Bowler Ratings


Bowler ratings are from 1 to 10 in order of Stroker (ST), Tweener (TW), Cranker (CR)

General Info

Name:Cruel C51
Reviewed:September 2010
Coverstock Specs
Name:Formula-5 Reactive Hybrid
Type:Reactive Hybrid
Box Finish:2000 Grit Wet Sand
Color:Solid Black / Smoke Pearl
Core Specs
Int. Diff:0.030

For details on our standard test layouts, please click here.

The Cruel C51 is the latest high performance release from Motiv. This new ball features the Cruel core, which is the first asymmetric core Motiv has ever designed. The mass bias differential of the Cruel core is an astounding 0.030″. The 2.48″ RG and 0.060″ differential, combined with the extremely large mass bias strength, make this one of the strongest core designs we have seen in recent years. Along with using the strongest core design they have every produced, Motiv wrapped the Cruel in their newly designed Formula-5 Reactive Hybrid cover, which is also the most aggressive cover they have ever produced. Now that all of the core and cover talk is out of the way, let’s talk about performance.

When we looked at the stats of this ball, we thought that the Cruel was just going to go crazy as it went down the lane. We were pleasantly surprised at how well this new high performance release matched up with our medium test pattern. The 2000 grit wet sand finish gave us moderate length, while the core kicked in through the midlane, giving each tester a superb read of the mids. We found the Cruel to be equally aggressive as it transitioned from the midlane to the breakpoint. From the breakpoint to the pins, the Cruel gave us ultimate control of the pocket. The control we experienced after the breakpoint was most likely due to the moderately aggressive layouts we used. They gave us the impressive midlane reaction, using just enough energy to create control downlane.

Moving over to the oily test pattern, each tester found the Cruel to handle the longer oil pattern fairly well. They were all able to find the pocket on this pattern with ease. Cranker and Tweener had an easier time carrying the corners than Stroker did, due to their higher rev rates. Those with lower rev rates may want to scuff the cover slightly if they bowl exclusively on higher volume patterns.

We don’t know if this ball can be drilled weak enough for drier lane conditions. The cover will polish easily enough to handle medium-dry patterns, but the core numbers are so strong that even high RG/low differential layouts will create a rather strong reaction.

The Cruel will match up best with medium-oily and oily sport patterns. Choose the correct layout to go with the length and volume of the oil pattern and this ball should be a winner.

Performance Ratings

The Cruel is strongest in the midlane due to the extremely high mass bias strength. The superb read of the mids allows for a strong arcing transition at the breakpoint.
The factory finish of the Cruel allows it to handle any medium pattern, along with some oily patterns, as well. Those who need more traction in the oil can achieve it by hitting the shell with rougher grits.
Back End15.5
Due to the extremely strong midlane reaction, we found the Cruel to create a strong arcing motion at the back end. Polishing will allow it to store more energy for the breakpoint and back end.
Total Hook51
The overall hook potential of the Cruel is high, but not so much that it is limited to oily lane conditions. We were rather surprised that it matched up best with our medium test pattern.


The extremely strong midlane reaction of the Cruel is hard to miss as it rolls down the lane. Those needing help in this part of the lane will really like this new Motiv release.


Be careful with an aggressive drillings on this new release. The core dynamics are so strong that maxing this ball out could cause the Cruel to use up every bit of its energy before it even gets to the pins.

Overall Summary

The Cruel is the first ball to offer an asymmetric core from Motiv. The core is maxed out in almost every aspect. We don’t believe that there is a stronger asymmetric core design currently on the market.

The BTM Ball Testing Team

About The BTM Ball Testing Team

The BTM Ball Testing Team is led by Eric Martinez. Our team of three testers has thrown and reviewed hundreds of bowling balls for Bowling This Month. When not testing balls for BTM, Eric owns and operates University Pro Shop in San Antonio, TX and he is an avid competitive bowler. Click here to learn more about how we test and review bowling balls.