Confederate Motors, the Alabama-based company responsible for some of the most outrageously designed motorcycles in the world, is on the cusp of a complete identity change. Confederate's bikes have been a staple for many high-profile motorcycle aficionados such as Keanu Reeves, Tom Cruise and even our very own MS Dhoni.
But it seems that the company is facing a severe image problem, given their name and the current political climate in the United States. Any affiliation to the Southern Confederacy of the American Civil war has become akin to supporting white supremacy, and is prone to getting some serious backlash.
The Los Angeles Times quoted Confederate president H. Matthew Chambers saying that the Confederate brand was no longer viable. “I think we lost a lot a business with that name” said Chambers, adding “We’ve missed out on branding opportunities. So, it’s time to retire it.”
So what's the future for Confederate then? It seems that the company is turning green thanks to a tie-up with Zero Motorcycles, the California-based maker of sporty, electric motorcycles. The Confederate brand is being retired, and is getting replaced by a new company called Curtiss Motorcycles, named after the famous aviator Glenn Curtiss. Curtiss not only gained fame for going up against the Wright Brothers in bid to dominate the skies, but he also built and raced motorcycles.
The new bike from Curtiss Motorcycles in the pipeline, the Hercules, will be powered by two electric motors from Zero, producing an estimated 170hp and a staggering 393Nm of torque. Although there has been no discussion on the bike’s design, initial reports suggest that it will likely be a low-slung sporty motorcycle.
However, the Confederate name will stay on for a short while longer as the company sells off the last of its recently released cruiser, the FA-13 Combat Bomber.