Curtiss V-8 Battery Introduced in New Electric Motorcycle
By Tim Charlet on August 29, 2018
There was a day when the baddest bike on the block was the one with the loudest pipes. While there is nothing that compares to the rumble of a properly tuned V-twin engine, many motorcycle brands (including Harley Davidson) are beginning to focus their efforts on developing new electric motorcycle models. To that effort, American motorcycle manufacturer Curtiss Motorcycles has recently announced the debut of their second electric-power bike – the Hera.
Curtiss Motorcycles unveiled its first electric motorcycle in May 2018, the Zeus, which was developed in partnership with Zero Motorcycles. Following the naming of electrical motorcycles from Greek mythology, the latest entry, the Hera is named after Zeus’ wife. Expected to debut in 2020, the Hera is being marketed and branded as a new class of motorcycle.
According to CEO Matt Chambers of Curtiss Motorcycles, “With Hera, we set out to create the world’s most luxurious motorcycle. Featuring the world’s first V8 battery architecture, an ultra-powerful, yet refined, E-Twin motor, and a 66-inch wheelbase, Hera will occupy a class all her own.”
The Hera was inspired by the 1907 V8 land-speed motorcycle of Glenn Curtiss – who set a land speed record of 136.3 miles per hour in January 1907, earning Curtiss the title of “fastest man on earth”. Fast forward more than a century to 2018, the Hera is essentially Curtiss’ V8, but with eight electrically-inspired “cylinders”, via high-density Li-Ion batteries that mimic the original motorcycles design.
This E-Twin motor design consists of two, individual Zero electric motors with a single drive shaft connected to a drive gear. It sits under the seat and utilizes a belt drive to supply power to the rear wheel. A low-profile mounted coil-over shock absorber provides stability and enhances handling. The electric motors were introduced with the Zeus and work together to generate 290 pound-feet of torque and approximately 170 horsepower. In fact, famous motorcycle writer Paul d’Orleans referred to the Zeus as “Probably one of the most powerful motorcycles ever built, besides the Boss Hoss.”
The Hera is expected to make its debut at The Quail motorcycle gathering in Carmel, California in 2019. With Harley Davidson close to introducing their own electric-powered motorcycle soon, the Curtiss Hera could provide some stiff competition – especially if they reach consumers first.