WTF is This Electric Hot Mess?

Curtiss Motorcycles reveals rough sketch of awkward 'V8' electric moto

We’re going to break a cardinal rule of TMO here and outright criticize a bike for being stupid. Normally we’re strong believers in the “to each his own” philosophy – understanding that motorcycles are emotional things and just because our emotions don’t align with a certain vehicle’s design/purpose/spirit that doesn’t mean it’s “bad.” But this…

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The lazy computer sketch you see above is the Curtiss Hera, announced last week at Monterey Car Week. An electric motorcycle, it draws its inspiration from the land-speed record-setting V8 motorcycle built by aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss more than 110 years ago. A nice idea, perhaps, but – as best we can tell – horribly applied.

To bring you up to speed, Curtiss Motorcycles is the new face of the company formerly known as Confederate Motorcycles, maker of unique and extraordinarily expensive muscle cruisers. The Alabama-based company dropped its name last year because the stupidly wealthy people who could afford its bikes suddenly realized the name had racist implications. In the process of being reborn it announced it would be abandoning its old V-twin ways and building electric bikes.

The Hera is inspired by this 1907 Curtiss V8

The Hera is its second. Or, will be its second – after the also-not-yet-released Zeus.

“Featuring the world’s first V8 battery architecture, an ultra-powerful, yet refined, E-Twin motor, and a 66-inch wheelbase, Hera will occupy a class all her own,” claims a media release.

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In fairness to Curtiss, the bikes it used to release under the Confederate name were wildly interesting works of art, so there’s a chance this will come out looking much better than the one design image that’s been released suggests. It will have to, Curtiss has carried forward Confederate’s love of eye-watering prices – its petrol-powered bikes ran in excess of $100,000.

“With Hera, we set out to create the world’s most luxurious motorcycle,” said Curtiss Chairman and CEO Matt Chambers.

The 1907 V8 that inspires the Hera famously clocked a record speed of 136.3 mph back in January 1907. Curtiss says this electric tribute will go even faster but does not offer specifics. The bike is planned for a 2020 release.