Motiv Octane Carbon Bowling Ball Review

This Octane Carbon Has Afterburners…

Motiv Octane Carbon Layout

Motiv Octane Carbon Layout

First Impressions
Even though we tried to slow this one down with layout, the Octane Carbon flips! At least for me, it has the sharpest flip I’ve experienced with any Motiv I’ve tested to date…

Our Testers:
Tamer Elbaga (Lefty)
RPM: 375 rpm
PAP: 5 & 3/8 up
Average Speed: 18 mph (at release)
Axis tilt: low
Axis rotation: medium
Test Equipment: 14 Pounds
Layout: 90 x 3 x 45

Greg Bickta (Righty)
Style: Cranker
RPM: 450 rpm
PAP: 5 & 1 up
Average Speed: 20 mph (at release)
Axis tilt: medium
Axis rotation: medium
Test Equipment: 15 Pounds
Layout: 80 x 5 x 70

Thanks to Greg Bickta and Perfect Aim Pro Shop for drilling our equipment.
Thanks to Hiester Lanes in Reading, PA.

“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:
41ft THS, 22ml

The Motiv Octane Carbon is mid priced bowling ball. I believe this ball will be immensely usable for many bowlers on your typical house conditions and therefore warrants a fairly high value score.

The Octane Carbon introduces a new dual density Injector core along with a new Agitator MXR (MaXimum energy Retention) Pearl Reactive cover stock.
15 pound = 2.56 RG and .042 diff
14 pound = 2.58 RG and .043 diff


As we have done with other Motiv pieces, we took a look at where they place it in their ball guide. You will notice they bumped the Venom Cobra over and placed the Octane Carbon as their most angular ball in the light/medium oil category. No doubt they got that right. While part of me was hoping again for a tame reaction from anything that comes on the market frankly, this ball really reacts the way Motiv predicted. It has that nice clean look and when it sees friction, it really makes a strong turn. Like I mentioned in my first impressions, this ball definitely makes a harder turn than any other Motiv ball I’ve personally tested. Not saying it’s the strongest ball, just a really snappy reaction off the dry. If I didn’t know better, I might have thought I was throwing a Storm ball the way it comes off the end of the pattern.

Starting with the lefty, I’m always wanting to start in the track and quickly come to the realization that I likely won’t be able to play there. The Octane Carbon is very punchy and we expected it coming in. Hence, we put a layout on to make it a bit smoother with a short pin to PAP distance and very big angles. Nevertheless, the ball was just sick off the dry. So bump in and there it is. The ball simply makes that turn and goes through the pins very nicely. Motiv has created a synergy with the core/cover combo. Once I moved right enough, I found a sweet spot going about 18-7. You can see in the video how nicely the balls goes through the pins.
When comparing to the Venom Cobra, they covered about the same boards but the Cobra is a bit smoother with a more rounded backend shape. Compared to the United Revolt, the United is clearly earlier and more rolly even though it’s still punchy downlane. The video shows you how they clearly separate in the midlane.

Go wide and the ball had excellent recovery with carry. Miss in and it skids to still make it to the pocket.

Greg is our second tester. He drilled the Octane Carbon 80 x 5 x 70 to really slow it down. This seemed to work quite well as he had a much more rounded shape especially down lane. The ball still had a nice move but decidedly smoother than my ball. Greg also found 18 to 7 to be just about ideal. But he felt comfortable he can get on it without it jumping through the face. He had easy length which is unquestionable as you will see throughout the video. Even in the shots that didn’t make the cut, there wasn’t one that nosed up.

Shots that didn’t make the cut
In the shots that don’t make the cut, you can see various reactions. Starting with myself, you will see that the ball had forgiveness both in and out. Both can lead to corner pins but kept me safe with big misses. On the other hand due to the aggressive reaction off the dry, if you hit dry boards to early, that thing just exploded and no way would you stay in the pocket. I occasionally have a “pitch out” and I really couldn’t do that with the Octane Carbon as it always came back. For Greg, with the length he was getting and his miss tendency being to get fast, the ball could blow through the breakpoint. If he had a stronger layout, my guess is he would have more forgiveness with outside misses. By the same token, he had a smoother overall motion which gave him miss room in the other direction.

Final Thoughts
Motiv has added a ball that for me firmly fits into the angular motion category. I like what Motiv is trying to do with their motion categorization. It makes it easy for a bowler to decide based on the shape they want to see. Up until now, I can say they have been fairly accurate representations but I never felt like Motiv had quite put out anything super reactive off the end of the pattern like you see with much of lightning rod brand. With this ball, they definitely did that. I actually didn’t mind at all that Motiv’s calling card was the smoother reaction off the dry but surely those who have been looking for some aggressive movement downlane will be thrilled with the new Octane Carbon. It looks great to boot! You have options when you trust the ball will make the move. I have come to absolutely love the Venom Cobra as the benchmark and I have a feeling this will be a great compliment for your THS.