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Two electric motorcycles on the horizon

Curtiss Motorcycles' Zeus

It’s back to the future as two new electric motorcycles are unveiled, both paying homage to the golden age of motorbikes

Two US companies have unveiled electric motorcycles, Zeus and the electric BMW R71.

Zeus is the new electric motorbike concept prototype unveiled by US company Curtiss Motorcycles.

The Curtiss Zeus prototype is powered by a 14.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that runs the rear wheel via the world’s first E-Twin power unit – a set of two high-output electric motors driving a common output shaft.

“Zeus introduces a fresh, all-new design DNA that will define every Curtiss motorcycle moving forward,” said Curtiss design director Jordan Cornille. “This minimalist, pure, organic brand language has been carefully developed over the last several years, and foreshadows an entire family of Curtiss products to come.”

Curtiss is named after motorcycle pioneer Glenn Curtiss, in a nod to Curtiss Motorcycles’ heritage. “With Zeus, our goal is to produce an honest Curtiss — one whose form, proportion, stance, and graphics are reductionist by nature, fusing classicism and modernity,” said Curtiss CEO Matt Chambers

Zeus is still in the prototype phase, meaning that details and pricing are still to come.

Meanwhile, in late April, startup ReVolt Electric Motorcycles, a subsidiary of lithium-ion battery tech outfit Alternet Systems, has revealed its inaugural product, an electric version of the classic BMW R71.

Although dressed up to look like the BMW classic, ReVolt’s model will utilise Alternet’s lithium batteries.

The pilot bike is currently in development, and should be ready for testing and evaluation by summer before debuting at trade shows in autumn. ReVolt will target the US market, though in the future it may go after emerging markets with a more utilitarian commuter model.

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