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C3 X132 Hellcat: the toughest, lightest, fastest AND cheapest Confederate streetbike ever


December 2, 2010

The Confederate C3 X132 Hellcat: Fighter series

The Confederate C3 X132 Hellcat: Fighter series

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We see grandiose press releases every day here at Gizmag – but few of them use language which tickles us as much as Confederate's recent missive promoting its new C3 X132 Hellcat. How's this passage for an example: "This C3 Hellcat has the highest rear wheel torque to weight ratio, compared anywhere throughout the operating RPM range, in all of motordom, by far." Dig into 'em, those words are bold, aggressive and unmistakably American – much like the cyber-brute bikes that come out of the Confederate factory. So let's take a quick look at the Hellcat, which is at once the fastest, toughest, lightest and cheapest bike this bunch of Alabama madmen have ever produced.

You have to celebrate the sheer purity of vision in evidence at Confederate – no other manufacturer in the world is pushing out anything remotely like Confederate's Wraith, Fighter Combat and Hellcat models. This is motorcycling at its most raw and visceral – a celebration of metalwork and muscle and a monument to American individualism. It's vastly different to the rest of the motorcycling world and you're invited to kiss its rear hugger if you don't like it.

The new C3 X132 Hellcat takes Founder and CEO Matt Chambers' concept of the perfect motorcycle another step forward.

Chambers believes a bike needs to be "tough" – in every sense of the word. There's no doubt that the C3 Hellcat has this wrapped up in the appearance stakes; it's all gleaming motor and wheels, with a squat, fat, painful-looking seat the only nod to comfort.

But in functional terms, Chambers believes the C3 is nigh on unbreakable: "We have definitely made the toughest, most indestructible, long lasting motorcycle it is possible to create." He goes on to give examples: the 43-pound (19.5-kg), once-piece forged hard steel crankshaft, the 6061 aircraft grade aluminum engine cases, a front engine mount that's ten times the size of anything else in the motorcycle world, and a rear swingarm pivot that "could literally pull a train of a thousand cars."

Then there's the Confederate vision of speed – what it means to have a fast bike. Forget your 320kmh Hayabusa or your World Superbike racetrack champion RSV4, Chambers is making streetbikes – and fast on the street, in his eyes, means that whenever you goose the throttle, wherever you are in the rev range, you get access to immediate and Earth-shattering torque and propulsion.

To that end, Confederate has teamed up with S&S; Cycle to create the new torque king of motorcycles: a 132ci (2163cc) monster V-twin with square 4.4-inch by 4.4-inch cylinders and a monolithic 145 foot-pounds (196.6 nm) of torque. Horsepower? "Sufficient." Heh-heh.

Chambers says this grunting beast of an engine, including that massive "forged in the fires of Mordor" crankshaft, can deliver big-time torque anywhere from idle upwards without batting an eyelid. We'd certainly enjoy testing its mettle.

Perhaps the best news is this: despite the fact that the C3 X132 Hellcat will be Confederate's quickest, toughest and lightest bike ever (at 475 lbs, or 215 kg), it's also an order of magnitude cheaper than previous bikes. At US$45,000 or so for either the sharp-steering Fighter model or the more relaxed, cruisy Roadster series, it's around about half the cost of the Wraith or just over a third the cost of the P120 Fighter Combat... so owners of those have a right to be a bit miffed.

What hasn't changed is the bike's exclusivity – while its price will put it within reach of a lot more buyers, the C3 is still going to be made in boutique numbers. After all, the factory only consists of a dozen-odd workers. Only 150 will be made, and latest reports are that 27 are already reserved, so if you want to rip up some bitumen with one of these evil American steeds, now's the time to get a deposit down. Delivery is guaranteed by the end of 2011.

We love the fact that guys like the Confederate team are out there proudly doing things differently, we love their obvious passion for the beauty of precision metalwork, and we admire their no-compromise approach to street performance and design. Most of all, we'd love to take one of these things out and give it a proper flogging to see if Confederate's passion translates to real-world performance. We fear it just might.

About the Author
Loz Blain Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade. All articles by Loz Blain

Ahhh shit.... Lets put in a total ban of \"concept\" 3D CAD drawing things... and ONLY use them as a development image when included with pictures of the finished product being ridden on the road.....

I am so sick of the pie in the sky bullshit....

It\'s like OK - so someone likes to doodle in 3D on a computer and then serve it up as a fact check, instead of speculation.

Mr Stiffy

It made sense when they were talking about \"moving art\" or using novel supension designs, but something like this now seems to be targetted at bikes like the Aprilia Tuono and the Ducati Streetfighter, both of which would eat it for breakfast.

Apart from anything else, the person who wrote the press release doesn\'t know a damned thing about engineering, because Torque is just twisting power (Power=Torque2Pirevolutions per second in metric), so a gearbox will change the torque output making the claim \"This C3 Hellcat has the highest rear wheel torque to weight ratio, compared anywhere throughout the operating RPM range, in all of motordom, by far.\" juvenile if not stupid. It would be quite possible to match the rear wheel torque of a hellcat with a CT110 if you selected appropriate gearing, however it is rear wheel POWER which delivers acceleration.


I know Zilch about motorcycles but I wonder how well these \"boutique\" style bikes perform on the road. I mean, they build it but how much R&D actually goes into the feel and handling of the bike while riding it. Maybe it makes no difference... just thinking in text.

Dana Lawton

Wow, some real angst in the first two comments there. MrStiffy, the world of CAD and simulation is universally accepted in modern engineering and product development to hone and refine a design before you actually start to cut metal. The point is this design is finished, it\'s going into production, if you order it, according to the press release, you\'ll have your bike by next year. Next, Drew_1, please review your engineering textbooks - torque is intrinsically linked to power in piston engines, high torque insinuates high power, but look at the actual concept - it\'s only a V-twin, a boss-hoss produces more power and torque, so their torque is all talk. hah. Lastly, Dana, you profess to know nothing about motorcycles but you\'re actually completely right, the design of this motorcycle seems to be aiming at straight line performance and not handling, judging by the stance and swingarm length. But that said, this is not about handling, it\'s clearly about the look, making a bold statement. Nice bike.


With regard to the statement \"Torque is just twisting power,\" I\'d like to point out that torque isn\'t twisting power, it is twisting force. Big difference. Acceleration is proportional to force (F=ma, force = mass times acceleration). Torque is twisting force, so acceleration is proportional to torque. Power is the rate of using energy, like how fast you can burn gasoline. Power relates to maximum speed attainable. Power is torque times RPM. Simply put: power -> speed, torque -> acceleration. Think rear wheel only, the transmission drops out of consideration. One does have to question the statement concerning highest torque to weight ratio. That would be the highest acceleration from the F=ma relationship. Quite a claim. Should be able to prove that on a drag-strip, if the rear tire hooks up.


If I were a crotch rocket sort, this would put me in absolute HEAVEN!

Chris Blake

Weren\'t they supposed to move back to New Orleans?

The Official Guinness World\'s Record for the Most Powerful Motorcycle Produced is: The Y2K Turbine Motorcycle, STILL made in Louisiana.

425 ft./lbs. of torque, at the rear wheel.

Named for the notorious Y2K bug for 2 reasons:

1.It was made without computers, had no onboard computer (was Y2K ready- the original prototype did not even require electricity to run once started) and, unlike its namesake, shut down dyno computers and police radar units at 200 mph.

2.The only truly new motor vehicle for the Year 2000, it ushered in the New Millenium.

These guys are design geniuses. The art of motorcycle design will never be the same after exposure to Confederate\'s work. As for fast, I used to be known as a go fast kind of biker and I have to say that I\'m glad I don\'t have the youth in me to need to twist that throttle wide open. For a street bike I think the instant power on hand would be shocking and beyond the ability of most riders to use. I hope Confederate prospers and I say thanks guys for the wonderful art. Facebook User
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