Confederate Motorcycles Is Changing its Name and Going Electric

The Alabama-based company thinks the future of bike performance is electric (and unaffiliated with the Civil War).

Confederate Mototcycles

Birmingham, Alabama-based Confederate Motorcycles is making some big changes. The company, which makes expensive, high-end V-twin cruisers, is teaming up with California-based Zero Motorcycles, one of the premier electric bikemakers in the business.

“We can’t go any further than this,” Confederate President Jefferson Davis Matt Chambers told the LA Times in reference to the $155,000 Confederate FA-13 Combat Bomber motorcycle. “We’ve hit the ceiling. This is it.” Chambers feels that his company has reached peak-internal combustion engine and needs to move in a different direction to keep advancing the company.

The Bomber is the latest in a line of premium, custom cruisers made by Confederate since 1991. It makes 150 horsepower and 165 lb-ft of torque with a mean look that makes a Harley look like a Vespa.

Chambers believes he can build something even crazier if he ditches traditional engines and goes electric. The new bike called Hercules still be a cruiser in the fashion of Confederate’s previous bikes but will pack a very different powertrain. He’s planning on making 175 horsepower and - wait for it - 290 lb-ft of torque using two Zero electric motors. For reference, the Suzuki Hayabusa only makes 114 lb-ft of torque and the electric Lightning LS-218 sportbike makes 168 lb-ft.

In addition to making a significant change in what powers the bikes, Confederate will be changing the name of their company for pretty obvious reasons. Chambers believes he has lost out on business and branding opportunities because of the name of his brand and with the civil unrest currently surrounding the sensitive issue of the memorializing the CSA, he thinks now is a good time to ditch the name. The new name is Curtiss Motorcycles named after early-20th-century bike builder and racer Glenn Curtiss. Glenn Curtiss famously set an unofficial motorcycle world speed record of 136.36 mph in 1907 on a 40 horsepower V-8 bike of his own design.