Fischer nailed the elusive aggressive-yet-playful blend in the Motive 86. Its large, rockered tip absorbed rough terrain, provided easy steering in trees and bumps, and hooked into groomed snow easily if the rider kept his weight forward. Get backseat and the tip struggles to engage, but keep shins on boot fronts and you’ll enjoy “deep, hand-dragging arcs.” For the balanced, athletic all-mountain skier, it’s a fun, undemanding ski capable of handling all sorts of terrain.
The Motive 86 is the widest ski in Fischer's All-Mountain collection - and the only one with metal reinforcement (two sheets of 0.5 mm-thick Titanal). The metal reinforcement gives it heft, integrity and high-speed calm, while the wider waist gives it a measure of soft-snow versatility. Fischer positions the 86 as an expert-level ski designed to spend equal time on and off the trail.
The Motive series is Fischer's largest-selling and most mainstream collection, with five models of frontside-generalist skis ranging in waist widths from 86 mm down to 74 mm. Prices range from $900 MSRP down to $550, with "street" prices ranging from $750 down to $400 in many shops. Fischer's All-Mountain Rocker is employed throughout the line - moderate early rise in the tip only - to absorb terrain shocks and ease turn initiation. All models (except the value-oriented Motive 74 and Motive X) are wood-core laminate constructions with full-length sidewalls. Wood is used for durability and responsiveness; full sidewalls for optimized edge grip and solidity underfoot. (The sidewalls are angled - less edgy than vertical sidewalls and more resistant to damage caused by the opposite ski's edge.) All Motive models, except the widest (Motive 86), are system skis, sold with Fischer brand bindings (manufactured by Tyrolia).
Family-owned Fischer Skis is based in Reid, Austria, where all its skis (and many of those of other brands) are built. Fischer says its factory in Reid is the second largest manufacturer of skis in the world.