Fischer Motive 95ti: updated review
The Ski: Fischer Motive 95ti, 180cm, mounted with an Attack 13 demo binding, on the line. Early rise, with a bit of a tapered tip, 95mm underfoot, 19m radius
The skier: 5 foot 9, 155lbs, a little rusty in the video (3rd day on the hill for the season)
The conditions: heavier snow and cruddy bumps down below, very light 2-3 inches on top.
I have been skiing this model on and off over the past couple of seasons: I don't have a ton of time on it, but at every demo event, it never fails to impress. The ski is somewhat unique: 2 sheets of metal, wood and carbon layup, but the flex is fairly soft. It has the very Stockli-like combination of being a GS ski at heart yet softened considerably for all-mountain use, mixed-condition skiing and terrain. Underneath, it is still a Fischer, and that means race-bred: it an outstanding carver for this mid 90's to 100mm category. What sets the Motive 95ti apart from it's peers, at least on my feet, is the ski's amazing forgiveness and versatility.
When skiing it in these conditions, the first thing I noticed was the very substantial float. My other test skis on the day, the Blizzard Bonafide and the Head Monster 98, did not have the same amount of float. The Motive 95ti has a nice, long, low early rise tip that felt like it belonged on a ski that was 105 underfoot, not 95. The tip flex was perfect for getting out of the snow and not hanging up. So far, so good! It was a tip that I could trust: if I was active with my feet, moving them fore and aft, the tip wouldn't bury in the snow. It really helped to loosen up my releases and flow with the terrain well.
Even though the tip on the Motive was surfy, it wasn't soft. Tip flap was at a bare minimum. When I have had this on firmer groomers in the past, it doesn't disappoint; I would rate it's carving performance up there near the top, only behind the extremely substantial skis such as the Bonafide and the MX98 from Kastle. In the chop, it tracks extremely well, as you can see in the video.
In bumps, I wouldn't expect the Motive to do that well if I had seen the ski “on paper”; however, it is a very, very good bump ski. Again, the tip is not too stout, and driving the tip into the backside of a bump is anything but a scary experience. Very compliant; and upon release of the turn, the tail doesn't take you for a ride. In comparison to the 3 skis I tried that day, the Motive gets the nod in bumps too.
Forgiveness: I couldn't ask for more. This ski does have metal: it isn't a soft twin rocker back seat ski, so it demands a bit of precision. That precision is rewarded with an energetic and powerful release, and instant feedback. The Motive is anything but punishing: make a mistake and you will know about it, but you won't be flung out of control. I can recover from mistakes on this ski, better than almost anything else in this performance realm. I would say it is even as forgiving as it's supposedly more off-piste oriented brother, the Ranger. A key part of this forgiveness is the damping that the metal in this ski provides. It really quiets and controls the ski in chop and crud.
Flex profile: just about perfect. Laterally stiff, moderate stiffness tip and tail, substantial energy without a feeling of being wound tight. It had a great flex pattern for a skier such as myself, but other bigger skiers can enjoy it too. I have put several people on the 186cm that weighed over 200lbs, and all found it to be an outstanding tool in any condition.
In summary; this is a ski that feels like the complete package, given it's width and intended purpose. I would comfortably take this on any Western ski area road trip, knowing I will have a capable tool no matter the conditions present. It isn't just a good ski that does a lot of things well: it has exceptional “flow”, meaning that transitions from turn to turn are measured and that turns flow well together. It isn't an “on-off” ski like some, that feel like they are nervous when not on edge or skied a certain way. This ski flows like water down a pitch; it conforms to the terrain in a way that very few skis do. I can trust the Motive to put me in a position where I can execute the turn cleanly and in balance, setting me up for the next turn. That is an extremely rare attribute in a ski. Most skis are the sum of their parts: the Motive is more, as every bit of the ski works in harmony with the rest. Tough to explain, but when I felt it working underfoot, sucking up terrain and keeping me in balance, the “complete package” aspect of the Motive became obvious. There is also something about this ski: it really rewards good skiing without trying to make the skier into something they aren't. These days, many skis have artificial personalities to make the skier feel like they are elevating their game, only to let them down when conditions get tough. Overly-aggressive edge characteristics make a less skilled skier think they all of the sudden carving, and then in junk snow, they have a handful of a ski. Huge soft forgiving tails allow a skier to back-seat all the way down a mountain, until they hit steep trees or bumps and get owned. The Motive isn't that ski: it won't gloss over your mistakes, and it won't give you a participation trophy. However, it rewards good skiing, and is the best tool imaginable in a wider ski for becoming a better skier, in a very approachable package. I wish more skis were made this way.
I would give it my highest overall rating.
I would rate it's performance in the following way (1-10, with 10 being a ski that singularly excels in that condition)
Groomers, energy and grip: 7
Bump performance; 7
crud skimming: 8.5
new snow float: 8
overall package: 9