Piezoelectric inertia motors, also known as stick–slip drives or (smooth) impact drives, use the inertia of a body to drive it by a friction contact in small steps, in the majority of motors composed of a stick phase and a slip phase between the friction partners. For optimizing inertia motors, it is important to understand the friction contact correctly and to measure its properties appropriately. This contribution presents experimental set-ups for measuring the contact force, friction force and relative displacement in an actual inertia motor with a dry friction contact and numerical simulations of the motor operation. The motor uses a pre-stressed multilayer actuator with a displacement in the range of 20 µm. It is shown that a previously postulated condition for the applicability of simple kinetic friction models is well fulfilled for the investigated motor. The friction contact in the motor is simulated using different kinetic friction models. The input for the friction models is the measured motion of the rod. The models qualitatively reproduce the measured motion but show quantitative deviations varying with frequency. These can be explained by vibrations of the driving rod that are experimentally investigated.