Confederate Fighter chops Wraith design themes

Dailies -


Confederate_Fighter_7.jpgLook at the new Confederate Fighter and you’ll see a motorcycle with a more purposeful stance than any before it. Look closer and you’ll see some great design details. Look closer still and it all falls apart. That stance? Meaningless. The 64″ wheelbase, 19″ front wheel and huge rear tire will stop any pretensions of handling dead. The neat design details? Uncohesive and, in places, tacky. The best of them are pulled directly from the Wraith, a bike the Fighter attempts and fails to accompany.
>Confederate_Fighter_1.jpgThe pre-Katrina Wraith was a timeless masterpiece, a category defying
artwork and something of a myth; only two were ever made. Post-Katrina
the company has lacked the vision of designer JT Nesbitt, something
that’s painfully obvious in the uncohesive, unnecessary updates: things
like the external exhausts and huge, ugly seat.

Confederate_Fighter_2.jpgHad the Wraith never existed, we’d think the Fighter was a pretty cool
bike with really cool front suspension — check out the way the LED
headlights are incorporated into the leading edges of the girders. But
the Wraith did exist, and copying its suspension, exhaust-incorporating
bellypan and instruments, then applying them to a bike which has had
the rest of itself designed separately under a different, less
sophisticated mindset has resulted in a confused motorcycle.

Confederate_Fighter_3.jpgWe like the tubular fuel tank-cum-frame, but what function do the
hollow tubes that oppose it perpendicularly serve? Why is the swingarm
so long? Why is the rear tire so wide? Why is the front tire so narrow?
We’re afraid that the answer to all those questions is that Confederate
is now a trend follower instead of a trend creator.

Confederate_fighter_4.jpgConfederate is making some pretty lofty performance claims for the
Fighter. The untested 190mph top speed is a number plucked from pure
fantasy. One that, even if theoretically attainable, would be made
impossible by the feet-forward riding position. The Wraith, which is
powered by the same engine, only managed 166mph during its runs at the
Bonneville Salt Flats last month, setting a land speed record for
unfaired, push-rod 2,000cc bikes in the process.

Confederate_Fighter_5.jpgThe Fighter is available now from Neiman Marcus. It can be yours for just $110,000.


  • 6mt

    nuf said

  • kyle

    You’re dead on Wes. This bike, while dramatic, has a derivative front end and aft of the gearbox is pure laziness.

    I sat in a hotel ballroom at an IDSA conference in Pittsburgh and watched Nesbitt and another guy walk into a PACKED ballroom, saunter on stage, sit down at a table, pour Maker’s Mark neat and light a cigarette. After a solid five minutes of silence, with the crowd building to a barley contained frenzy, Nesbitt spoke passionately about his work. However, the most striking memory is when he started the Hellcat IN the ballroom and revved it wildly, pumping large amounts of blue, aromatic smoke into the room.

    He said they had loaded the single hellcat in a van and driven up from New Orleans the day before.

    damn fantastic.

  • hoyt

    The integrated lights are cool, but don’t headlights need to be attached to a fixed part of the chassis as opposed to a suspended component?

    The swingarm length, tire dimensions, and foot controls are baffling

  • TeeJay

    High tech components put together, but it is not a high tech bike. Rather it’s a typical American piece of crap, expensive and useless. Motorcycles made in Japan.
    You want an exclisive bike? Build one for yourself and stop posing on such expensive junks.

  • doubleoh2

    Are they drag bike dimensions???

  • MP

    At first it sounded a bit like sour grapes but I went back and compared the two and you’re every bit right. While the NM bike has elements that make you go ‘oh cool’ the more you look at it, the more you think ‘whaaaaa…?’. The Wraith is/was one of those bikes just made you stop dead in your tracks (like the Britten) and while there are things about it to me that are a little ‘funky’ it is so much better than this sad ‘rich and clueless boy’s toy’. Why they didn’t just do the Wraith is odd.

  • Wes


    That “other guy” was Grant, HFL’s creative director.

  • TBS Stunta

    If you push your research a little further you will see what I’m assuming was the original front end.

    I consider a much finer solution and one that works better with the rest of the design.

  • Wes

    TBS: That looks like a render. I’m assuming Confederate didn’t have the bike finished in time for the catalog’s deadline. We wanted to show pictures of the actual machine.

  • Markus

    shock and awe.
    absolutely terrible.

  • Shawn

    I’m assuming that with the feet-forward controls, wide rear end, and narrow front………. that they we’re trying to take the popular Wraith and create a modern bobber from it? That’s the only thing I could think of. the worst is the seat. Can you imagine putting more than an hour on that?
    This is a perfect example of having a lot of creative ideas, but without an overall design lead.

    p.s…. if your going to push the “performance” statement… you should probably put some performance tires on it.

  • Sasha Pave

    Its a shame to see Confederate completely ignore good physical dimensions, handling and rideability. This is like a garish sledgehammer of design that belongs on the polished floor of a collectors garage. A bike should do more than look pretty, it should stir the soul on a Sunday morning.

  • room

    You sure this isn’t an oCC bike?

  • thomashenny

    WTF is this?! It looks like someone stuck a huge wrench between the handlebars and seat. JT Nesbiscuit needs to get laid; he needs some $2000/hr pussy to stir some passion back into him.

  • Deckard

    This bike is a design disaster.

  • dave

    @ thomashenry:

    Dude, in case you’ve been sleeping, JT is no longer with Confederate, the same as the rest of us Pre-Katrina… We all left. Matt has all new people working for him, including a new ‘designer’…

  • isaac

    Dave, I am with you on the Pre-Katrina bikes. The old Wraith (B91) was pure sex. I don’t know what this guy was aiming for but it sure wasn’t good looks. Since when was there a bike limo service. The bike is too long and the rear tire is too fat for any serious cornering. I bet this bike cost’s over 60K too. It seemed like the designer had good intentions but failed to deliver. I am with who ever said the back end was pure laziness.

  • Matt Herbz

    Isaac, the bike is being offered for $110,000. No doubt a gigantic sum to anyone other than Matt Herbz–he who wipes his ass with $100 bills. I will purchase one and exhibit it on the show “Pinks.” I will drag race a $9,000 Honda and lose, giving the winner this overwraught, underdeveloped piece of shit.

    Matt Herbz

  • Eric

    I ordered a Wraith over 3 years ago and have been trying to get my deposite back over the last year. At that time when I ordered the Wraith they were 45k. Now they are over 80k and out of my league. I sold my Hellcat to buy the Wraith & still think its one of in the most stunning bikes I’ve ever seen. They are still financially hanging by a thread to a point where they are refunding my deposit in installments. It’s a damn shame since I was previos customer and could not get Matt Chambers or anyone else to return a single phone call. I hope they make it though… Loosing J.T. Nesbitt was a huge loss.


  • B.Case

    Eric, I don’t think losing JT has anything to do with the financial instability of the company…or lack of bike delivery.

  • Eric

    Agreed, but I felt that JT was a cornerstone of this company and his departure didn’t help the company.

  • Matt

    I have put over 30,000 miles on my Conf Hell Cat and the guys over at the New shop have always been great.

    Best Regards Matt