Best of the Best 2012: Motorcycles: Custom: Confederate X132 Hellcat

  • Confederate X132 Hellcat

Confederate Motors has been building ambitiously designed, hand-assembled motorcycles since 1991, but for its latest creation, the Birmingham, Ala.–based manufacturer has introduced a new platform that eliminates many of the complicated steps involved with building its earlier bikes. For the new X132 Hellcat, instead of mounting the powerplant onto the frame with bushings, the Confederate crew locks the engine’s CNC-machined case directly to the frame, using it as a stressed member. Confederate, which developed the design over a three-year period with engine builder S&S, calls the architecture "X-Vault."

 

X-Vault allows for a stiffer, more direct way to drive power to the rear wheel, resulting in a more responsive ride. Think of the Hellcat as having a design more similar to a racetrack-ready, unibody Porsche 911 than a body-on-frame Ford F-150.

 

The Hellcat is propelled by a massive 132 cu in (2,163 cc) engine constructed of billet 6061 aircraft-grade aluminum. The mill produces 132 hp and dwarfs some automobiles’ powerplants.

 

The $54,450 bike displays such exquisite details as stainless-steel bolts and carbon-fiber wheels. Hardware components include a rear Race Tech coil-over, a Marzocchi front suspension, and brakes by Beringer and Brembo.

 

The X132’s spare industrial-style design is punctuated by sculpted slabs of bare metal and exposed mechanical parts, including the belt-driven cams, which are visible through a clear cover made of machined polycarbonate.

 

Though the latest Confederate offers a ride that is sportier than its predecessors’, the bike still is better suited to bolting from stoplight to stoplight than competing on a racetrack. Lean, minimal, and beautifully executed, the Hellcat offers a visually and viscerally heady way to get from points A to B.

 

Confederate, www.confederate.com

Ferraris steal the show, with three 1960s examples each selling for more than $16 million…
The 1972 Maserati Boomerang and 1950 Bugatti Type 101C Coupé Antem are pieces of automotive mastery…
Concepts from Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, and others stole some limelight from Pebble’s historic cars…
Of the 219 cars that competed at Pebble from 16 countries and 29 states, here are our favorites…
The five-seat performance vehicle, scheduled for release in 2016, is Jaguar’s first-ever SUV…
The September 6 event near Paris on will feature an abundance of classic cars and culture…
Guests high-tail it through the desert in a Ferrari, McLaren, and Porsche…
Crafted from aerospace billet aluminum, the explosive motorcycle boasts 200-plus horsepower…
A Red 1968 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale Wins the Quail’s Highest Honor…
With enhanced horsepower and a weight under 2,500 pounds, this racer is ready to rumble…