Best of the Best 2012: Motorcycles: Custom: 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

Legacy Classic Trucks is breathing new life into the Dodge Power Wagon and other old-school trucks…
Only seven of the themed Continental GT Speed models will be made, and owners get to ride in a jet...
Lufthansa allows first-class fliers to drive a Porsche 911 or Panamera while waiting for wheels up...
These hard chargers from the world’s premier automotive masters are fast, furious, and the future…
Unconstrained by convention, today’s top builders produce motorcycles that set new benchmarks…
Photo by James Lipman
Bentley proves that luxurious amenities and raw speed make fine bedfellows…
The Range Rover Sport SVR is the first in Land Rover’s new ultrapowerful lineup…
Robb Report Spain named the 2015 GTA Spano supercar to 2015's Best of the Best...
Though its power is electronically limited, the bike still puts its road-going competitors to shame…
Vintage formula 5000 cars will make their debut at this year’s Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion...