Startup Curtiss Motorcycles Launches Crowdfunding


Get in on the ground floor of Curtiss for $1,000

Curtiss Motorcycles has shown quite a few neat looking customs and prototypes over the years, but now seek to start full production on their Zeus electric bikes. To that end, they launched a crowdfunding campaign on the business focused site WeFunder, offering investors a minimum of 5,000 shares for $1,000, but only paying a return if they are successful at a future date. While we would be hesitant to drop that much on a bet that these high end electric cruisers will sell at a profit, according to their page they have already raised nearly $1.7 million from just nine investors.

While a startup motorcycle company is very high risk from a business standpoint, and the sting of SKULLY’s crowdfunded flame-out still fresh, Curtiss does have some advantages. The principles spun the new electric motorcycle company from the old high end custom motorcycle maker Confederate, which delivered more than 1,000 bikes over the years. The electric power train is being developed with components and input from Zero, the most successful electric bike make around right now.

Curtiss Zeus Bobber

However, there are still some serious reservations to consider. Neither of the two recently unveiled Zeus models, the bobber, and the cafe racer, are anywhere near federal DOT legal as shown. There were no mirrors, turn signals, or reflectors, and little in the way of other lighting either, plus no license plate. From a technology standpoint it is hard to see how they manage to squeeze a 280 miles range into a motorcycle, especially when the Zero (with half the power) maxes out at just over 200 miles. From a simple engineering standpoint, it is hard to understand why they would use such an extreme angle on the swing arm and how they will minimize squat with 145 pound-feet of torque pulling on the belt.

Categories: Bikes


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4 Comments on "Startup Curtiss Motorcycles Launches Crowdfunding"

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Cool looking bike !


Here is a link to more details: One of the points noted was the claim that Curtis has all of $23,000.00 in working capital.

This is a nice design but I don’t see this ever making it to production. Right now the only electric motorcycle you can buy with over 200 miles of range is the Brutus V9 by Bell Customs Cycles. And the V9 has a 33.7kWh battery to get that kind of range! There are YouTube videos of the V9 and you can see what a 33.7kWh battery looks like in a motorcycle.

There is also far too much wasted space in this design that should be used by a larger battery, faster charging system among other things.

And the problem with them getting help from Zero is that Zero only has a electrical system that tops out at 116 volts fully charged so don’t expect this bike to be capable of DCFC. In theory a Zero should be capable of charging on CHAdeMO and for a brief period Zero offered it as an option. But there were problems getting some models of chargers to work and Zero dropped it rather than try to work through the problems.

Zero’s sales are currently at 2000 bikes/year. Since sales expansion is proving quite difficult, they have started looking for other small bikemakers who might be interested in using their drivetrain (that’s the reason for the recent electric concept Ural sidecar rig). Zero is apparently not currently in a position to make significant investments — they sorely lack a fairing option on their bikes, as well as a line of bikes based on larger frame that would be suitable for tourers, larger sport tourers, comfortable 2-up riding, more physical battery capacity etc. I wish Curtis luck, but crowdfunding is an extremely bad way to do expensive products like vehicles (despite a couple of successes in the e-bicycle field), and investing via the WeFunder model is simply idiotic — the “investor” has zero control over the investment, it doesn’t grant any voting rights, and you have no idea what ownership % you’ll be getting for your money. Unlike normal investor who demand — and get — to see the financials of a company before investing, investors here will see nothing. Personally (as someone who used to work at a VC), I think it’s irresponsible to announce a project of selling $60K motorcycles… Read more »

They could Get much More Range if they Fill the Empty Wind Catcher Hole with Batteries ..