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    Congrats on the new bike. I'm a new motolite owner as well. I found that it was a good idea to move your chainstay protector a bit more forward. I took some good chips off of the paint just behind the chain rings. And if you're going for perfect looks, you may want to use black zip ties instead of white ones.

    congrats
    我的镀铬光泽的冰柱一样,我骑在镇附近在我的低骑手自行车

  8. #8
    screamer
    Reputation: budgie's Avatar
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    Good tip on the chainstay protector. As for the zip ties, I'm a little freaked by the all-black color combo. I have some teal green zip ties on order from McMaster, which should match my collection of purple and Dusty Rose anodized hardware.
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  9. #9
    FM
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    luxatio erecta
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    Great write-up and very nice steed!

    Post some ride pics sometime.

  10. #10
    thats right living legend
    Reputation: blackagness's Avatar
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    One To Talk!

    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    Great write-up and very nice steed!

    Post some ride pics sometime.


    FM your the last one with any room to talk about ride pics, I mean wheres....err umm never mind.

  11. #11
    screamer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whafe
    And if you read my posts, you will know my thoughts on decending and cornering.........
    Thanks for all the compliments. I'm going to try with a meatier tread up front. I have read your posts, and I'm curious about your shock setup too, since the Rev and the Pike are so similar. Have you kept track of your front & rear pressure, rebound settings, etc.? Mine are as follows:
    Rear: 100psi, 5 clicks out from slow
    Front: 100psi pos, 120psi neg, rebound 1.5 turns out from slow
    Rider weight: 160lbs w/gear
    Curious to know what others have to say also, since I've only just begun to tinker with this....
    Thanks!

  12. #12
    searcher
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    I also put less , around 20 psi less in my Reba than it is recommended by RS.
    Still climbs very good, and plush on descents.
    Kovi

  13. #13
    "El Whatever"
    Reputation: Warp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by budgie
    Thanks for all the compliments. I'm going to try with a meatier tread up front. I have read your posts, and I'm curious about your shock setup too, since the Rev and the Pike are so similar. Have you kept track of your front & rear pressure, rebound settings, etc.? Mine are as follows:
    Rear: 100psi, 5 clicks out from slow
    Front: 100psi pos, 120psi neg, rebound 1.5 turns out from slow
    Rider weight: 160lbs w/gear
    Curious to know what others have to say also, since I've only just begun to tinker with this....
    Thanks!
    A buddy of mine has been running crazy low pressures on the Rev (like 50-60PSI) being much heavier than you (around 180?)... do you get full travel out of the thing?
    Check my Site

  14. #14
    screamer
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    Not sure yet. I took the zip tie off the stanchion, but I'll replace it and check back. I am getting full travel in the rear, so that is starting to feel right.
    50-60psi? Yikes! But info about different pressures people are running is exactly what I'm looking for; it's all helpful. Keep it coming!

    Edit: Actually, I think I figured out what I might be doing wrong. I gather neg. is supposed to be less than or equal to pos. pressure. I'm getting that off this thread:
    Roxsock Revelation, how to get it plush and the 130mm of travel at the same time?
    Last edited by budgie; 06-27-2006 at 05:31 PM.

  15. #15
    Veni Vidi Vici
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    Very well said! I had a very similar experience with my initial ride with my ML, perfectly written mate. As I could not write it, the way you describe the ride. Congrats on your new ride!

  16. #16
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    Congrats and nice ride! Great write up.

  17. #17
    "Its All Good"
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    Quote Originally Posted by budgie
    Thanks for all the compliments. I'm going to try with a meatier tread up front. I have read your posts, and I'm curious about your shock setup too, since the Rev and the Pike are so similar. Have you kept track of your front & rear pressure, rebound settings, etc.? Mine are as follows:
    Rear: 100psi, 5 clicks out from slow
    Front: 100psi pos, 120psi neg, rebound 1.5 turns out from slow
    Rider weight: 160lbs w/gear
    Curious to know what others have to say also, since I've only just begun to tinker with this....
    Thanks!
    Have not kept real good note. I am around 170 with gear on. I do know that the suggested pressure on the side of the fork and manual that I am running far less, but am getting the full 140mm travel. Have not got involved with the pos and neg chambers........ Will ahve another re look at it.

    Try a Blue Groove Stick-E up front,
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

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