The Art of Rebellion
|Founder||H. Matthew Chambers|
|Headquarters||Birmingham, Alabama, US|
|H. Matthew Chambers (CEO), Jordan Cornille (Design Director)|
|Products||FA-13 Combat Bomber, P51 Combat Fighter, P120 Fighter, B120 Wraith, X132 Hellcat|
Confederate Motors is an American manufacturer of exotic street motorcycles in Birmingham, Alabama. It was founded in 1991 by trial lawyer H. Matthew Chambers, as an initiative seeking "enlightened design through true American inspiration." In 2017 the company announced plans to switch to electric motorcycles made in California by Zero Motorcycles, and rename itself to Curtiss Motorcycles, due to the business impact of association with the US Confederacy.
The company opened in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1991, and after a brief move to San Francisco, California, the next year, moved to a prototype shop in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1993. The company's first motorcycle rolled off the production line there on November 11, 1994. Over 500 first generation Hellcat models were built from 1996 to 2001. After going bankrupt in 2001, Confederate recovered in 2003 and produced a second generation of Hellcats, about 75 total.
After the severe factory damage in August 2005 by Hurricane Katrina interrupted production, Confederate moved its corporate headquarters and assembly operations to a building in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. Production resumed after the reorganization and move in early 2006, with an announcement in May of their $5 million expansion plans for production of a third, more affordable, model.
Confederate Motor Co. sold 37 bikes in 2008 and anticipated the sale of 30 bikes in 2009, due to the recession. Even though Confederate's buyers are too rich to be affected by the economic downturn, company founder Matt Chambers said during the recession, "it was very fashionable to not be buying a high-end luxury product like ours."
In 2013 the company moved to a larger facility in Birmingham. Confederate produced 130 G3 Hellcats. Confederate has launched a G2 Fighter and has plans to launch a G2 Wraith.
At the August 2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering, Confederate's President Matt Chambers said the Confederate name would be changed to Curtiss, and the company would switch to electric motorcycles in partnership with established electric bike maker Zero Motorcycles. The new model is to be a high-powered cruiser called the Hercules, made in Zero's California facility, not the Birmingham, Alabama Confederate Motorcycle factory. Chambers said that the Civil War connotations of the Confederate name had cost the company business, and they "missed out on branding opportunities" because of it. The Curtiss Motorcycles name is a reference to aviation and motorcycle pioneer Glenn Curtiss. Chambers had defended the Confederate name and motto, "Art of Rebellion", as recently as June 2017, saying "the rebellion we're talking about is cerebral and spiritual and inside of you", connected with the ideas of Albert Camus or E. E. Cummings, and Southern principles Chambers is proud of, not their "unprincipled application", adding that he is "glad the South lost" the Civil War.
Confederate produced the G1 Hellcat from 1999 - 2001. The G2 Hellcat was produced from 2002 to 2007. The Wraith was produced was 2007 to 2009 and the Fighter from 2009 to 2011. The G3 Hellcat was produced until being sold out in the fourth quarter of 2015.
In 2007, the $92,000 B120 Wraith and F131 Hellcat took first and second place respectively in the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building show at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, in the production manufacturer category.
In late 2015, entered production of the G2 P51 Combat Fighter, of which 61 examples will be made, selling for $119,500. Confederate has plans to launch a G2 Wraith and a G3 Hellcat.
In August 2017 Confederate announced a limited edition FA-13 Combat Bomber model.
- P51 Combat Fighter
- FA-13 Combat Bomber
- Fleming, Charles (2017-08-18). "Pebble Beach 2017: Confederate Motorcycles announces plan to go electric with Santa Cruz company". The Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
- Carpenter, Susan (December 20, 2006), "Paparazzi magnet; Gawkers get whiplash when Confederate Motor's new Wraith rolls by. That alone may make it a worthy successor to the star-seducing Hellcat.", Los Angeles Times, p. G.1
- Carpenter, Susan (October 24, 2009), "A bumpy ride for motorcycle makers; Sales plunge 37.3% in the third quarter. The industry is cutting staff and product lines.", Los Angeles Times, pp. B1,B4, retrieved June 7, 2011 Online version headline: "Motorcycle makers cutting staff and product lines as sales plunge"
- Tomberlin, Michael (November 18, 2013) "Confederate Motors relocates, expands and American Building Supply moves headquarters to Birmingham in Graham & Co. deals." Birmingham News
- Schelzig, Erik (July 18, 2017), "What I Learned Riding A $135,000 Motorcycle", Jalopnik
- Confederate Motorcycles. "Confederate Motorcycles Unveiled the R-Code Combat Bomber, Its Most Powerful Example of the Art of Rebellion to Date, at the Pebble Beach Quail Event Today [press release]". Business Wire. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Confederate Motors.|
- Official website
- Confederate Motor Company announces relocation... Retrieved 20070617
- alabama.gov: Governor Riley Celebrates First Production Motorcycle Made in Alabama Retrieved 20070617
- Out of New Orleans, Confederate Rises NYT Handlebars column
- Beeler, Jensen Pierre Terblanche Leaves Confederate for Royal Enfield (November 14, 2014. Asphalt and Rubber