Curtiss Motorcycle Co. revealed The 1, its debut and flagship all-electric model that is, in the company’s words, “designed to offer the world’s most desirable two-wheeled experience and usher in a new age of luxury motoring.”
Alabama-based Curtiss, a revived motorcycle brand from the early 1900s, builds luxury electric bikes. The company says its EV-cycle provides perfect balance, ideal proportion and hyper-luxury with hassle-free control.
All of that certainly carries a luxury price tag as the launch collection will be a limited edition run of 120 electric motorcycles priced at $120,000 each. Potential buyers can make a deposit at curtissmotorcycles.com.
Among others, the Curtiss will compete directly with the LiveWire by Harley-Davidson, which starts at a much more accessible $22,799.
Curtiss Motorcycles was originally founded in 1902 by American motorcycle and aviation pioneer Glenn Hammond Curtiss, who held multiple motorcycle land speed records and is credited with inventing the V-twin engine design. His V-8-powered land speed motorcycle is on display at the Smithsonian.
The original Curtiss company later became the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Co. before becoming part of the Curtiss-Wright Corp. The Curtiss Motorcycle Co. name was rebooted in 2016 by new founder and CEO Matt Chambers. Curtiss’ marketing materials say its mission is to reinvent luxury motoring through advanced design and superior innovation.
What’s so special?
Curtiss touts its patented Axis-Centered Design (ACD), which it says makes the motorcycle completely symmetrical, offering riders a balanced, easy, smooth ride. Further, according to the Curtiss website, ACD eliminates the conventional motorcycle stub-axle swingarm pivot design, providing strength and longevity to the structure. Then, ACD’s Axis-Balanced Innovation allows the motor to be placed directly on the vertical plane of the rider and facilitates the rear suspension to pivot at the center point.
Then, of course, there’s the electric aspect. The company claims to be the “Tesla of Motorcycles” in its consumer and investor pitches. “Like Tesla, Curtiss is starting at the top, with the smallest viable audience, and will work its way down the market, always staying luxury relative to others,” the company said in a press release.
The Curtiss 1 will be powered by a 217 horsepower axial flux motor, offering 147.5 pound-feet of torque. With an 8.8 kWh battery, The 1 has a range of 120 highway miles or 75 city miles, and offers 10 levels of regeneration braking assistance.
The system accepts Level 2 charging using a standard SAE J1772 connection, which charges the bike from 0% -100% in 2 hours, 40 minutes. The bike uses multi-link suspension front and rear, allowing ride height adjustments and rider customization. With a frame machined entirely from aircraft-grade billet aluminum and titanium, The 1 weighs in at 475 pounds.
“The electric motorcycle industry is poised for huge growth, and we are proud to be leading the charge,” Chambers said. “As the first and only luxury electric motorcycle in the world, The 1 demonstrates how the new age of electrification has forever changed what is possible on two wheels. Its patented, modular proprietary platform architecture will serve as the basis for every future Curtiss motorcycle.”