Monday, December 19, 2011

Royal Enfield rider designs Confederate motorcycles

Edward Jacobs interview on Gotcha Racing.
Riding a Royal Enfield Bullet in India, Ed Jacobs remembers, "I must have been run off the road 50 times."

Jacobs is the design chief for Confederate Motorcycles, and he is the subject of a fascinating article by Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Dan Neil in the Wall Street Journal.

The author attributes Jacobs' inspiration to "Arjuna, the silver-bright and unconquerable charioteer in the Mahabharata; Sun Tzu's military strategy of 'yielding and resisting'; the 'intentionality' of Japanese architect Tadao Ando; and the exploded-view functionalism of Pompidou Center."

Writing like this explains how you get the Pulitzer Prize for scribbling about motor vehicles (Neil is the only "car columnist" to ever win the Pulitzer).

But I wonder if Jacobs' designs for Confederate Motors aren't also a reaction to getting forced off the road all those times on his Enfield.

His Confederate X132 Hellcat looks like a Panzer tank on two wheels — only deadlier.

As Neil describes it, "the cylinders' downpipes merge in an underslung exhaust nacelle that looks like it should vent ionized plasma."

Yeah, either that or depleted uranium bullets. There would be no forcing this baby off the road!

Confederate Hellcat is no fraidy cat.
Jacobs was born in Hartford, Conn. and lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., Neil writes. But he has seen the world beyond the Brooklyn bridge.

"A student of Eastern philosophy and martial arts, he spent 2000 to 2001 in Kerala, along the southwest coast of India, studying Ayurvedic medicine and indigenous combat arts. He got hooked on motorcycles in India, riding an Enfield Bullet to the Himalayas and living to tell the tale."

Confederate motorcycles are, no doubt, superb. The X132 Hellcat is designed to be an affordable offering. A special price of $45,000 applies through Feb. 29, 2012. Lucky thing it's Leap Year, because that gives you one more day to raise the money.

On March 1 the price will be bouncing off $50,000. Even then, it's half the price of Confederate's R131 Fighter, at $100,000, (and only 10 of those will be built).

What are they like to ride? Nothing in Neil's article tells us, but Confederate's website reports that he did. Neil describes his ride in this YouTube video but, to every one's disappointment, doesn't start the motorcycle:


  1. What a coincidence! Thank you Jorge. Readers, want to hear a Confederate run (well, at idle, anyway)? Watch Jorge's video to the end.

  2. Anonymous12/20/2011

    The guy blathers on for nearly two minutes and says nothing substantial.


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