One of the guiding principles of The Motorcycle Obsession is that we do not tinkle on other people’s happiness.
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If you like sportbikes, if you like cruisers, if you like teeny scooters, if you like humongonormous adventure bikes – it’s all awesome. You do you, baby. I want this site to be about fostering that, about being willing to say: “I really like X, even though my buddies prefer Y.”
But, man… This new Curtiss Warhawk presents a real test of my ability to to be supportive. You may know that Curtiss Motorcycle Co. is the new name of the Alabama-based company formerly known as Confederate. They scrapped the old name because it was kinda racist, which was hurting business. Confederate bikes were partially famous for being eye-wateringly expensive and for some wacky reason the people who had enough money to buy one were increasingly uncomfortable associating themselves with a failed pro-slavery regime.
So, late last year Confederate became Curtiss, named after motorcycling pioneer Glenn Curtiss. At the time, the company announced that with its new name would come a new direction. Whereas Confederate had earned a reputation for lavish, unique, thundering V-twins, the new Curtiss Motorcycle Co. would turn its attention to electric motorcycles.
Last week Curtiss confirmed its dedication to an electric future, but, uh, you know, after it sells this bike: the 2163cc V-twin-powered Warhawk. Looking like a fantastic means of inducing multiple injuries simultaneously, the air/oil-cooled beast claims some 150 hp at 5,100 rpm, and an arm-ripping 160 lb-ft of torque at just 2,000 rpm. Sweet Mother McCree!
“The American V-twin is undoubtedly the most iconic and revered powertrain in motorcycle history,” said Curtiss CEO Matt Chambers. “As we prepare to lead an all-new golden age of electrified motorcycles, this Curtiss Warhawk represents the best and final chapter in American V-Twin power and refinement.”
In addition to not quite giving up on Confederate’s love of hot-rod V-twins, Curtiss has also held onto its former self’s fondness for extortionate prices. The Warhawk starts at US $105,000. That is an amount of money that is, quite honestly, beyond my realistic comprehension.
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Who buys these things? And why? I mean, if I had such insane quantities of cash sitting around, I’d be buying one of Keanu Reeves’ Arch motorcycles* – those at least look rideable. The Warhawk looks uncomfortable and dangerous. It looks like a motorcycle created by a graphic designer who has never ridden a motorcycle.
Maybe I’m wrong, though? Anyone want to step up to the plate and try to convince me this bike is amazing and worth every penny? Anyone? Hello?
*Actually, that’s not true. If I had in excess of $100,000 to spend on a bike I’d spend it on multiple bikes – not just one.