Curtiss Warhawk: Limited edition, 150-hp, V-twin industrial art
American arthouse motorcycle manufacturer Confederate became Curtiss earlier this year. The rebrand pays tribute to Glenn Curtiss, aviation pioneer, twice world motorcycle speed record holder, once outright world land speed record holder (on the only motorcycle to ever hold the land speed record) and, of critical importance to this story, the man who created a tradition by building the first American V-twin.
For 27 years, Confederate built exquisite, boutique, beautiful V-twins, but upon deciding to rename itself after the man who invented the fire-breathing American V-twin, it declared it would be building electric motorcycles ... and not V-twins.
Now let's consider the wisdom of that decision for a moment. When we counted up the numbers in our top 250 most expensive motorcycles ever sold at auction, more than 75 percent were V-twins. People love V-twins, and of particular relevance to boutique motorcycle manufacturers, really wealthy people who buy the world's most expensive motorcycles love V-twins.
At some point in the last few months, the brains trust at Confederate ... err, Curtiss ... decided that they really liked building V-twins too. Hence we're glad they decided to build a limited edition Warhawk.
The Warhawk will be the first Curtiss motorcycle in 110 years, and it will be a V-twin. In reality, it's a Confederate P51 Fighter by another name, but if you happen to have been following what Confederate has done for the last 27 years, you'll be backing it to continue onwards with relevance and style and attitude – V-twin or electric or whatever.
The problem is this. There will only be 35, and Curtiss says this will be the last V-twin it ever creates. That is, the company named after the guy who invented the American V-twin is building a final batch of 132 cubic inch, 150 hp industrial art hotrods with V-twin motors.
If you have any doubt about the legitimacy of the Confederate V-twin DNA, read this evaluation by Alan Cathcart. Alan has been the foremost journalistic authority in the world on motorcycles for four decades. He won two world racing championships after his fortieth birthday but has kissed the Blarney Stone ... with his fingers. I trust his judgement.
The first Curtiss electric motorcycle isn't due for release until the Quail Motorcycle Gathering in California on May 5, 2018, so for those with an eye for an investment who can't wait that long, and hanker for a piece of serious V-twin industrial art with the Curtiss name emblazoned upon it, there's one last chance.
The 35 Warhawks will each cost US$105,000. If Curtiss really stops building V-twins, I cannot see the marketplace value of this motorcycle retreating.
Source: Curtiss Motorcycles