If there is one thing the electric motorcycle business needs in a big way it is style. That may be on the way as a new player joins the electric bike field – Curtiss Motorcycles. While the name is new the company is not. Confederate Motorcycle – one of the remaining big names in the boutique custom industry – is exiting stage left and re-entering as Curtiss Motorcycle Company.
With the move Confederate isn’t stating that the age of the big American v-twin custom bike has passed but it is sadly evident that the glory days of the segment are gone along with names like American IronHorse, Big Dog, OCC and others. Through tough times Confederate persevered and sold 1300 of the company’s bikes. The designs were so outside the boundaries of what any other company was doing they almost deserved their own category but the bond that held them together was the big gas powered combustion engine. Under the new name the pulsing twin is going to be replaced with the near silent whirr of an electric power plant reportedly with the technical assistance of Zero Motorcycles – the purveyors of electric police motorcycles.
Is electric the correct direction? Your guess is as good as mine but that segment of the motorcycle business can only grow. For rolling art rather than the eating up countless highway miles, electric does fit the bill. If the business model continues along the model of building stunning bikes for the short haul, Curtiss Motorcycle can only bring much needed attention to the electric bike segment and more importantly make the bikes desirable for more than their environmental friendliness.
So why Curtiss? Glenn Curtiss held the land speed record for any vehicle back in 1907 by achieving 134 mph with a V8 motorcycle he built. While extensively involved in motorcycling, he was most widely known for his innovations and pioneering role in the aviation industry. For more about Glenn Curtis visit his museum’s website.
Should you be inclined to own the last of the Confederate Motorcycles, the company’s website states there are 5 Confederate FA-13 Combat Bomber models remaining. The official opening of the Curtiss Motorcycle Company is scheduled for spring 2018.