Confederate Motors, venerable breaker of moulds, designer of motorcycles or more aptly crafter of rideable art, is going out on high.
Back in August 2017, the marque announced that it was morphing into a new brand; Curtiss Motorcycle Co. . This comes after 26 years or so in the guise of Confederate Motors and after building around 1,300, exquisitely designed motorcycles, including the G1, G2 & G3 Hellcat, Hellcat F131, Wraith and P51 – each painstakingly handcrafted to perfection.
MARKING THE OCCASION
To celebrate the change in direction, Confederate Motors has produced an incredibly limited run of just thirteen motorcycles, named the R-Code FA-13 Combat Bomber, one of which you see here.
FA-13 COMBAT BOMBER
– MORE POWERFUL THAN ANYTHING EVER BUILT BY CONFEDERATE
The FA-13 is the most powerful bike that Confederate has ever built. It’s powered by a big-block-American V-Twin that produces 143bhp. With its aggressive stance, stealth-matte anodised parts and contrasting tan horsehide seat, it’s also arguably the most beautifully finished motorcycle Confederate has ever built.
The previous limited run of the Combat 61 Collection of the P51 Fighters sold out quite rapidly and the FA-13 is expected to do so too.
There are now just five FA-13s left [at the time of writing], so you still have the opportunity to purchase a piece of motorcycle design history.
FA-13 COMBAT BOMBER LAUNCH VIDEO
What’s Next for the Confederate Motors Team?
Well, the team has filed numerous patents over the last seven years and has been working on the new venture ‘Curtiss’, with its partner Zero Motorcycles. The California-based, electric motorcycle manufacturer Zero Motorcycles, will supply a new twin-engine powerplant for Curtiss’, first model the Hercules.
Curtiss Motorcycle Co. takes its inspiration from its namesake; America’s first officially licensed pilot and autodidact engineer, Glen Curtiss – seen below, with the 40hp, 1906 V-8, Curtiss Model B-8 that set the land speed record, of 136 mph [219 km/h], in January 1907.
Glenn Curtiss, Florida, 1907
CURTISS MOTORCYCLE CO. – BOLD IN THE PURSUIT OF NEW GOALS
It’s a bold move, for an already successful brand to shed it’s recognisable skin, to transform into something else, in the pursuit of new goals. However, it’s a move to take inspiration from, only a brand that is true to its ideals and goals would make such a move. One senses, that Curtiss Motorcycle Co. nee Confederate Motorcycles is such a brand.
What’s In A Name Change?
According to the Los Angeles Times, quoting CEO H. Matthew Chambers, the name change, “.. was guided in part, by the limitations of having a company called Confederate, with that word’s historical connection to the Civil War and current civil unrest”. It’s an association that rest of the world, wouldn’t necessarily make immediately, though one that Americans probably would.
Given the current climate in the States, it entirely makes sense that Confederate would take this step. So on one level, it’s a pragmatic decision, to shed any potentially negative perception but equally to denote the change in direction, from petrol-fuelled to high-end electric motorcycle engineering.
Conversely, it’s seemingly an artistic decision; much in the same way a musician while proud of previous work, desires to be known by a new moniker, to reflect their current work and future aspirations. Regardless, without meaning to speak for all motorcyclists, the name has never been an issue for us – right?
Many brands would be fearful of such a move so radical as a name change; however, when radical is in the DNA of the brand, as it is with Curtiss Motorcycle Co., the decision becomes merely logical.
Confederate Motorcycles styled itself as;
“…a rebel think tank 100% focused on creating the best and finest motorcycles with no compromise. Each motorcycle is handcrafted to be an heirloom work of art that looks and rides like rebellion itself.”
We can probably expect similar thinking, from Curtiss Motorcycle Co. –
Curtiss Motorcycle Co. – AN ELECTRIC SPIRIT OF REBELLION
With the team now channelling the spirit of rebellion and Curtiss, into crafting electric motorcycles – if previous form is to be relied on, then we can expect that these motorcycles will not be like anything we’ve seen before. That’s a thoroughly exciting prospect.
And what’s even more exciting is that Curtiss Motorcycle Co. has stated, that there will be, “A full range of machines to fit every pocketbook… “. The first Curtiss Motorcycle Co. model, the ‘Hercules’, is scheduled to roll off the production line on May 5, 2018.
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