Motiv: Raptor Talon

by Bob Johnson 0

57 Hook 12 Length 15.5 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “The Raptor Talon is a very aggressive weapon built to provide a smooth and incredibly strong ball motion on fresh, heavy oil,” says Motiv designer Scott Hewitt. “This powerful motion is generated by the proven Predator asymmetric core and new Fusion Solid Reactive Cover. The low RG core and new cover technology allow the Raptor Talon to dig into the heavy oil pattern slightly earlier, but retain energy for an explosive finish.”

Core Design: The Raptor Talon’s Predator asymmetric core has a low 2.46 RG for fast and easy revs. The differential is .060 and the Preferred Spin Axis .015 to help bowlers achieve their desired breakpoint shape. We also saw nearly 7 inches of widely spaced track flare with our 60x4x30 P3 and 45x4x60 dual-angle drilling layouts.

Coverstock: Motiv’s third generation of coverstocks has been getting rave reviews for the enhanced motion range and superb pin carry. The new Fusion solid joins the party as one of the best out there for medium-heavy to heavier oil volumes. Coloring is a manly blend of grey and black for this 2000-grit oil monger. Response time off drier areas is quick and oil traction is well above average. The Ra reading is 9.50 with factory finish.

Test Results: The new Talon joins the 2Cruel (August 2012) and Primal Scream (October 2012) in Motiv’s heavy oil category. This edition provides the earliest motion of the three and our testing showed it was also the strongest in total hook. The combination of core and cover easily reads the midlane and finishes with a strong arcing motion off drier boards. For added length and flip, the Primal Scream and 2Cruel are better options. The Talon will match up best for speed-dominant players and/or those looking for a smoother breakpoint option on the heavy stuff.

When to Use: Besides being a great option on heavy oil, the new Talon also plays well on severe wet/dry side-to-side ratios which are commonplace on many typical house shots. The fast-revving core keeps the breakpoint shape controllable and smooth, regardless of layout choice. In fact, our pin above the fingers and pin below the fingers rolled very similarly in oil and off drier boards. When tested on heavy oil carrydown, the Talon performed very well, providing the midlane wasn’t fried.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.