Curtiss Zeus Turns Motorcycle World Upside Down with Electric V8 Bike
Startup bike company Curtiss Motorcycles showcased the 2020 version of its Zeus motorcycle equipped with a battery motor that looks like a V8 engine. The re-imagined Zeus model–dubbed the Zeus Radial V8–boasts a skeletal space frame secured to a unique powertrain architecture that’s directly inspired by the legendary V8 motorcycle engine made by Glenn Curtiss back in 1907.
With the company mission to “create sustainable, desirable, inter-generational, mean, clean, and green future-proof hot rod motorcycles,” Curtiss seeks to corral the American electric motorcycle market with quality materials, craftsmanship, and retaining the proud born-in-the-USA attitude that seems to have been abandoned by many of America’s original bike makers.
The eight battery cells are instantly what makes this e-motorcycle unique. These come in eight cylindrical towers arranged in flaring radial V-pattern. But more than just for show, the configuration is actually a functional one, as it helps maximize battery cooling efficiency.
Inside each cylinder is a 16.9 kWh battery that powers the bike through a proprietary control and motor package that Curtiss developed together with YASA, a British engineering firm.
Though the powertrain continues to be tweaked prior to the bike’s scheduled 2020 release, Curtiss says that it should be good for 217 hp and 200 Nm. Acceleration, top speed, and charging specs have not been provided.