Motiv Iron Forge Bowling Ball Review

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First Impressions
The Motiv Iron Forge left a really good first impression. Looks like a potential house shot beauty and I expect it to be good on sport as well.

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Tamer Elbaga (Lefty)
Style: Tweener
RPM: 375 rpm
PAP: 5 & 3/8 up
Average Speed: 18.5 mph (at release)
Axis tilt: 12
Axis rotation: medium
Test Equipment: 14 Pounds
Layout: 5 x 45

Sean Jensen (Righty)
Style: Power player
RPM: 475 rpm
PAP: 5 1/2 & 1/4 up
Average Speed: 18.5 mph (at release)
Axis tilt: 8
Axis rotation: medium
Test Equipment: 15 Pounds
Layout: 5 x 50

Bryan Hoffman(Righty)
Style: Power player
RPM: 280 rpm
PAP: 4 1/8 & 1 1/4 up
Average Speed: 18.5 mph (at release)
Axis tilt: high
Axis rotation: medium
Test Equipment: 15 Pounds
Layout: 5 x 50

“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.”

THS: 40ft, 23ml
Sport: TBD

The Motiv Iron Forge uses the Detonator core inside the Infusion MVP Pearl coverstock.

15 pound = RG of 2.47, diff of .055
14 pound = RG of 2.49, diff of .054
Coverstock finish: 5000 grit LSP

Right out of the gate, I’m feeling good with the Iron Forge as I struck a ton. Direct, open, no problem. What’s this thing about? Well you have a clean pearl cover surrounding the heavy rolly core. What did we expect? These formulas tend to slot in certain areas but hard to say with absolute certainty until throwing it. I mentioned Mid Defined as a potential slot. I also mentioned the 900 Global Zen as a potential comparator. You could wonder how it rolls compared to the Trident Horizon and maybe the United Revolt. As you would expect Motiv and Storm balls roll differently but they could slot in the same spot in the arsenal.

Let’s get into the ball reaction and then come back to comparisons. As you would expect, the Iron Forge gets downlane reasonably well as it is a cleaner cover. Motiv covers rarely look like they will go 60 feet which I kind of like. The core definitely looks like the big heavy rolling core you expect. So from direct, I got a nice blend of cover length with core turnover which hit really well. As I edged in frame by frame, the shape continued to look good. The rolly core doesn’t make this piece look skid/flip as say compared to the quicker looking Ripcord Velocity. The Iron Forge looks to have a controlled boom. Not slow per se but very predictable. The big benefit I saw which I think makes it a huge benefit for me on house shots is the fact that the big core meant that when missing in to the oil, it still actually hit. These walled house shots put out everywhere have lots of friction to the outside to bring balls back and lots of oil in the middle to keep balls on line. Sometimes balls that are strong which require you to open up your angles to find pocket from outside means that when you tug it in, you get either flat corners or worse yet buckets. With this ball, my eyes were wide open as it just hit so well from in. That opened up the pattern so much for me. Basically I had room in and out. This is somewhere in the Mid Defined or Mid Control land for me in terms of arsenal fit. Let me explain more with a comparison.

Ok so on to comparisons, the only thing that comes close to compare in the current lineup is the Trident Horizon. The Horizon is earlier and rounder. It begs the question which of these balls is the better fit in the Mid Defined. I want to say I feel like the Horizon is a more natural fit there but then that could slot the Iron Forge into the Mid Control. Come to think of it, I put the 900 Global Zen in the Mid Control slot. A Pearl? Yes, no problem. It’s more about what the ball does, how it reacts and how often you are likely able to use it in the middle of the arsenal. If you like the Venom Shock in your mid control, then this could be a Mid Defined or Mid Control +. You could have the Motiv Pride in the Mid Control as well.

Final Thoughts
So do we have confusion? It really depends. Honestly, every manufacturer puts out more balls than a 5 ball plus spare arsenal so you have to make some choices. The great thing about the Iron Forge is it appears to be a pretty versatile piece that you can distinguish from everything else in the current Motiv lineup.

Iron Forge vs Ripcord Velocity
Alright, we will have a look at how the Iron Forge and Ripcord Velocity compare. Both balls have the Infusion MVP Pearl with the same 5500 LSP finish so we have to expect the difference is in the core. This is actually a very good example to demonstrate how surface contact is 70% of the ball reaction. The balls are distinguishable though since there is still 30% of the reaction available to manipulate. So with the cores, the Detonator is 2.49 and .054 diff. The Oblivion core is 2.54 and .048. So theoretically the Detonator is earlier and stronger and that bares out. From direct, they don’t look very different to be honest. At the end of the day, you’ll see that the Ripcord Velocity is a touch thinner in reaction. That’s my way of describing a later skid/flip type of reaction. They go about the same length but there is a perceived earlier move from the Iron Forge because the core is transitioning sooner than the Velocity which creates a bit of a smoother heavier roll. The tell tale giveaway of this is misses in. When I miss in with the Velocity, I get soft hit, sometimes carrying the corner but many times not or even leaving bucket type stuff. The Iron Forge on the other end never left a bucket and carried the 7 most of the time. It not only makes it a couple of boards stronger but a bit more consistent to aid a house shot bowler on the type of conditions you see. In other words it blends the cliff better and in the end that’s worth its weight in gold. Now that means the Ripcord Velocity clearly sits further down in the arsenal even with the same coverstock.

The 2 hand comparison also shows a very similar difference. The Velocity being weaker actually gave more error room because I am a rev dominant 2-hander. So I can make the ball go side to side but was able to take advantage of the fact that the Velocity core transitioned later than the Iron Forge. So the Iron Forge is definitely stronger which meant being even deeper. The Velocity gave me more room out because of the flippiness and in because it sits while the rev rate helps the core drive. So ultimately it really depends on the bowler style and the conditions.

Hope that helps. Thanks for watching and see you soon in our next video.

The Power Player’s Perspective

The Stroker’s Perspective
Bryan tests the Motiv Iron Forge. Now for context, the Original Forge is the Strong Control piece in his arsenal. It works extremely well for him and despite being almost 2 years old. So the thought was it would be fantastic to have a similar shape but a little later reacting. However, things don’t always work out as you would expect. Unfortunately, this was a very difficult matchup for the house pattern for Bryan. Yes the Iron Forge had length but was surprisingly inconsistent in terms of response downlane. He had the tighter line which worked , kind of like the frozen rope look. But he really couldn’t belly the ball and get it to come back with any consistency. He tried to push it into the friction to get a stronger response but it responded too slow, probably a bit too strong. If he moved right to be a little more direct it was obvious the Iron Forge was too strong from there. Just for context, here’s the original Forge and you can immediately see the midlane control and movement which meant a good strong hit. This tells me the Iron Forge is way down the arsenal for Bryan. It will need to see an average lower volume but kind of feels like it might be a bit condition specific. By contrast, the Iron Forge works great for me, kills the house shot while staying in my bag in the mid late slot for sport shots. It was a bit of a surprise to see how finnicky it was for Bryan. All can speculate is that for this core to work with Bryan’s tilt, it requires some midlane read which is offered in the original Forge but not as much with the Iron Forge.

Sport Shot