Some e-motorcycle brands are leaning into the sleek designs of the future with their bikes. Meanwhile others look more than a century into the past for e-motorcycle inspiration.
- Curtiss Motorcycle Co.’s latest e-motorcycle, the Zeus Radial V8, drew inspiration from the V8-powered motorcycle built by brand namesake, Glenn Curtiss, in 1907.
- Unlike Glenn’s 40-horsepower land-speed record holder, the Zeus Radial V8 produces 201 horsepower.
- The radical design and neck-snapping power will set you back a pretty penny; it’s priced at $75,000. Reservations start on July 25, 2019.
If you were to look at bikes from brands like FUELL, Voxan, Evoke, or Druid, you might assume electric motorcycles are going to look more like Tron light bikes than old-school Harleys. You, however, would be incorrect. That’s because one Alabama-based brand, Curtiss Motorcycle Co., is looking back to 1907 for at least one of its bikes.
The e-motorcycle in question is called the Zeus Radial V8. And, at first glance from a distance, it looks like it might have a V8 engine. However, it doesn’t. No the eight cylinders you see are batteries aligned to resemble the 136-mile-per-hour aircraft-V8-powered motorcycle driven by Glenn Curtiss in 1907. And that land-speed daredevil is the man from whom the Curtiss Motorcycle Co. adopted its name (it was previously named Confederate Motorcycles).
The V8-oriented batteries together produce 16.8 kilowatt hours. That power, when routed through the onboard electric motor, churns out 201 horsepower — just a sight more than Glenn Curtiss’ 40-horsepower gas-powered V8 bike. All told, the Zeus Radial V8 is expected to return a 280-mile range per charge.
The Zeus was developed with help from e-motorcycle maker Zero. That brand’s bikes typically offer 14.4 kilowatt-hour battery packs. So it’s a bit surprising it’d aid in the development of a more powerful bike.
That said, Zero probably doesn’t see Curtiss as much of a traditional competitor; the Zeus Radial V8 carries a $75,000 sticker price. For the sake of comparison, one of Zero’s more entry-level bikes, the Zero S, starts around the $10,000 mark.
The Zeus Radial V8 isn’t Curtiss’ most expensive bike, though. Its last gas-powered bike started at $155,000. So this e-motorcycle is a steal by any measure.
Curtiss is no stranger to the Tron-like bike designs, though. It revealed its first Zeus model earlier this year. That $60,000 e-motorcycle indeed does look like it’s from the future.
Like the first Zeus, would-be buyers need to indicate their interest in owning a Zeus Radial V8 by putting down a deposit. Reservations open on July 25, 2019. Production is scheduled for early 2020.
Or if you’d rather just invest in the company itself, just below the reservation info on the company’s homepage, there’s an offer to invest in the brand itself. Curtiss Motorcycle Co. investments start at $1000. Shares are priced at $0.20 per share. No word how many shares you’d need to buy to get a discount on a bike, though.