By Ryan LaBar
One Ghost Industries Musashi
$2,300 (Frame with shock)
My first contact with One Ghost Industries came a while ago through a Facebook comment on a post for one of our stories here on bikemag.com. I looked more into the company based mostly on my fascination of its name. I found that the company offered a nice-looking downhill bike called the Musashi and had a booth at the somewhat-local Fontana, California, Winter Series races. A few months later, I found myself in Fontana to race one of the Super D events and stopped by the One Ghost booth. After chatting for a bit with the company's owner/designer, I lined up a Musashi up for testing.
I arranged to pick up–as well as get a bit of riding time in on–the bike in Laguna Beach due to its close proximity to the Bike and One Ghost offices, and its easy access downhill trails. Because the owner was out of town, the bike would be dropped off by one of One Ghost Industries team riders, Chris Calleros (and his brother who was kind enough to drive the shuttle truck all day). After a quick meet-and-greet, we were barreling down the trail.
The first thing I noticed with the bike was its suspension design. The Musashi's suspension linkage is a variation of a short, dual-swing link design--that One Ghost calls the Moto*GP Floating Suspension--in which, the shock floats between the upper and lower links. The axle path starts off in a rearward motion (before going mostly vertically), which on the track helps absorb square-edged hits and seems to provide some extra stability while landing jump or pushing through hard corners.
The suspension feel is smooth and linear during the first two-thirds of travel, easily muting breaking bumps and small-to-medium-sized hits. In the last third or so of travel the shock rate seems to be more progressive and soaks up bigger hits well without bottoming out the suspension. I'm still dialing in the Fox RC4 on the One Ghost for my riding style, but in its current settings, the bike feels better plowing over terrain than it does jumping over it.
The frame appears to be well put together and feels super stiff on jump landings and while holding a line through rocky sections. The geometry numbers on the Musashi are nothing out of the ordinary for a downhill racing bike, so there are no wildcards here.
So far the Musashi has been a riot to ride and I'm getting more and more confident and comfortable on it. I still have a few tweaks to make to my suspension, components and cockpit, but, as of yet, the bike feels like it'll be delivering some good, fast times.
Stay tuned to bikemag.com for a full review of the One Ghost Industries Musashi.