Look 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.
The 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.
Had 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.
We 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 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.
The Fighter is available now from Neiman Marcus. It can be yours for just $110,000.