Curtiss 'The One' electric
14th February 2021
Electric motorcycle | 'The One' | 217bhp
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Steampunkers look this way. Curtiss Motorcycles, formerly Confederate Motorcycles (but whisper that only among friends, if you please) has created and released details of yet another unlikely, unapologetic and eye-popping futuristic motorcycle thereby helping consolidate the company's place as a builder of some of the most radical bikes we've ever seen.
For 2021, we're treated (if that's the right word) to the above machine that Curtiss likes to call 'The One' (as opposed to 'The Other', perhaps). At the heart of this sci-fi fantasy mo-sickle is an electric rubber band that's claimed to be able to zapp out a maximum of 217bhp with 369Nm of torque. However, the available power is restricted to 120bhp with a corresponding reduction in torque.
This motor forms an integral part of the Triple Load Path monocoque chassis which is designed to be as rigid as a pervert at the school gates. The weight, as you can perhaps surmise (or at least assume), is kept way down low, and that's just where Confed—sorry, Curtiss—wants it to be.
Also contained in this whacky techy aluminium and carbon fibre sandwich are the power pak cells that, we hear, are submerged in some kind of coolant reminiscent of, say, the core of a nuclear power station.
There's no gearbox, and there's no clutch. The pak delivers the oomph to the motor which in turn directs it to a toothed belt which, as you can see, drives the rear wheel.
"No shifting, no clutch," says Curtiss. "Just a direct connection between your wrist and the effortless torque available at any rpm from the most power-dense motor in the world. The result is rider-centered control, precision, and purity like nothing ever before."
The company hasn't ignored other aspects of the rolling chassis such as the frame geometry. The rake is adjustable from 27-degrees to 31-degrees. That will increase the wheelbase from 62-degrees to 64-degrees, and naturally that will alter the ground clearance 6-inches to 8-inches. Not to be left out, the seat will also rise as fall from 29-inches to 31-inches. And if you find that your hands and feet are suddenly in the wrong place, you can adjust the handlebars and the footrests.
Other upgrades/models are said to be in the pipeline, and Curtiss is planning control updates to keep this electric "future proofed" engine on song as and when new tech comes along.
Overall, we think this motorcycle is ... well, interesting. It's evidently the result of long hours at the computer, and probably accounts for plenty more hours in the workshop testing, tweaking and refining.
Curtiss seems to have a very clear and focussed vision of where it wants to be in the years to come. The bike has got some quirky and even playful design treats that add to its character, and maybe it even rides fairly well. But it's not one for us, not at any price. Maybe it's because it's trying too hard. Maybe it's too self-conscious. Maybe we're just too contrary these days. And maybe anything you like. It's just not our thing. But that might change (if we live long enough).
And what exactly is the price? Around $81,000, which at today's exchange rate equates to £58,245.
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