Curtiss Zeus electric bike uses twin powerplants

Extravagant megabucks design has two Zero motors and insane chassis

Curtiss Zeus

It might look like something your kid would build in an online computer game, but this behemoth of an electric bike has some saucy numbers. Designed by boutique bike firm Curtiss (formerly Confederate Motorcycles, beloved by Hollywood stars and the like), it’s got not one, but two full Zero electric motorcycle powerplants, mounted on a common drive shaft. That adds up to a reckoned 170bhp and nearly 300 ft lb of torque, which is crackers. The rest of the bike is similarly unhinged, with a seat only a bum-hating masochist could entertain, plus an Art Deco style straight out of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. There’s a girder fork, a swingarm which pivots around the rider’s groin, carbon fibre disc wheels and Beringer double rotor brakes, because, well, they look cool we guess.

Now, we’re not motorcycle chassis engineers, but we know a thing or two about how bikes work. And it looks like if you gave that thing a big handful, the torque would squat the back end down so much that the rear shock would instantly slam down to its bump stop, making it into a hardtail. Hmmm.

It looks like a proper piece of nonsense then. And with a battery range which will probably struggle to get you the full length of Wilshire Boulevard and back again, expect Hollywood’s finest to have a man vanning them about Los Angeles between paparazzi stalking zones when they appear in 2020.

The Zeus was on show at the notoriously working class Quail Motorcycle show in the run down rust belt town of Carmel. Obviously, there’s no price as yet, but we imagine if you have to ask, you can't afford it.


Shortly after we wrote this, our good friend and bona fide legend Mark Forsyth dropped us a note to say that the engine sprocket and swingarm pivot look like they're concentric - meaning there'd be no squat at all under power. He's spot on of course - and as he told us, various Bimotas and other weird stuff experimented with this in the 1970s and 80s, before folk realised a bit of squat is actually a good thing for handling.

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