Curtiss Motorcycle Company and Fast Radius, an additive manufacturing service provider, partnered to create a prototype of an impressive vehicle in 2019. Called the Zeus 8, it is the world’s first bare hot rod bike with visible battery cylinders made by printing components through a 3-D printer.
Commercial availability for the Zeus 8 is still expected in 2020, although delays may push it back a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The chassis of this bike features a weldment of 1.75-inch titanium and Chromoly tubular with 6061 aluminum. This approach gives the Zeus 8 a lightweight user experience that’s still strong enough to manage the battery arrangement for the electric power it uses. The wheelbase is 62 inches, with a ground clearance of 9.5 inches, and the seat height is 27.5 inches.
The expected peak output from this design based on the initial prototype printed by Curtiss Motorcycle Company and Fast Radius is 217 horsepower. You can pick up one on pre-order still for $75,000.
You Get a Custom Bike in 12 Days with This Approach
The Zeus 8 received its first exhibition at the Quail Motorsports Gathering in Carmel, California, in 2019. It features 60 small parts that use hybrid additive and subtractive manufacturing to complete the product, taking only 12 days to complete all of the parts needed for the bike. That means you can have a custom motorcycle ready 48 hours faster than anything the competition can offer right now.
You also get a smaller price when considering the Zeus 8 because the partnership between Curtiss Motorcycle Company and Fast Radius provides a 95% yield on parts.
The first run for the Zeus 8 involves 100 motorcycles. Additional projects are coming from the two companies because of the success of this electric bike.
Brian Simms, who is the Vice President of Sales for Fast Radius, sums up the partnership in this way.
“Our partnership with Curtiss is ideal because it allows them to do what they do best – designing stunning motorcycles. We do what we do best, which is matching the project with the right technology and getting quality parts made quickly.”
This Process Could Change How Custom Motorcycles Get Made
The processes of 3-D printing could disrupt the entire custom motorcycle industry. Several partnerships are exploring the possibilities of this technology right now to help make kit bikes at a fraction of the price of what it takes to by one at retail.
Although the electric motorcycle may not be a popular option during the first years of its production, a shift from fossil fuels to promote environmental awareness could put the Zeus 8 on the fast track to a successful outcome.
This eight-cylinder design is about as minimal as it gets, with Autoweek comparing the approach to what Confederate Motors took in the early 1990s. Some elements, like the arching backbone and the front forks of the bike, show the influences that Matt Chambers has had on both companies.
The motorcycle offers a top speed of 136 mph.