The Tesla of Motorcycles
Curtiss Motorcycles aims to become what it calls “The Tesla of motorcycles.”
The company has been manufacturing motorcycles for nearly 30 years, and is now targeting the rising trend for electric vehicles by producing a premium, all-electric motorcycle.
Founder Matthew Chambers has three decades of experience designing and building high-end luxury motorcycles, and is the inventor of the American “V-twin” and “V8” bikes. Now he’s focused entirely on creating battery-powered, electric motorcycles, and aims to take his company public by February 2020.
The market for electric motorcycles and bikes is growing. In July 2018, Harley Davidson (NYSE: HOG) announced plans to create multiple electric motorcycles. And last year, companies like Honda and Kawasaki unveiled electric scooters and bicycles.
The problem with these companies is that, in addition to electric motorcycles and two-wheelers, they have to spend time and resources maintaining their line of gas-powered motorcycles. Curtiss, meanwhile, is dedicated entirely to creating electric motorcycles, enabling the company to devote all of its energy and capital toward this mission.
Curtiss’ team began exploring battery-powered motorcycles more than seven years ago. At the time, however, the technology was premature. Batteries were too heavy, motors didn’t have enough power, and bikes weren’t able to travel far on a single charge.
Today, advances in technology have enabled the company to create a prototype of its first electric motorcycle called “Zeus,” which was named “Most Innovative Motorcycle” at the 2018 Quail Motorcycle Gathering. This annual event, whose sponsors include Land Rover, GEICO, and Yamaha, awards top bikes from around the world.
Paul d’Orleans, author and co-founder of Motorcycles Arts Foundation, said of the motorcycle, “The Zeus is probably one of the most powerful motorcycles, besides a Boss Hoss. That’s got to be one of the most powerful electric motorcycles ever built!”
Curtiss’ Zeus electric motorcycle can travel up to 250 miles on a single charge, and the battery features multiple levels of charging. A full charge takes between 4 to 5 hours, and a “quick charge” option results in 60% battery power in a much shorter amount of time.
In addition to the Zeus, the company has developed two other motorcycles, “Hera” and “Hades.” All three bikes fall under the company’s Series 1 lineup of electric motorcycles.
Each motorcycle is designed so that the battery pack can be updated with new technology as it becomes available. For example, in 10 years, if battery technology advances, users can upgrade their battery pack to have the latest technology in the same bike.
Curtiss offers customers the opportunity to design their own motorcycle. To do this, the company uses a digital configuration tool called “DreamMaker.”
Essentially, the company works with clients using this program to custom build a bike, ensuring the design and structure are safe. Once a model is created, Curtiss manufactures and delivers the bike within 90 days.
To date, the company has pre-sold more than 1,000 motorcycles. In addition, the company has multiple patents “in the pipeline.”
Curtiss’ goal is to pre-sell $20 million of its Series 1 bikes before February 2020. In doing so, the company aims to capture 25% of the U.S. market for electric motorcycles by next year, and expand to European and Asian markets in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
With funds raised, the company will start production of its Series 1 bikes. The company then aims to go public on the NASDAQ by February 2020.
Matthew has spent nearly 30 years in the motorcycle industry. During that time, he has served as the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Curtiss Motorcycles.
During his career in the industry, he invented the American “V-twin” and “V8” engine motorcycles.
Prior to starting Curtiss, he spent 13 years as an attorney at a Louisiana-based law firm.
Matthew earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Law degree from Louisiana State University.
Jay has more than 25 years of financial experience, including working with startups. He has served as Curtiss’ Chief Financial Officer for nearly six years.
Prior to that, he was an accountant for NCP Solutions, a company focused on optimizing communications systems for businesses, specifically early-stage companies.
He earned an Associate’s degree in Accounting from the University of Phoenix.
Paul has spent 25 years in the motorcycle industry, including more than 12 years with Curtiss Motorcycles.
Specifically, he has worked in areas including sales, service, and public relations.
He studied Communication and Media Studies at Jefferson College, and received a Motorcycle Technical Degree from Motorcycle Mechanics Institute.