2012 Fischer Motive 88
Length Tested: 176 cm
Dimensions/Turn Radius: 128/88/115mm 19m @ 176 cm
Camber : Early Rise Tip/Rocker & Tail w/camber
Binding: Tyrolia Railflex FSX 12
Mount point: Rail center mounted to Ski center mark - skied both 28.5 boot to center mark and boot mark to -1.5 cm
Environment & Conditions:
Location of Test: 3 days Mammoth, 2 days Snowbird, 2 days Alta, 1 day Snowbasin, 1 day Solitude
Number of Runs: lots
Snow Conditions: ALL - boilerplate, hardpack, softpack, slush, wet fresh cement, setup refrozen, POW
Demo or Own: Own
Height/Weight: 5' 10+", 167 lbs
Ski Days/Season: 20-24
Years Skiing: '65 to 98' then '2009 to date
Aggressiveness: tend to charge, prefer to ski with a light touch, but will power if the situation demands
Current Quiver: '09 Fischer Cold Heat 176 cm, '10 Rossi Sickbirds 185 cm, '09 Elan 99 w
'wood finish' 185 cm, '07 K2 Outlaw 181 cm, '00 K2 Axis Mod X Pro 188 cm, Nordica HR Burner Pro 178 cm
Home Area: Mammoth CA
Preferred Terrain : steeps, off-piste, trees
Deciding to purchase, without demo, the Fischer Motrive 88, was based on some extensive history riding Fischer Skis, as well as some very good reviews here in Epic.
What I was looking for? A quick scan of my current stable shows I prefer skis on the longer side and with a high degree of stability and firm edging, and all have been traditional full camber. I've demo'd both early rise and full rocker models, but have not spent enough time to get comfortable or confident on them.
So I wanted to commit to finding a way to adapt my skiing to the characteristics and possible benefits of an early rise ski, somewhat shorter than I would normally choose.
My first 3 days on the Motive 88 were at Mammoth, 2 days after a 6 inch snowfall on top of 3 week old hard surface. So I had quite variable conditions, from well tracked soft pack on steeper sections and very firm hardpack on heavily skied sections.
I started skiing with my 28.5 boots mark centered to the ski mark.
What I found was a very fast turning, almost hooky ski when on edge. A bit too much swimming on low edge angles or flat running, and had a tough time finding the balance point around which I could vary the turn radius predictably. Considering the short length - 176 cm - with the additional shortening effect of the early rise tip, I felt any detuning would be a further detriment to turn predictability.
They were certainly easy turning and on the plus side, I can;t remember the last time I skied heavy mogul sections as easily and quickly. The Motives skied long radius turns well, but required just a bit more attention than I like. They reminded me of the quick reactions I could expect from my Nordica HR Burner Pros - a very fast turner, but also a ski not real easy to relax on when pressing the pace.
Thanks to my railflex setup, changing boot position is a 2minute operation. I could use either the gross adjustment provided by the 1.5 cm fore or aft single screw setup, or do 2.5 mm steps using the individual toe and heel piece adjustment.
Long story, short - after fooling with boot position, on the 1st afternoon, I found that adjusting the boot mark to be -1.5 cm behind the ski mark provided the adjsutments and improved' 'feel' I was looking for.
AT -1.5 cm, the skis now were no longer 'hooky', less swimming on flat running, and excellent almost no perceptible speed limit on long radius carved turns. Hard conditions edging was just a hair less than my Fischer Cold Heats and Rossi SickBirds, which both offer extremely tenacious edge hold on hard surfaces.
Overall the slight rearward set eliminated almost all of the reservations I had, without any significant loss in turn initiation or mogul performance.
The following 8 days on this ski just confirmed how good and versatile this ski really is.
After Mammoth, there was my 1st day at Alta, a day of hard surface skiing not often found, even back East. For the week before The SLC resorts saw 5 days of temps into the 40 & 50's ON THE MOUNTAINS, subsequently temps drops to where my 1st day in the Wasatch was in temps then teens and 20's, high winds and extremely poor visibilty. I tried a bit off-piste and found out why NO ONE was venturing off the few open groomed runs. By 10 am, even those groomed runs turned into skating rinks from the excessive traffic. A tough day, but the Motives did their job and still had some fun finding how to carve them on this hard surface.
After 5-6 inches of snowfall that night, the next day at Solitude was fun, with some variability. WIth 3 to 6 inches on top of real ice, there were plenty of instances where the transition would be abrupt from soft snow to ice surface. The Motives handled the transitions well, and responded well to a light edge touch when moving through transitions. They reminded me a little of the way my VR17s would motor easily through tough transitions.
After a few runs on the frontside, I moved to Honeycomb area which magically had deeper accummulations of 8-10 inches, making for some super pow which was virtually untracked. Within a couple turns the Motives were figured out. Skiing decent POW on them was a snap.
Next day Snowbird offered everything from soft, tracked in the trees to firm setup crud on open slopes like Regulator. Early runs in Mineral basin offered a couple hours of nice untracked/light tracked sections before more skiers found the spots.
Next day at SnowBasin - rain for most of the day on the lower half and wet cement further up. Truly a good garbage bag day.
Then it snowed again - heavy and continued snowing for the next 2 days. Fresh, Deep POW at both Alta and Snowbird - the days I remembered from prior visits.
The Motives were GREAT in the deep. The Rustler/High & Med Traverse and Wildcat areas at Alta had sections well above boot-top with some areas at just below the knee. Catherines was in great shape again. Snowbird the next day, had further new snow, The cirque was filled in again so that rocks were less an issue, GAD area, especially the trees was awesome deep, and staying high, skiers right off Peruvian was awesome deep and dry.
The Motive 88s, as POW skis were really great. The early rise allowed a very centered fore-aft balance and still easily unloaded to transition the turn. The light feel of the low-rise tip allowed easy turning in even the deepest pow.
It's really hard to do this review, because I should be able to find something I don;t like about the Motives; but I can't.
They really are a fantastic ski. Easy and not real demanding, with no apparent limit when you push them hard. They cut through crud and tracked, they hold an edge well, vary the turn radius with no problem.
Thinking about my 9 days on them, I can honestly say that I could easily use only these skis. Sure 'specialty' skis will do things just a bit better - but the Motives do most everything really well. They're not a ski which does everything at 75% well. More like 90% well at everything, which is good enough for me.
I was looking for a ski with a really broad spectrum, and maybe replace some of my current quiver. I didn't expect these.
Now it's gonna be hard to really spend any appreciable time on any of the others.
One Ski Quiver? In my 6 very crazy variable days at the SLC resorts, I never felt I wanted anything else. And the highest mark for a ski, for me, is when you can just look down the hill and go, and not think about the ski.
Re: boot location. An adjustable binding/plate would be a real advantage on these, allowing each skier to tune the skiing characteristics to their taste. The ski offers real versatility in characteristics with not large variations in boot position.
I really like em!
Edited by moreoutdoor - 3/26/13 at 11:15pm