Tag Archives: Curtiss Motorcycles

Curtiss Psyche aims at Harley LiveWire electric

Esoteric American motorcycle company Curtiss Motorcycles has unveiled a third electric motorcycle concept called Psyche to compete against Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire.

The company is already taking orders for the wild Zeus electric motorcycle with radial “V8” batteries and has released plans for the even wilder Hades with a bullet-shaped battery and motor.

They say these will go into production next year and cost $US75,000 (about $A106,000).

Now they have released plans for the more affordable Pysche priced at $US30,000 which is just a few bucks more than the Harley LiveWire.

Curtiss Psyche electric motorcycle

There are no tech details yet on the Psyche, but Zeus and Hades will have 201hp (150kW) of power and 199Nm of torque.

That is far more than the $US29,799 (about $A42,500) Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire at 78kW and 116Nm.

Curtiss has also released no details of the Psyche’s range, while the LiveWire has 235km of city range and 150km on the highway.

Psyche shot at Harley

CEO Matt Chambers says the Psyche is “a clean shot at Harley, exposing the hollow seemingly cynical nature of their EV effort, their own CEO (Matt Levatich) referring to their rather commodity looking Livewire example as a catalyst for their petrol line”.

“Curtiss is the precise hard knock-out punch he didn’t see coming,” he says.

“He (Harley’s boss) is way too big and spread way too thin. The volumes will be too low for the next five years.

“We have out-planned them, out-designed them, out-engineered them, out-branded them and out-promoted them.

“The market is very small, ideally suited to our core competencies, skillsets and bandwidth. We have the experience and collaborative relationships to ideally grow with this market. Harley does not.”

Curtiss Zeuss Hades electric motorcycle

Despite his rhetoric, their first electric motorcycle prototype Zeus is only now entering pre-production stage, while the Hades is still just life-like drawings.

The LiveWire is now available in North America and Europe, but will not be available in Australia until late next year.

Harley-Davidson Australia spokesman Keith Waddell says the “US/European markets have had strong pre-order activity in the lead-up to the release”.

“For ANZ we have not moved into the pre-order phase just yet, however we have heard that some dealers are already receiving request to order, which is great given we are 13-14 months out,” he says.

“We don’t have exact timeframes for when units will be delivered into market however we are working to the normal model year release cadence.”

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle
LiveWire in action (Read our road test)

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Curtiss offers wild Zeus and Hades EVs

Curtiss Motorcycles is now taking orders for the wild Zeus electric motorcycle with radial “V8” batteries and has released plans for the even wilder Hades with a bullet-shaped battery and motor.

They say both will go into production next year and cost $US75,000. They are now taking “reservations of interest”.

That’s much cheaper than their previous petrol-powered bikes such as their Warhawk at $US105,000 (about $A140,000).

Curtiss Motorcycles Warhawk - Zeus Prototype
Curtiss Warhawk

Zeus and Hades

Their first electric motorcycle prototype Zeus is now entering pre-production stage.

Curtiss Zeuss Hades electric motorcycle

The Hades is still just life-like drawings.

They say the bikes will have 201hp (150kW) of power and 199Nm of torque which is far more than the Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire at 78kW and 116Nm.

There are no more technical details available and we have yet to see these bikes rolled out.

However, they have met their crowdfunding goal so they could be going into production on schedule.

Curtiss Hades electric motorcycle

Curtiss history

Curtiss Motorcycles was formerly called Confederate Motorcycles but last year the Alabama motorcycle company ditched its now-controversial name after deadly race riots in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Confederate Motors president H. Matthew Chambers said the company changed the name to honour motorcycle racer Glenn Curtiss who invented the first American V-Twin motorcycle.

Glenn set a world speed record of 136.3mph (219km/h) in 1907 on Ormond Beach, Florida, on a motorcycle he built with a 4.4-litre V8 engine he had designed and built for aircraft use.

Curtiss Motorcycles Hera has world's first V8 battery
Glenn Curtiss on his V8 motorcycle

He was a pioneer aviator and leading American manufacturer of aircraft by the time the US entered WWI. 

Curtiss began his career in the bicycle business, earning fame as one of the leading cycle racers in western New York state before building lightweight internal-combustion engines for motorcycles.  

In 1904 when the American aeronaut Thomas Scott Baldwin bought a Curtiss motorbike engine to power his airship California Arrow. 

At the invitation of Alexander Graham Bell, he joined the then newly formed Aerial Experiment Association (AEA) in 1907. 

Flying the AEA June Bug in 1908, Curtiss won the Scientific American Trophy for the first public flight of at least 1 km  with an American aeroplane. Curtiss died in 1930.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

World’s most expensive electric motorcycles

The prices of electric motorcycles will eventually come down like the prices of flat-screen TVs did, but right now they are very expensive.

We’ve charted the top 10 world’s most expensive motorcycles and were surprised to find they even include two pedal-assisted bikes, the $US80,000 (about $A114,500) Black Trail electric mountain bike and the eROCKIT at $US40,000 ($A57,250)!

However, they also include the world’s fastest motorcycle, the 150kW (200hp) Lightning LS-218 in 10th position at $US38,888.

Harley-Davidson Livewire electric motorcycle specs strikes diverse expensive
Harley-Davidson Livewire

We were originally surprised that the Harley-Davidson LiveWire would retail for $US29,799 ($A41,699) when it arrives in North America and Europe in September.

It will not come to Australia and New Zealand until 2020. No price has yet been released, but it could be as expensive as the top-of-the-range Harley Tourer.

However, it pails in comparison to these electrics.

Top 10 most expensive electric motorcycles:

  1. Detonator $US150,000 ($A215,000)

    Detonator expensive electric motorcycle

  2. Peraves MonoTracer MTE-150 $US100,000 ($A143,000)

    Peraves MonoTracer Electric MTE-150 expensive
    Peraves MonoTracer

  3. Lito Sora $US82,250 ($A118,000)

    Lito Sora electric motorcycle expensive
    Lito Sora

  4. Black Trail BT $80,000 ($A114,500)

    Black Trail BT electric motorcycle expensive
    Black Trail BT

  5. ZecOO $70000 ($A100,200) 

    Zec00 electric motorcycle expensive

  6. Ophiro $70,000 ($A100,200)

    Ophiro Electric Motorcycle expensive

  7. Mission One $69,000 ($A99,000)

    Mission One Electric Motorcycle expensive
    Mission One

  8. Curtiss Zeus Bobber and Cafe $US60,000 ($86,000) 
  9. eROCKIT $US40,000 ($A57,250)

    eROCKIT electric assisted bicycle expensive

  10. Lightning LS-218  $US38,888 ($55,660)

    Lightning electric motorcycle fast electric LiveWire electric bike race expensive
    Lightning record-holding electric race bike

Prices coming down

Those are quite expensive, but prices are coming down.

For example, Lightning has now released the more affordable street bike, the Strike, at $US12,998 (about $A18,000).

Electric Lightning Strike strikes out expensive
Lightning Strike

It’s not a “pov-pack” bike, either as it comes with plenty of aluminium and carbon, has 140kW of power, 196Nm of torque and maximum range of 450km.

The top-selling electric motorcycle company in the world is Zero Motorcycles who pulled the plug on exporting to Australia and New Zealand in 2017 with no hint of a return just yet.

In 2017 their fleet ( Zero S, SR, DS, DSR, FX and FXS) ranged in price from $18,000 to $25,000 on the road. That’s quite reasonable.

Now they have released their top-of-the-range SR/F at $US18,990 with 82kW of power, 190Nm of torque, a top speed of 200km/h and range of about 130km on the highway and up to 260km in the city.

Zero SR/F expensive
Zero SR/F

Good on you if you want to be an early adopter of electric motorcycles at these prices.

But while we love the acceleration exhilaration of electric motorcycles, we think we’ll wait until the price and charging times come down, range goes up and infrastructure is in place.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com