You have to hand it to Curtiss Motorcycles. Their electric motorcycle designs are way, way outside the box, and that can be a good thing. Curtiss says production will start in the spring of 2020. But as yet another version of the company’s electric motorcycles emerges you have to wonder.
Curtiss Hades 1 Model Redesign
The most recent version of the Hades (re-named the Hades 1) now has a somewhat more toned-down look. It no longer so directly features that – how shall we say it – male appendage look. Now, the battery pack is attached to the frame and looks more like a part of the overall machine.
Curtiss claims that the Hades will be in production in the spring of 2020. That would be a good thing. But is the Hades “real”? Are any of the other Curtiss electric motorcycle models “real” for that matter?
Lots of Different Models
Since the company announced it had transitioned from gas-powered to electric motorcycles (although they are still hawking the internal combustion engine Warkhawk on their website), we’ve published 10 articles covering many different Curtiss machines. The company has shown drawings for no less than nine different motorcycles. Those models include:
- Zeus Radial V8 (now renamed the Curtiss 8),
- Hades, (now called the Hades 1)
- Medusa, and
Strangely, only one of these models has been seen by the general public. And that model was a Curtiss 8, not a Hades. The Curtiss 8 was shown at the Quail Motorsports Gathering, but it was not a running example. It didn’t even have a chain connecting its two drive sprockets.
Further, the company claimed that the machine was already in production. A joint press release made by Curtiss and its partner Fast Radius claimed:
“Fast Radius produced more than 60 parts and components for the bike…” and
“Fast Radius and Curtiss are already in production on the first 100 Zeus 8 bikes, available to the public in 2020.”
So both the Hades and Zeus 8 are coming in 2020? Is that likely if Curtiss has only shown a single mock-up/prototype of the Curtiss 8, and is yet to show even a single mockup/prototype of the Hades to the general public?
Interestingly, Curtiss’s website used to have several of its claimed models prominently featured. But as of the writing of this article, only two models appear on their webpage. Those two models are the internal combustion engine Warkhawk and the newly redesigned Hades.
Moving Away from Internal Combustion Machines
Having an internal combustion engine Warhawk (previously produced under the Confederate brand) prominently featured on the company’s opening webpage seems strange, especially since Curtiss publically announced that it would move away from internal combustion engine motorcycles and produce electrically powered machines way back in 2017.
LA Times Interview
In an August 2017 interview with the LA Times, Matt Chambers, Curtiss’s and Confederate’s then CEO spoke about his company’s move to electrically powered motorcycles.
The LA Times quoted Chambers as saying:
“We can’t go any further than this. We’ve hit the ceiling. This is it.”
Confederate’s motorcycles were powerful roaring beasts featuring gasoline-powered internal combustion engines. After creating low-volume, high-end custom machines for 23 years, Chambers announced a partnership with electric motorcycle manufacturer Zero Motorcycles. This partnership would result in a new line of electric motorcycles under the name Curtiss Motorcycles. But ultimately, the partnership with Zero fell through and Curtiss found itself on its own.
Since that time, Curtiss has been trying to develop a line of electric motorcycles. Unfortunately, the only Curtiss bike that has been seen in public is the Curtiss 8 and it seems to have been forgotten.
What’s Up with the Curtis 8?
What happened to the Curtiss 8? They have has already claimed that that machine is in production. Why are only the Hades 1 and internal combustion engine Warhawk displayed on the front or any page of its website? Are the people who put money down on the Curtiss 8 out of luck?
Non-Refundable “Order Fee”
If you want to reserve a Curtiss Hades 1, you’re going to have to come up with a $1,500 (€1345/£1,150) non-fundable “Order Fee” which is applied to the purchase price of $60,000 (€53760/£45,890). Is it strange that the “Order Fee” acts similar to a deposit and is non-refundable? Is it especially strange that the machine has yet to be seen in public? Does a non-refundable “Order Fee” seem fair?
It would be nice to see a company like Curtiss that seemingly thinks outside the box become successful. But do Curtiss’s actions add up? Will Curtiss deliver a Hades 1 electric motorcycle to a paying customer in 2020? Let us know what you think in the comments below.