Military inspired styling, bare bones functionality and nomenclature that is in essence dedicated to the pilots of World War II, is what defines the small yet powerful line up of motorcycles designed and built by the American limited edition motorcycle manufacturer – Confederate Motorcycles.
Founded in Baton Rouge Louisiana, 21 years ago, and reflecting a relentless love and passion for the American way of life and the craze for motorcycling, Confederate Motorcycles commenced with their focus on design and product exclusivity. Applying an organic creative approach, their motorcycles are aimed at being exclusive, small batch, handcrafted and thoroughbred steeds, that fall in line with the American drag race industrial design architecture.
Based in Alabama, the company has its entirely own design thinking and philosophy. The names of their motorcycles – Hellcat, Fighter and Combat – and their design, styling and build, pays homage to the World War heroes of the American air force, and are taken from iconic flying machines.
Hellcat flying machine
Their most popular model, the X132 Hellcat, named after the F6F Hellcat flying machine that was a masterpiece of industrial and mechanical design and ruled the skies in that period, is powered by a 2.2 litre V-twin engine with a unitized gearbox, that involves stacked gear clusters inside and is a stressed frame member. It also uses a billet crankcase.
Although modern motorcycles are the top of the charts in both frills and thrills, the true blue ones are more about the raw, bare and solid all metal feeling that provides for rough interactions with the wind, a straight up heart to block connection with the engine, a direct chassis feedback and the constant reminder of the need to be constantly and fully engaged, and at one, with the machine.
The Confederate Hellcat is every bit a true blue motorcycle. Loud, throaty, thunderous and with firm sporty suspension, minimal ‘attachment’ points and a rigid mounted engine, the Hellcat commands one to keep their mouth shut and their eyes, ears, and all motor functions on full alert helping them to attain unity with its essence. Once in a while, one can dare to fool around with the bike a bit and push it further along, only to realise that they’ve complied with its wishes, and not the bike with theirs.
The primary focus of the motorcycle and the company that has spent two decades working on the likes of it, is nothing but the amplification of the elemental characteristics of a true motorcycle. This leads to a completely different and unique to the brand riding experience that does not involve any gadgets or electrical aids to provide for additional safety. The throttle response is immediate and the slightest twist, sends the massive motorcycle leaping forward with a monstrous force and hence signifies the need for constant control. Spinning below 2000 rpm, the bike settles into a gait that pushes it forward in perfect sync with the engine’s rhythm.
Unique sitting position
The pull of the throttle produces a lurch that feels like quite an irresistible force propelling the bike forward and is accompanied in sync, by a loud exhaust note.
Built from the finest materials including carbon fibre and billet 6061 aircraft grade aluminum, the bike also features a clear window of machined polycarbonate that show off the cam’s belt drives and the see through allows quite a show of sloshing and churning as the engine oil splashes in the reservoir while the engine is running.
It has a three gallon fuel tank that features a matte clearcoat over carbon fibre and is completely designed and developed by Confederate. The 28 inch high leather seat, swept back handlebars and forward foot controls provide for a very unique sitting position and riding stance along with key focus on comfort, safety and stability.
It is needless to say that amongst all motorcycles, the new X132 Hellcat Speedster – Confederate’s latest offering in the Hellcat range, is a brilliant combination of raw power, structural strength and visual appeal. It is a limited edition of only 65 such pieces, each priced at over $65,000 and require a reservation fee of $10,000.
One of the proud owners of this amazing masterpiece is none other than Indian cricketing star and current captain of the team, Mahendra Singh Dhoni – an avid motorcycle enthusiast who has quite the dream line-up of steeds in his garage.