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Review: Fischer Motive 86 vs Head i-Titan KERS era 3.0 170 and 177cm

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

2014 Fischer Motive 86: 86mm underfoot, 175cm length, tip rocker, 2 sheets of metal

2014 Head i-Titan, 177cm: 81mm underfoot, 15.5m radius, Supershape metal laminate construction

2014 Head i-Titan, 177cm: 81mm underfoot, 14.3m radius, Supershape metal laminate construction

 

Conditions: early season groomers (scratchy yet soft); off-piste crud and new snow; medium sized bumps. Good light conditions. No trees (not enough snow to venture off-piste).

 

Reviewer: 5 foot 9, 155lbs, fit, 36 y/o, skis 30-50 days a year. Likes to ski fast and primarily off-piste, technically oriented. Skis I like: Kastle MX, BMX, and FX lineup, Elan 888/999/1010, Fischer Progressor series, Rossi E88,

 

Overview: these skis are fairly similar, but somewhat different in execution. The Motive 86 is a touch stiffer than either of the Titan models, yet features a fairly aggressive tip rocker and flat tail. The Titan features just a tiny bit of early rise tip, and virtually flat tail. Running length on the Motive 86 is a good 3.5cm shorter than the 177cm Titan, so it would be labeled a 173.5 if it were a Head ski, comparing apples to apples. All skis mounted with a Head PRD12 Powerrail binding.

 

Groomers: They were all 3 pretty solid on groomers, but the Titan 170cm wins out as the best of the 3. I found it to be snappy, powerful, with an easily engaged tip, very powerful turn exit. It was a tip and rip type ski, or a ski that you could rapidly dump energy from an extended outside leg, and power right through the transition. It liked both turns, in that it could ski lazy, or it could ski with all the power in the world. Very impressive. In this length, it was more of a SL/GS hybrid feel. Not as quick as the i-Rally, a bit more damp, maybe more suited to powerful skiers looking to carry more speed.

 

The 177cm i-Titan was the GS carver of the group. Not quite as much fun as the 170cm. Don't get me wrong; it is a great ski, but the length (which is my normal length for a ski of this type) takes some of the energy out of the ski. It has a bit more stability, but loses the power and energy of the 170cm. If I was hauling butt all day, it would be the choice, but for a more fun “carver” feel, size it below head height.

 

The Motive 86 was a very stiff ski laterally, great edge grip. What prevented it from being a great carver is the tip: it simply has too much rise to easily achieve early edge engagement. Once on edge, it is a powerhouse, and tracks as well as the Titan. Tail release is more damp, and perhaps even more impressive. Too bad the tip can't keep up: it just isn't there at the top of the turn, and feels spoony, for a lack of better term.

 

Crud: The 177cm Titan wins by a nudge: it is the most stable of the group, and just moves loose cruddy snow out of the way. No speed limit, you can really haul butt on this ski. The Motive 86 comes in 2nd for the style I like to ski: great at GS turns, no tip dive, also powers through junk, but with a bit less stability than the 177cm Titan. The tradeoff is a bit more playfulness, it tends to want to juke and dive a bit more. More Barry Sanders and a little less Earl Campbell. Works even better when the crud needs to be skied around, just not through. The 170cm i-Titan is narrowly in 3rd. Still fun, just a little short for really opening it up in a crud field.

 

Bumps: The Motive wins here: it is a great bump ski! One of the best I have tried in the past 2 years. The tip is brimming with confidence: that rocker and smooth, round flex really makes extending down into the trough and keeping the skis on the snow easy. Again, that dance described above gave me a nice feeling of extend, relax, let the skis flatten, tip a bit, be patient and let the skis set up for the next bump. They seemed to have a “still moment” in between bumps that made skiing them a breeze. The 170cm Titan is also great in bumps, almost as good: the tip being stiffer, more sidecut, and more prone to pushback knocks it down just a bit. Very maneuverable and easy though. Good bump ski as well! The 177cm was more work than the 170cm here: OK in bumps, but I had to be on it more, with a less forgiving tail. I wouldn't feel as confident taking this ski into a steep, dangerous bump zone and trying to stay fall line with it.

 

Conclusion: based on length, the 170cm Titan worked better for me than the 177cm. The longer length defeated the purpose of the playful, quick Supershape design. If you are on the fence with this one, size down. The Motive 86 is more of a powerful off-piste ski than a groomer ski, and this is entirely due to the tip design. They have added off-piste performance and ease by neutering somewhat the groomer performance. That is just fine though: for a narrower off-piste ski, for bumps and trees when the snow isn't too deep, this is a great choice. I especially like the addition of a strong tail: too many skis are coming with rockered tails these days, and I like a strong finish to the turn, so that I can put the ski where I want. I can't really think of a better sub 90mm for off-piste performance; some comparables, but nothing definitively better comes to mind.  

post #2 of 4

Great review as usual.

 

Does the Motive in the 80 or 76 have less power on groomers than the 86? Less rocker in the tip? Leaning toward Head Rally in a 163  for my 150 pounds; but Fischers enthrall me w/ memories of Progressor 9's and 950's w/ the wider underfoot..... as a all mountain, bias groomed. 

 

Bought the Magnum 8.1 TI to compliment the Blizz Sonic carver.  172.

 

Sounds like Rally at 163 is the best cure for a multi ski quiver, absent deep snow.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carving Lance View Post
 

Great review as usual.

 

Does the Motive in the 80 or 76 have less power on groomers than the 86? Less rocker in the tip? Leaning toward Head Rally in a 163  for my 150 pounds; but Fischers enthrall me w/ memories of Progressor 9's and 950's w/ the wider underfoot..... as a all mountain, bias groomed. 

 

Bought the Magnum 8.1 TI to compliment the Blizz Sonic carver.  172.

 

Sounds like Rally at 163 is the best cure for a multi ski quiver, absent deep snow.

I think all Motives have similar profiles: I haven't skied either this year though, so I can't say for sure.  It works on the wider ski, but the narrower Motive should have less of it, IMO, as it really is going to detract from groomer performance.  This ski has the feel of a P900 with a softer, easier to engage tip for off-piste skiing.  

 

Rally in 163cm seems short for 150lbs, unless you are short as well. I thought the 170cm was on the shorter side: I easily found the top end.  OTOH, it was very snappy, quick, easy to ski.  Just not the last word in race-carver like stability; it is a step below that, but much more versatile than most carvers. I tried the Blizzard S800 after I skied the Rally, and the i-speed the run after that: both had a generous amount of top end over the Rally.  But, taking either into bumps?  Going to be much more work.  I guess it depends on what you value in a ski.  There aren't many top end carvers that are super versatile (Kastle MX83 comes to mind) but a large difference in price. 

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Update on the Fischer Motive 86: on some really hard snow (a couple of freeze-thaw cycles, and now it is cold again); this ski does hold pretty well, and has a lot of energy in the tail.  Very aggressive release if you are loading and releasing.  Edge grip is good, not quite up there with the MX83 though.  In bumps, it is really starting to shine, as I dial in my early season form.  It just feels smooth, not jerky, as long as I follow terrain with the ski and keep my feet active: a very easy, predictable bump ski.  Even on some seriously crappy off-piste crust, it is a manageable ski.  

 

My only complaint is the vague feeling at the tip.  This ski has a very aggressive tip rocker profile for a mid-width ski, and I think they over-did it. I am not opposed to an early rise tip (some skis do very well with it for firmer snow) but the rise on this ski is really steep when compared to others in it's category. It makes the top of the turn smeary. It doesn't hook up like, say a Fire Arrow 84 EDT (slight early rise).  Easy to do release drills on (I spent a couple of hours dialing in my balance, as I was limited to 3 runs due to poor coverage and was getting bored).  It also allowed me to dial in the balance on this ski, which seems pretty neutral.  If you are looking for a solid all-mountain ride with some hard snow bite, and not super aggressive at the tip, you would be well served with this ski. 

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Member Gear Reviews › Review: Fischer Motive 86 vs Head i-Titan KERS era 3.0 170 and 177cm