Curtiss Zeus defies motorcycle convention with electric radial V8
8 July 2019 - Autoblog
Modeled after Glenn Curtiss’ 1907 V8
Sometimes, the most interesting work comes from the the people who make the least noise. Curtiss Motorcycles, previously known as Confederate Motorcycles, came back on the scene in 2018 with the Zeus electric motorcycle at the Quail Motorsports Gathering. Less than a year later, Curtiss has unveiled a redesign of the Zeus with a beautiful sculptural shape that offers an electric take on the classic V8 gasoline engine.
Curtiss Motorcycles, whose mission is to "create sustainable, desirable, intergenerational, mean, clean, and green future-proof hot rod motorcycles" is looking to corner the American motorcycle market. It plans to do so with high-quality materials and craftsmanship while incorporating a bit of rebel born-in-the-USA flair. The design-heavy swooping, skeletal frame is just part of the captivating design.
When building out the next-gen Zeus, Curtiss Motorcycles looked to its namesake for inspiration and modeled the powertrain after Glenn Curtiss' 1907 V8 motorcycle. Curtiss notes this was the motorcycle that set the world speed record of the time with a 136 mph reading.
To achieve the V-shape of the gasoline motorcycle engine, Curtiss designer Jordan Cornille created eight cylindrical battery packs. They stick out of a central terminal and flare out from the center of the motorcycle. The open design also helps with simpler battery cooling. Curtiss claims battery capacity to be 16.8 kWh at 399V but makes no mention of any charging specs.
The controller and motor package were developed with British engineering firm YASA. Curtiss says it expects the powertrain, which is still under development, to clock in at 217 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque. No quickness or top speed specs were provided.
Curtiss expects the Zeus Radial V8 to enter production in 2020 with a lofty price tag of $75,000.