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Bow Report: Bear Motive 6

An inside source who got an early look at Bear’s Motive 6 described it as having a “new look.” Updated technology and some important new features aside, and granting that the Bear “look” has evolved somewhat over the years, appearance-wise everything about this bow says “Bear Archery” to me, from the long, moderately reflexed riser to the short, quad parallel limbs and the dual string suppressors and overmolded grip. The grip can be removed to reveal a slim side-panel option (just replace the screws). The 4x4 roller guides and the Zero Tolerance Limb pockets also carried over from last year. Featuring eight stainless steel ball bearings, the roller guides provide extremely smooth, friction-free travel. The limb pockets are designed with a boot that contributes to not only extremely tight tolerances in the limb/cup/boot, but to reduced noise and vibration as well. 

New this year are the Offset String Suppressors, which are adjustable laterally and in depth. This is a relatively simple but important feature, since improperly located string suppressors can affect accuracy and even arrow speed, in addition to increasing wear on servings and strings. Strings and cables are Bear’s now-standard Contraband, pre-stretched to greatly limit creep and peep rotation.

Bear Motive 6Without doubt the most important new technology on the Motive 6 is the brand new H13 Cam, a hybrid cam system with a rotating module that can be adjusted in half-inch increments without a press or the need to purchase and insert extra modules. While I always like that feature, what’s more important is the 350 fps top speed these cams generate. 

Draw weight adjustments are made by simply advancing or backing off on the limb bolts, though there are separate set screws that must be loosened and afterwards retightened when making adjustments. Bear warns against backing the limb bolts out more than three turns. In the case of some bows I’ve examined, backing the bolts out the recommended maximum turns did not reduce the weight by the stated 10 pounds from peak weight. That was not an issue in this case; three full (if slightly generous) turns got the weight down from 70 to 60 on my scale.

Available in the familiar Realtree APG and Shadow Series, additional new finishes on the Motive 6 include AP Snow as well as two target finish options, red and green or black and green.

Shooting the Bow

At 32 inches axle-to-axle and a weight of 4 pounds even, the Motive 6 tends to be slightly top-heavy but is a comfortable carry. It was unusually easy-to-tune: I eyeballed the nock location and rest adjustment by aligning the arrow with the arrow rest mounting holes, and confirmed with a level on the bowstring to get it vertical and a level on the arrow to get it 90 degrees from vertical. I adjusted centershot by placing an arrow against the inside of the riser just above the shelf and making the nocked arrow parallel to it. (This works on most if not all Bear bows, but doesn’t often work on other bows.) Fletching-cable clearance was more than adequate. Arrow flight and accuracy were excellent from the first shot on.

I could say that Bear’s H13 Cams are surprisingly smooth for the speeds they generate, but the reality is that they are just plain smooth, period. The feel is only slightly aggressive, but there is no sense of stacking. The climb to peak weight is even, with no bumps or sudden arm-wrenching letoffs at the break-over. The valley is wide enough, the 75 percent letoff comfortable, with no worry about the tendency to “grab” that is common in some faster bows. The bow holds very steady at full draw, and draw stops assures a solid back wall. The shot itself feels a little more aggressive than the draw; the bow pops forward sharply in the hand (that never bothers me assuming no torque), and there is a slight “tuning fork” sensation after the shot. I did experience an occasional tendency at first for the string to make a slight contact with my wrist guard. A slight adjustment in grip resolved the issue.

In terms of noise levels, the Motive 6 is not Bear’s quietest current bow, but is surprisingly quiet for its speed. By the standards of only a few years ago, it is a very quiet bow.

Arguably Bear’s best bow to date, it’s hard to imagine that a bowhunter seeking a reasonably quiet, forgiving hunting bow that approaches that mythical optimum blend of speed and a smooth draw cycle would be disappointed with the Motive 6.

Bear Motive 6

BEAR MOTIVE 6 SPECS

Letoff:.................................................... 75%

Brace height:...................................... 6 inches

Weight: ................................................. 4 pounds

Axle-To-Axle Length:.................... 32 inches

Speed: ................................................... 328 fps

Draw Lengths:.................................... 27 to 30 inches

Draw Weight:...................................... 50, 60, 70

Options: ............................................... overmolded or side-panel grips; Realtree APG, Shadow Series, AP Snow, Red/Black, Green/Black

Suggested Retail: .......................... $900

OBJECTIVE TESTS (30 Inches Draw)

Peak Hold  (Pounds)*:................... 70

Weight, Full Draw (Pounds)*:... 15

Arrow Weight: .................................. 385 grains........ 500 grains

Arrow @ 70 Pounds*: .................. 325 fps.............. 289 fps

Arrow  @ 60 Pounds*:.................. 297 fps.............. 264 fps

K.E. @ 70 Pounds*:......................... 90.32 ft. lbs..... 92.75 ft. lbs.

K.E. @ 60 Pounds*:......................... 75.43 ft. lbs..... 77.40 ft. lbs.

Sound Level (dBA) @ 60 Pounds:......................... 68....59

* Rounded to nearest half-pound.

 


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