Retro-futuristic motorcycle

Sam sez, "The Confederate motor company make motorcycles that rub together heritage and futurism to produce quite astonishing looking machines - the kind of bikes that look like they're going fast when they're stood still. They also have an attractive air of menace in their styling combined with a sort of 'Mad Max' craziness. The kind of bike one of Stross' characters might ride."

I can see one of Charlie's characters riding this thing, but only if he gets to make fun of the overblown marketing copy on the site.

Confederate Motor Company (Thanks, Sam!)


  1. I’ve ordered 2. They’re going to be pissed when they realise I have big dreams, low money.

  2. Just take any sportbike, strip all the fenders and fairings. Maybe sandblast the paint off the gas tank. It’ll look about like this, apart from the nifty front fork. If you use a BMW K1200R or 1300R as your starting point, you’ll get that too.

  3. That thing is butt ugly and doesn’t look comfortable at all. It looks designed by a committee of organizations grouped to select a design management team. ick.

  4. I kind of like their overblown marketing copy. At least it’s well done, it’s a nice change from the overblown SKULLS FLAMES DEATH HELL OMG OMG that most bike companies see as solid branding…

  5. That Confederate is the C120 Renaissance Fighter launched almost a year ago.

    The real news around the company at the moment is the imminent launch of the even wilder P120 Fighter, which was given a preview here:

    Similar design language, but much better balanced, especially at the front.

  6. It’s biggest problem is it is basically a Harley design at heart.

    All the agility of a Buick cut length wise

  7. Is that a swiss knife on its (supposedly) front wheel?
    Uh, and very comfortable seat indeed, it will literally disappear under the driver’s butt, making it look like the suspension is stuck in there. Lmao!:)

  8. an attractive air of menace in their styling combined with a sort of ‘Mad Max’ craziness

    Any ratbike is more menacing, and more ‘Mad Max’ crazy than this.

  9. Motorcycles have a wonderful design purity because the only question worth asking about them is “how well does it work”. Much as I admire the style and some of the engineering, this thing has some challenges. viz.
    – Harley (copy) engine. Check.
    – Clipons with forward footrests. Check.
    – Exposed exhausts by your right leg. Check.
    – Tiny tank range. Check.
    – Non-existant padding on weird shaped seat. Check.
    Which all adds up to, FAIL!

    I wonder which one of Stross’ or Macleod’s heroes you had in mind? Surely they’d be in something recumbent, streamlined and more Tron like; Like a Monotracer, perhaps.

  10. I don’t know what’s wrong with you nerds, but that’s a pretty cool looking bike. Most of that company’s motorcycles are pretty awesome looking.

  11. Sure, that seat looks like a literal pain in the butt, and the price is laughable, but you have to admit it looks gorgeous. I’d love a large model of one (a foot or two long) on my coffee table.

    And #4, converting a gasoline engine to run on ethanol is relatively easy. You basically just have to adjust the carburetor (or fuel injection calculation) to change the fuel-air mixture and make it richer, i.e. more fuel per amount of air. (The molecules in ethanol have more oxygen atoms, proportional to carbon atoms, than the molecules in gasoline. So you don’t need as much air (extra oxygen) to burn the fuel into CO2+H2O, i.e. you can inject more fuel into each cylinder’s worth of air).

  12. The style is, indeed, interesting. Too bad I won’t buy anything branded “Confederate”.

  13. er, is their logo a guy holding a whip? Treason in Defense of Slavery Motor Company, indeed!

  14. Ah, yes. A bikes that looks like it’s going fast even when it’s standing still, but that will never go faster than 15mph because the windblast and riding position would push you straight off the back onto your post-apocalyptic ass.

  15. Great, another V-Twin bike, just what the world needs, a rattling ,underpowered waste of good material.
    @airshowfan: there is more to it than that, ethanol burns (much) hotter than gasoline, you will melt the motor if you don’t cool it correctly. On an air cooled engine the easiest way to cool it is to run the fuel mixture rich in fuel so unburned fuel is evaporating as the exhaust valve opens.

  16. Imagine riding that through a mud puddle with that back wheel. Or gravel to the neck – ouch!

  17. Way too fetishistic and too much of a straight-line drag bike for me, but there’s no accounting for taste. Nice company. They named a bike model, the N.F.B. Hellcat after Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest; slave trader, a founder of the KKK, and the man responsible for the massacre of unarmed black prisoners at the Battle of Fort Pillow.

    I don’t care for their overpriced bikes, but I really loathe Confederate. I don’t think they are worthy of promotion here.

  18. Interesting as an art piece, but I’d look questioningly at someone who actually rode one of those around town.

    And Yowch, “Confederate”? Yeah, no.

  19. Can I just say… yeah slavery and racism suck, this post is about design (not the aformentioned slavery or racism), nd vryn hr mst lkly hs n prblm wth plcng Nlsn Mndl n pllr – th sm mn wh strtd hs crr wth fn frys nt gncd, mss rp, tc. It’s all relative my friends. Just focus on the design please.

  20. #10,

    Are you serious? You do realize chain drives are used in the majority of bikes, including professional racing? You really expect shaft drive on a sport or dirt bike?

  21. I won’t pay $100,000 for the bike but I will pay $100 to punch the douche bag in the video square in the face.

  22. “another V-Twin bike, just what the world needs, a rattling ,underpowered waste of good material.”

    Jeez, what would you say about my single-cylinder bike??

    That still gets 50mpg, so suck it. ;-)

  23. As a cellist I have to wonder what the hell cello suites have to do with this softy motorcycle.

  24. @#13 DR JAYUS

    Well, an internal combustion machine that gets 45mpg…but, I guess I see your point. =/ I’d be more worried about wasting money.

  25. After a look at their web site I come away with the impression that the bikes are 85% marketing, 15% engineering. They look neither comfortable nor fun to ride.

  26. An interesting look- which is a nice diversion from the long fork, high triple clamp, hardtail design that goes for “custom” these days (showing your individuality by looking like all the other custom bikes, which this doesn’t)

    However, a motorcycle is for riding, and this looks grossly uncomfortable- maybe comfortable enough to trailer it to the rally, ride it a few miles, and then trailer it home.

    Function should drive style- which is what the original choppers and cruisers were- a way to customize a bike and make it more comfortable for long trips, but still be able to handle high speed sweepers. This bike is all about showing off how much money you have, not your proficiency in choosing a high performance machine.

    And to the V-Twin scoffers- V twins make great engines. Just not single crankpin 45 degree V-Twins (think Ducati, Moto Guzzi, and select Honda models, such as the Superhawk) Me, I prefer a boxer twin, like BMW’s R-series. 4+ cylinders are great for high horsepower and high speeds, singles and twins rule for torque and acceleration.

  27. I don’t think it’s pretty, it looks incomplete. And it’s not really a bike, since you can’t really ride it anywhere else than a racetrack, where you’d promptly crash it.

    It’s not pretty, nor useful, nor smart. Must be art.

  28. I dont’ ride motorcycles, but almost looks good enough to make me interested in starting.

    Needs one more wheel though.

  29. I think it’s beautiful how the designers created a single, straight line extending from the rear axle all the way through the tank, indicating the exact angle the rider will be launched off the bike when braking.

  30. It’s kind of strange to me that there are so many anti-establishment types around here who don’t like the “confederate” branding device. I guess if you believe everything you read in your latest revised copy of revised US history (written from the point of the view of the victors no less!) then the whole them=bad, us=good thing is a no brainer (literally).

  31. To #46. That revisionist argument would be great if the company didn’t make it’s intentions and affiliations clear by naming one of their models after Nathan Bedford Forrest.

    That, plus the naked guy lashing “something” with a whip, has GOT to be one of the most INSANE marketing strategies I’ve ever seen.

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