Motiv Alpha Jackal Bowling Ball

Motiv Alpha Jackal Bowling Ball Review

This is the Alpha Dog…

Motiv Alpha Jackal Bowling Ball
Motiv Alpha Jackal Bowling Ball Layout

First Impressions
As we expect, this is a strong piece that digs in and still gives the familiar Jackal roll.

Tamer Elbaga (Lefty)
Style: Tweener
RPM: 375 rpm
PAP: 5 & 3/8 up
Average Speed: 18.5 mph (at release)
Axis tilt: low
Axis rotation: medium/high
Test Equipment: 15 Pounds
Layout: 65 x 5 x 40
Intent: Medium/long roll with a medium transition at the breakpoint

Our Testers:
Cody Shoemaker (Righty)
Style: Power player
RPM: 435 rpm
PAP: 4 5/8; 5/8 up
Average Speed: 18.5 mph (at release)
Axis tilt: 12
Axis rotation: 60
Test Equipment: 15 Pounds
Layout: 45 x 5 x 50
Intent: Medium roll with a medium transition at the breakpoint

Bryan Hoffman (Righty)
Style: Higher Tilt Stroker
RPM: 280 rpm
PAP: 4 1/4 & 1/8 down
Average Speed: 17.5 mph (at release)
Axis tilt: high
Axis rotation: medium
Test Equipment: 15 Pounds
Layout: 65 x 4.5 x 35
Intent: Medium roll with a slow transition at the breakpoint

“Keep in mind that coverstock accounts for 70% of ball reaction, but the core creates the dynamic shape of the reaction. Your driller will alter the shape to suit your game.”

Test Pattern:
THS: 40ft, 23ml
Sport: 2019 Scorpion 42ft, 30.55 ml, 2.12:1 ratio

The Alpha Jackal has top tier pricing and offers reasonable value.


The Motiv Alpha Jackal uses the Predator™ V2 asymmetrical core inside the Coercion™ HV3 Solid Reactive coverstock.

15 pound = RG of 2.47, diff of .054, mb of .015
14 pound = RG of 2.51, diff of .049, mb of .014
Coverstock finish: 2000 grit LSS

Sport: B

Motiv continues using the Predator core which has a very well known motion, with the Jackal Ghost reaching venerable status. That ball has a blend of strength, usability and versatility that is rare. I’m not going to gush about the Ghost here but there is the inevitable comparison. Motiv is clearly looking for even more traction by adding this HV3 version of the Coercion cover from the Abyss. What I can say is this ball feels very different to the Abyss. While the Alpha offers the same amount of traction obviously with it’s identical coverstock and finish, the Predator core seems to give this ball more usable shape downlane. I always test on our standard house shot to give you an idea of what you might see on a more typical shot. And while the Abyss seemed to overwhelm the pattern, the Alpha felt strong and heavy rolling but more usable on house. While they offered the same length, the Predator makes the corner. It seems to be a bit more aggressive off the end of the pattern.

More direct around the 3rd arrow, you can see the ball has a nice smooth shape. There’s a nice blend of midlane read and smooth transition that still has some giddyup. It can be a little much from there. As I start to chase in, you can see it comes even more into its own. Missing out wasn’t the most forgiving as you would expect the ball is bleeding energy. Missing in shows you how strong the ball is as it will not hold. When I hit up on it, it won’t hold either. I think it is capable of generating more angle even but my limitations on this day puts an end to that. Going even more direct to show you how it looks if you are using less rotation, I play up the second arrow and it looks pretty good there. If I go any further outside the 2nd arrow, I’d have to amp up the speed to manage the hook off the friction.

Bryan is next. When we tested the Trident Abyss, he had the best look of all the testers, managing the strength of the ball better than the rest of us on house. The delta between Bryan and I wasn’t as big with the Alpha Jackal as we both saw pretty good and manageable motion on house. Bryan saw a little more shape off the end of the pattern with the Alpha. With Bryan’s style of higher rotation and tilt, he was able to manage to find good effectiveness between the 2nd and 3rd arrow with good drive. As with any ball, keep in mind your style along with what you bowl on will dictate the ball motion for you. This is relative of course. For example, if you are closer to Bryan and you used more speed, you will see an even smoother shape downlane.

Sport Shot
We tested on the 42ft Scorpion pattern. I used the factory finish here given the 30ml of oil. These high volume medium patterns can offer lots of different variations. I tried this ball in 3 different zones to give you a flavor of the balls motion characteristics on this sport pattern. Let’s start with the more direct line. Many times the outside on these high volume flat patterns are no man’s land for me. Very over under for my game. Lots of 2 to 2 loads makes it unplayable sometimes. You can see the strength of the ball almost makes it playable. 11 to 7-8-9 was workable. Get it out beyond that and I was surprisingly not completely punished as it still tried to steam up hill. Miss in beyond 9 from there will not hold but you can’t expect to have the world on a flat pattern.

I move into the next zone and it’s not surprising it’s pretty tough to play. 12, 13, 14 to 9 or so and your just in the heart of the volume and there probably isn’t a ball around that could manage to chug back for me on fresh.

Now I move into 4th arrow and beyond. Would it surprise you if I thought wow? 20 to 10 and this ball just popped with strong backend. I’m in the flat part of the pattern. It’s 42ft so theoretically there’s plenty of boards for motion off the end of the pattern. Of course if you will play the flat part of the pattern, you better be splitting your targets front and back. However, I liked the ball motion and the “grip” off the pattern gave me confidence. I can argue perhaps a touch more grip than I really need from that far in but even when I thought I missed out a bit, that extra bite of surface allowed the ball to make it back. Bottom line is the Alpha had pretty good shape overall for me and seemed to be pretty happy in the heavier oil

Bryan is up next and this is an interesting contrast. With my style, I had stronger shape on the sport shot than the house shot. With Bryan, he had smoother shape on the sport shot and more downlane motion on the house shot. Let’s dig into why… Again, this is a high volume medium/long pattern. Outside can be tricky as mentioned previously. The ball can seem to float forever with the amount of 2 to 2s. Bryan’s style usually means less board coverage and tighter lines. Accuracy is the name of the game. This pattern turned out to be pretty tricky for Bryan. He felt like he needed to use a pretty direct line as the ball didn’t really pop off the end of the pattern like it did on house. At the same time, direct lines jumped. So he needed to be at about 10-11 at the breakpoint to get to the pocket which seems to match the pattern length -31 formula. He couldn’t go straight up 11 to 11 and 12 to 10 was very touchy coming in soft. Even at this volume, I believe the cover strength may have been a bit too much. It was too smooth bleeding off energy too early and becoming a bit too forward. If he was more direct or pointed it, the early move meant no hold. The Forge had a bit more shape storing more energy so a little belly didn’t feel detrimental.

Final Thoughts
The Alpha Jackal definitely goes to the top of the heap in the Motiv lineup. I’m not sure how long the Abyss will be around but I don’t see why you would need both. The Alpha also clearly adds something stronger when you need more chemical friction than the Ghost offers. I’ve used the Ghost plenty and it’s very versatile but sometimes you need more friction than high surface can provide. The nice thing is the Alpha still retains the Jackal core motion underneath that strong facade.