As maker of some very avant-garde, beautiful pieces of rolling two-wheeled art, Alabama, US, boutique motorcycle manufacturer Confederate Motorcycles announced that it “can’t go any further than this” and is teaming up with California firm Zero Motorcycles to produce a twin electric motor electric motorcycle (e-bike). Geared towards the performance side of things, rather than the sedate, energy-efficient commuter e-bike, the new machine is to be named “Hercules”.

In a nod to the racing machines developed by motorcycle racer and aviator Glenn H. Curtiss a century ago, the Hercules will spin out 175 hp and a road-ripping 393 Nm of torque says Matt Chambers, president of Confederate Motorcycles. It was not disclosed as to when production of the Hercules would begin, or be built, though it is likely Zero Motorcycles facility in Santa Cruz, California, would be utilised, reported the LA Times.

Tasked with the design of the Hercules is Jordan Cornille, a graduate of the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. Early design sketches shown reveal “a sleek, streamlined cruising motorcycle”, narrow in the Confederate design style, but with an all-electric powertrain.

The last of the Confederate line of boutique cruisers is the FA-13 “R-Code” Combat Bomber, with its massive girder forks and priced at 155,000 USD (RM661,462). With nine units left in stock, and a final production of 13 planned, the FA-13 will be the last Confederate using a V-twin internal combustion engine before production shifts to the Hercules e-bike, with over 1,300 builds sold across the firm’s 16-year existence.

However, a change of name is on the cards for Confederate, and the company will be known as Curtiss Motorcycles, starting with the Hercules e-bike. This is to avoid the negative association of the brand with the Confederate states and the American Civil War, said Chambers.

“I think we lost a lot a business with that name,” Chambers said. “We’ve missed out on branding opportunities. So, it’s time to retire it.” Cornille has been named as acting president of the newly-formed Curtiss Motorcycles.

GALLERY: Confederate Motorcycles

GALLERY: Zero Motorcycles