Whilst unveiling their last ever petrol-powered machine, US-based custom kings announce a radical redirection.
With hindsight it was a name that the company from Birmingham, Alabama probably should have changed some time ago. This would appear to be the opinion of Confederate President Matt Chambers, speaking with the Los Angeles Times, who indicates that having a company associated with an awkward historical association might have been detrimental to business, “I think we lost a lot a business with that name. We’ve missed out on branding opportunities. So, it’s time to retire it.”
Ordinarily a change of name wouldn’t garner so much attention – even if it is from one of the biggest custom motorcycle brands in the world – but this change isn’t just about branding.
“We can’t go any further than this,” Chambers is quoted as saying, speaking about taking the company in a new direction. “We’ve hit the ceiling. This is it.”
The ceiling that he’s talking about is the one that’s hit most petrol-powered manufacturers in recent years; the peak of the internal combustion engine’s [ICE] development.
So to counter that lack of inertia, Chambers is taking Confederate Motorcycles in a radical new direction.
At the launch of their final ever ICE powered machine – the Quail – Confederate announced their pivot into electrically-powered custom machines under the new brand name of Curtiss Motorcycles – a nod to the builder and racer Glenn Curtiss, who set motorcycle speed records in the early 1900s before gaining fame as an aviator.
Through a partnership with US-based electric motorcycle manufacturer Zero, Curtiss are already teasing their new cruiser – a beast of a machine that will be powered by two Zero electric motors and capable of spitting out 290 pound-feet of torque and over 175 horsepower.
The times are changing.
When an atypical brand such as Confederate – synonymous with big, brutal grunt and power – can actively make the switch to battery-powered motors, then it’s a sign that a considerable shift is in the air.
We here at Motofire, welcome our new, electrically powered overlords.
Source: LA Times