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    Curtiss Zeus is Judge Dredd's electric motorcycle


    When Confederate Motorcycles changed its name to Curtiss - in honor of Glen Curtiss, the inventor of the V-twin engine - the company pledged to make only electric motorcycles. Curtiss did manage to sneak out 35 examples of the V-twin Warhawk last year, based on the Confederate P-51, but that really was the last of the ICE line. Curtiss has now opened the electric account with its Zeus prototype motorcycle, a battery-powered two-wheeler that aims "to future-proof the all-American hot rod."

    Before unveiling the Zeus at this month's Quail Motorcycle Gathering, Curtiss had spoken of unveiling an electric bike called Hercules at the Quail. The Alabama-based company was working with Zero Motorcycles on the drivetrain, and the Hercules was reported to get a retail price of $30,000. We're not sure if the Zeus is a re-christened Hercules, or if targets were changed for the launch bike.

    Because the Zeus remains a prototype, we only have two other details beyond its name. Power comes from a 14-kWh battery pack driving what its maker calls "the world's first E-Twin power unit," which is two high-output electric motors working a common output shaft. For comparison, that's a little more than the mid-range Zero S ZF13.0 naked streetbike at 13 kWh, a little less than the mid-range Lightning Motorcycles LS-218 sport bike, with a 15-kWh battery pack. We've read elsewhere that Zeus numbers come in somewhere around 170 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque.

    The Lighting doesn't look like anything else out there at the moment, as if it rumbled out of a block of machined aluminum at the command of Judge Dredd. Fitment includes Race Tech shocks front and rear, Beringer double rotor brakes, carbon fiber wheels, LED lighting, an iPad in the dash, and a seat that might take some getting used to. Curtiss says it plans to have the Zeus on sale by 2020.

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