Curtiss Motorcycles (formerly known as Confederate Motorcycles) built its reputation on big-horsepower internal combustion engines; though the company has left those days behind, the designers still want the street cred of a big-bore powerplant.
So, the latest design sketches for the Curtiss Zeus show the machine with a massive battery that’s styled to look like a V8 engine, although the motorcycle is actually an electric bike. Elektrek’s interview with the bike’s designer says there is one advantage to the V8-style layout: the batteries cool more efficiently.
Does styling an electric bike to look like a V8 seem wacky? BMW recently did pretty much the same thing with its recently-unveiled Vision DC Roadster. Although a switch from petrol power to battery bikes means designers no longer have to be restricted by pre-existing motorcycle layouts, they actually seem to be doubling down on their efforts to build throwback machines.
Other details on the Curtiss Zeus: According to the company, the latest design has a 16.8 kWh battery capacity. That allows the machine a 450-km range (no word on how much of that range is city riding, which tends to be much easier on battery capacity than highway riding). Max output is supposedly 217 hp, with 147 lb-ft of torque (that’s due to a switch from a Zero motor to a Yasa P400 R series motor, says Elektrek).
Those numbers all top the electric bike field, more or less, but remember, these are all projections and claims. Nobody has seen this motorcycle in the flesh yet, or ridden it. It’s expected to cost $60,000 US when it hits the market