Confederate's Renovatio – the handmade American streetbike goes modular
By Loz Blain
August 20, 2007
If you thought Confederate’s previous motorcycles, the Wraith and Hellcat, were outrageous to look at, wait ‘til you see the company’s latest project. The virtually frameless Renovatio takes minimalism and modular design to the next level and flags a bold future direction for this iconoclastic New Orleans-based streetbike manufacturer.
Confederate, in their short history, have made it their business to stand apart from the crowd, delivering high-end hand-made streetbikes with industrial-retro-meets-goth looks, fat v-twin engines and no consideration at all for the racetrack performance that seems to drive most of the motorcycle industry these days. The company’s Wraith and Hellcat have sold well for a boutique brand, most famously to Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt – these eye-popping bikes are among the few vehicles on the planet that can legitimately match the world’s biggest movie stars in the head-turning stakes.
The Renovatio concept is set to take the company’s avant-garde look a big step forward. Confederate’s conceptual design team leader, Ed Jacobs, has released his vision for the company’s next major model, which the company expects to refine and push to production by sometime in 2008.
The Renovatio (latin for “rebirth”) retains the Wraith’s carbon-fiber girder fork concept and tractor-style seat, at least in some sketches, but introduces a new modular design language that all but does away with a traditional frame. Swingarm, seat, tank and front-end are all pretty much mounted to the 1686cc v-twin engine – and in some incarnations the Renovatio’s seat is suspended in midair from the tank.
Confederate intend for the Renovatio to be a modular design platform – hence the different seat and tank options shown in the design sketches and the large circular mount points located all over the vehicle. At the heart of the beast is a 90-degree v-twin powerplant derived from General Motors’ LS7 7.0 litre V8. It should put out around 150hp in the normally aspirated version, or closer to 190hp with the optional supercharger. Either way, those are enormous numbers for a big twin and the Renovatio will be suitably overpowered for the street, particularly given its lightweight carbon fiber/aluminum construction.
Pricing will be at the premium end – The Wraith and Hellcat both sell for well over US$50,000, reflecting the thousands of hours of work that goes into their construction and the exotic materials they’re made from.
The Renovatio is an exciting concept from Confederate and we look forward to seeing how these CAD sketches translate into a road-going production motorcycle.