Motiv Tank Rampage Pearl Bowling Ball Review

First Impressions
With the constant barrage of urethane and urethane like balls in modern times including now the PBA controversy, I feel like the Tank Rampage Pearl legitimately offers something different.

Tamer Elbaga (Lefty)
Style: Tweener
RPM: 330 rpm
PAP: 5 & 3/8 up
Average Speed: 18.5 mph (at release)
Axis tilt: low
Axis rotation: medium/high
Test Equipment: 14 Pounds
Layout: 4 x 35

Bryan Hoffman (Righty)
Style: Stroker
RPM: 280 rpm
PAP: 4 1/2 & 1 1/2 up
Average Speed: 18.5 mph (at release)
Axis tilt: high
Axis rotation: medium
Test Equipment: 14 Pounds
Layout: 5 x 40

Tyler Church (Righty)
Style: Power Player
RPM: 450 rpm
PAP: 5 1/2 & 1/2 up
Average Speed: 19 mph (at release)
Axis tilt: med
Axis rotation: medium
Test Equipment: 14 Pounds
Layout: 5 x 45

“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: 42ft, 23ml
Sport: TBD

The Motiv Tank Rampage Pearl uses the Gear V2 symmetric core inside the Frixion M6 MCP Pearl coverstock.

15 pound = RG of 2.55 diff of .020
14 pound = RG of 2.56, diff of .020
Coverstock finish: 1000 grit LSS

Getting right into, it’s rare in my opinion that brands marketing lingo really matches what we see but I have to say Motiv got this one spot on and I’ll try to explain what they mean in a more nuanced way. We have another MCP cover, this one a pearl. They bring back the Gear V2 core from the original Rampage which is a higher RG and lower diff from the Gear core in the Venom Shock. Motiv says distinctive urethane motion. Fair. They describe it as aggressive yet smooth. This is absolutely true and I want to explain that more. You see how it reacted very sharply in the friction the first couple of shots. Obviously I moved further in and ultimately see the smooth urethane like reaction. But the main characteristic here is that the ball seems to respond hard or aggressively to friction and then has the smooth urethane reaction down lane. So as I move I experiment to understand what this ball is about. As you can see, if I move in and don’t use the heavy friction it never really does anything as is typical with urethane type reaction. So I need to get in but still project it to friction. However, it gets a little tricky finding the spot to play because of how hard it responds to the friction. I’ll find it where I throw a couple of perfect shots and then if I eek it to the friction a foot earlier and it jumps. That hard response to friction is a unique characteristic. Most urethane responds or stops in friction but this hard. It’s usually smoother. But that is what makes it unique and I think could be a really interesting piece on a more tapered or flatter shot as opposed to this heavily walled pattern. Additionally, Motiv says it resists lane shine and I can also confirm that seems to be the case. It still looked pretty dull after about 10 games.

Power Player’s Perspective
Tyler is up next. A lot of what I said applies to Tyler as well because the Rampage Pearl has a specific set of characteristics. The Rampage Pearl responds hard to early friction as Motiv advertises and has the smooth downlane shape. Trouble is if you get it into the friction early it transitions hard and then can’t keep it right of the headpin. If you don’t use any friction, it looks very smooth because it doesn’t do much. While Tyler can make it hook a bit more than a lower rev bowler, even he can’t quite get the thing going enough to roll well when not using the friction. So 1, you need friction. 2, it responds hard to friction. 3, it is smooth/slow down lane. This made it hard on this walled up shot to get lined up. Tyler needed to set himself left to right with his feet and then find the right distance to hit the friction wall. Otherwise, it’s too hard or too soft. It’s an interesting ball reaction but really too tricky for a walled house shot. It may work way easier on a more tapered or flatter pattern. But you have to keep this in mind how the ball reacts so you choose it at the right time. The other thing I like so far is that it resists lane shine which keeps it reacting the way it should longer.

Stroker’s Stance
Bryan is up next. You can see how fast the Tank Rampage Pearl reacts to friction. We talked about it now in the previous parts so check those out but basically the Rampage Pearl with it’s MCP formula responds aggressively to friction while maintaining that smoother downlane reaction. So far for Tyler and I, that aggressive response made it tricky to find a good line to the pocket that wasn’t over/under. For Bryan, the tide turns. Because of his roll and tilt, the ball responds a little slower and more smoothly to the friction. That immediately meant the ball looked better for him on this walled house shot. I still don’t think house shots and urethane reaction are a great match especially how the pattern is affected but this really looked pretty reasonable. Of course if he doesn’t get to the friction, he sees the same issue we have which is that the ball does pretty much nothing. Just floats. But if he tickles the friction, he has a nice reaction. Of course there are the obligatory 10 pin leaves here and there but the shape looks good. Again, I feel like a tapered shot might make the Rampage Pearl look much better since there is no left to right wall of oil causing dramatically different ball reactions.

Final Thoughts
Just to round this out, the Motiv Tank Rampage Pearl is a urethane like shape which not only responds early but aggressively to friction. That means it has a quicker hook phase and then longer roll. So in friction, it looks aggressive midlane and smooth downlane. In oil, it does pretty much what every urethane like ball does, nothing. It does seem to resist lane shine. It’ll offer something I believe more versatile than the YellowJacket which is an even earlier stronger overall motion, requiring more condition specific environment. My initial thought is neither is ideal for a walled up shot but likely better when the pattern is more tapered or flat. This offers a unique shape in the urethane-like group.

Alright this video is intended to give you a quick comparison between the Motiv Tank Rampage Pearl, Hammer Not Hammer, Purple Hammer, and the Storm IQ Tour 78U. We recently released the Rampage Pearl video and the key characteristic is that it responds hard to friction and is slow like urethane downlane. That hard response makes it a little more like a V shape as opposed to a banana. It resists lane shine so maintained it’s surface at least throughout the testing sessions with no adjustments. All I’m trying to do is find the right part of the friction to put the edge of the V.
Now let’s look at it next to the Storm IQ Tour 78U first. If you watched my previous video you’ll note that this ball lane shined like crazy in just a few games. So here I hit it to bring the grit down closer to 500 to get a little longer lasting grit and get that hard cover started. You’ll see it’s a touch deeper than the Rampage Pearl but also quite a bit smoother with a more traditional urethane round shape. I think the 78U with some surface will play a bit more like a traditional urethane shape but meeting the hardness requirements of the PBA.
Next I compare to the Purple Hammer which is a softer urethane. Here it’s a little less ball but the much more traditional round motion. I have to say that to my eye, I still really like what the Purple Hammer has to offer. It’s a little easier to use on this walled house shot since it reacts early but more smoothly than the Rampage Pearl to friction.
Finally here’s a quick look compared to the Hammer Not Urethane. Now unlike the Rampage Pearl and the Purple Hammer the NU lane shines very quickly, like the IQ Tour 78U. Annoyingly so to be honest. So you see the first few shots after previous test with now a lane shined surface. I hit it with 1000 grit to continue the comparison. The NU is almost polar opposite of the Rampage Pearl. It behaves like reactive almost in the early part of the lane so not really very early but also has a little more backend, despite being fairly round. You may perceive less backend because of how early the Rampage Tank goes. So NU feels like a reactive through the front but a touch more than urethane smoothness down lane. It’s probably the ball that will be easiest of the bunch to use on house with the Purple Hammer being second. Hammer won out this battle for me on house. To be fair, my Purple also wins out on sport patterns.

Tyler Comparison
Alright, now let’s look at Tyler’s ccmparison. As mentioned in the original Rampage Pearl review, Tyler sees the same kind of reaction out of the Motiv piece. Hard response to friction, pushing him in and having to get it out to early friction. Downlane friction or in and the Rampage does nothing just like every other urethane type ball out there.
Now let’s have a look at 3 other balls for comparison. First, we have the Hammer Not Urethane. You can see that it doesn’t react as hard to the wall friction. Overall it’s longer and rounder overall. It has capability to have a bit more downlane motion but it lane shines insanely fast. We hit the surface after seeing it seem so lazy, to the point that the ball reaction is quite different 1 game into use. Rampage Pearl and NU are vastly different ball reactions as you can see.
Next is the Purple and you see a similar rounder shape to NU but a little earlier and doesn’t really change surface finish much over time. This is more normal urethane shape and while it can react early as well, it walks smoothly. Doesn’t turn over super quick in friction. It may react early but it does so smoothly so the walk to the pins is very predictable. For Tyler, urethane is still not ideal for house shots regardless of the ball.
However, as he pulls out the IQ 78U, we see a bit of a different story. Here, the harder cover gives it a very traditional urethane look. We had to surface this to at least 500 because it lane shines extremely fast and it does need something to balance out the hardness. However, it’s very smooth and very predictable. So it was easy for Tyler to just find the line without worrying about where to exit the oil into the friction wall. Very different reaction from the Rampage Pearl. So just as for me, the 4 balls offer 4 pretty different ball reactions. For Tyler, the Storm 78U took a very clear win on this house shot.

Bryan Comparison
Quick recap, the Tank Rampage Pearl looked better for Bryan than Tyler and I. While Tyler and I saw that aggressive move off the friction, Bryan’s reaction was strong but way smoother which allowed to ball to be more easily playable without having to mess around too much with whether you get to the friction at 30, 40, or 45 feet.
So on the the Hammer NU. As mentioned, the NU lane shines so quickly, it’s frustrating. It looks so good for a game and then the ball reaction changes enough that it becomes quite noticeable. The first few shots were the ball from last use so we had to hit it with 1000 to bring it back to life. Once we do, you see a cleaner longer look which makes it actually look a little smoother. It doesn’t do a kind of skid/stop to friction. It looks a little more reactive-like with it’s later response but also isn’t jumpy at the end of the pattern, rather more like urethane. Feels weaker overall than the Rampage Pearl.
Next is the Purple Hammer which clearly is a more modern traditional urethane shape. It is early but super smooth and arcy. It’s is a decent amount weaker than the Rampage Pearl. Looks even worse when missing in but on line, you can see how smooth and walking it looks. But it really wasn’t hard for Bryan to quickly get lined up with it, no real tricks. Very predictable.
Finally he has the IQ 78U. So this was different for him. Again it’s somewhere in the 500 grit range. But we really wanted to see the 78U with more surface given how hard the cover is and get some read. We’ve seen it get long and weak as the cover lane shined in a couple of games. With Bryan’s slower speed, the 78U took off with surface. Just read so early. He needed to move in a bit away from the friction making it similar strength to the Rampage. However, nowhere near the same amount of forgiveness since it may start up quickly to friction, it’s still way rounder so when he opened up to give it room, it didn’t have the same punch as the Tank Rampage Pearl. So the winner for Bryan would be the Tank Rampage Pearl as a slight edge over the Purple Hammer.

Ultimately, you can see that all 4 balls offer something quite different. Next point is that all of them are more likely to look better on flatter patterns. NU and Purple have a better shot at looking decent on walled up house shots. Finally, the Tank Rampage Pearl offers something interesting that could be a nice ticket on flat patterns that may have a little more volume or for a bowler with more tilt that allows the ball to more smoothly react to friction.

Thanks for watching.