By Wade Thiel
V8 Mimicry Harkens Back to Early Models
Curtiss Motorcycles, formerly Confederate Motorcycles, now has a new version of its Zeus electric motorcycle called the Radial V8. Why? Because the battery cells look a lot like the V8 engine built by Glenn Curtiss, which is where the company got its name.
The bike is a striking design. There’s nothing extra on it. It’s a skeletal reminder that simplicity can be a smart quality for motorcycle design. The battery pack is made up of eight cylindrical stacks of cells that are flared. It gives the futuristic-looking motorcycle a somewhat familiar old school element.
Curtiss’s motorcycle has a 16.8 kWh battery capacity. That makes the bike good for an estimated range of 280 miles. The company worked with Zero Motorcycles for the electric motor. It makes 217 horsepower and 147 lb-ft of torque, which is a serious amount of power.
The bike should debut in 2020 and will cost about $75,000. Curtiss has a history of selling expensive machines, so I’m sure the company will find buyers.
I’ve said before that I think it’s far too much. I think the whole Zeus design from Curtiss is generally ugly and too futuristic, but styling is subjective and I’m probably just mad I don’t have $75,000 to blow on an overpriced motorcycle. One thing is for sure, though, this design is way better than the previous prototypes the company created. Still, better doesn’t mean good.
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