2015 Confederate C2 P51 Project Drawing Revealed

Computer rendering of Confederate C2 P51 Fighter

The 2015 Confederate C2 P-51 Fighter project

Confederate Motorcycles has just shown a drawing of their 2015 C2 P-51 Fighter. A video with Pierre Terblanche, Confederate's head of design, gives us a general idea of what they're doing, as he highlights a few features of the new bike. The billet aluminum cases are 40 pounds lighter than the previous version, the heads, barrels and valve covers are all new, plus they have a new downdraft injection system for more power and better ergonomics. As with previous offerings from Confederate, it will feature a combination of aluminum, titanium, carbon fiber and stainless steel. He says the bike should be ready by June or July of 2014.

With only a drawing to go by, it's hard to know what to think of it, the styling is pushing design for even a limited production bike, to a point where you have to wonder whether anyone will actually ride it. He does mention the improved ergonomics, but is that the focus? I picture this in Tony Stark's hidden garage, just sitting there among the other exotica. More Tom Cruise, less Jay Leno. The thing is, I kinda like it, I just can't picture myself on it going anywhere, great focus for a bench racing session, though.

Well, you can have one of your own in about six months or so, start saving, now.

Link" Confederate Motorcycles

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  1. John M. says

    I’m surprised you didn’t comment on the cylindrical protuberance in front of the engine. Looks like a possible electric motor. Hybrid?. I can see where some ultra capacitors could be used with such a setup for an extra dose of power, at selected moments, kinda like electrical Nitrous.

    • Greg says

      I initially wondered if it is an electric motor connected to the primary drive on the left side of the engine, but then I spotted the spout toward the right side of the cylinder. It may be the oil tank placed upfront to dissipate heat from the oil.

      • Lost Boy says

        If so thats one seemingly big oil tank. If it isnt a tank, then, where does the oil go? Unless the entire engine is different and has a wet sump setup. Upon first glance i was wondering if it was a motor or generator. As always, super different but in a super cool way.

  2. todd says

    How can you remove 40 pounds from an engine case? Was he using billet steel before?

    This thing is so ridiculously stupid.


  3. Mark L. says

    Wow! It looks like the foot controls are a part of the engine case, and that it has a sprung seat, complete with its own suspension.

    As for the “drum” on the front of the motor, I’m guessing big assed counter balancer.

    I would have thought that with the maturity of Pierre, that Confederate would move away from the art school 101 associative design cues. Hopefully this is just a design exercise much like Victory did with the Vision.

  4. Jim D. says

    How do you call *THIS* P-51? I think it’s interesting that Confederate likes to use Aircraft names without drawing any inspiration from the actual planes. Do not bandy about revered names without paying homage to them. (The Hellcat had just about zero callbacks to the Grumman masterpiece either.)

    The P-51 is lean, pretty, delicate. It’s a lady. It was also deliberate and practical, nearly every feature was dictated by performance or sensibility. This thing is all bulky, concentrated, mass. Nothing elegant or streamlined about it.

    All ranting about names aside, this thing is ugly. And I like Buell’s, KTM Dukes, and the Speed/Street Triple.

  5. Roy says

    It’s ugly as hell. Tell me what are some of these “ergonomics” about which he speaks. And why was there an extra 40 ponds in the crankcases. There have been no front suspension systems equal to the Hossack so why the big ugly forks? I guess “unique” implies expensive? The materials attest to quality and longevity and that’s great but is extravagance a worthwh goal?

  6. motoTrooper says

    I was thinking fuel tank by the size of it but looking at the rear of the engine it appears the fuel tank might be incorporated into the frame there. So probably oil tank in front.

  7. Scott123007 says

    I can’t imagine someone with the resources to purchase one of these things wanting something like this. Usually, a very limited and expensive vehicle excels at something we mere mortals can’t get in mass production vehicles. This ridiculous looking contraption is nothing more than the king of “look at Me.”

    • says

      Boss Hoss monstrosities sell nicely, though, and often get modified to the point of being as expensive as a Confederate.

      De gustibus non est disputandum…..

  8. Honyock says

    The “drawing” has all the clarity of a photograph of the Loch Ness Monster making out with Sasquatch at Area 51. And it was very difficult to believe that the British guy with the French name was “excited”.

    • Lost Boy says

      Yeah thats what I was thinking. I’m sure a lot of detail being left it are things like the “bolts” that hold the foot pegs on. We can only hope.

  9. Cowpieapex says

    Isn’t “look at Me” a bit of what it’s all about.
    Confederate has through the years explored some interesting technical solutions to how a motorcycle works that were also distinguished, in Pierre’s words,as, “industrial sculpture”.
    This design aesthetic is similar to that which produced such stunning machines as the Indian straight 4 or the Auburn Speedster, amongst others.
    For pure utilitarian transportation Craigslist is resplendent with sound economical devices of the 4 wheeled variety but, if thrills and spectacle are on the agenda, great bikes influenced by the “ridiculous looking contraptions” of past eras can be had for pennies on the dollar.
    I have little doubt that M. Terblanche will bring a sense of real world elegance to Confederate’s extravagant designs which will make them the icons of future decades.

  10. Dr Robert Harms says

    Airbrushed Solidworks mutant coupling of Rune and Travertson takes digitally overdone billet to new heights (and weights)

  11. Scotduke says

    I didn’t like any of his designs for Ducati either. Maybe some steampunk fans will go for this. Confederate does build high end motorcycles for a specific customer base willing to pay.

  12. Scotduke says

    Oh, and ditto regarding the other comments on the P51 fighter, which (along with the P38) was as good looking as it was effective.

  13. Dr Robert Harms says


    In fairness, he states “crankcases” and I believe he is (albeit ambiguously) referring to the assembled crankcases which include the newer crankshaft with flywheels. They had stated to me that intended to have S+S lighten the overly heavy flywheels previously used. If you search the older releases from Birmingham you will find that the weight of the final machined cases were only 40 lbs en situ

  14. paolo says

    ducatis’ dark days were during mr terblanche tenure, styling the front of motorcycles like vintage locomotives etc (true look it up)
    I think this is a much better fit from him a small boutique maker that relies on style and function doesn’t matter to much, to make use of his styling attributes
    I think its great theres freedom out there to pursue anything, and if folks like em they’ll prosper

    • Doug says

      Vintage locos are great, so the 999 has great inspiration.

      The design above is NOT a clean sheet Terblanche design. Have you seen the original Confederate Fighter? Neither of the bikes are appealing to me at all, but you cannot fault Terblanche for the overall design. He was hired and if the boss says he wants to evolve the Fighter, then fault the boss.

        • Doug says

          “ducatis’ dark days were during mr terblanche tenure, styling the front of motorcycles like vintage locomotives etc (true look it up)”

          You didn’t fault Terblanche or criticize the bike, but how does that subjective statement fit in anywhere without being passive aggressive?

          Show me sales figures during the 999 years against the 916-998 if it was so “dark”.

                • Doug says

                  Wrong ‘em boyo…just calling bs on your claims of Ducati’s dark days.
                  Do the Super Mono, MH900 , & Sport Classics relate any more or less to the discussion about the above Confederate than the 999? In case you didn’t know those are also Terblanche’s bike designs & are among Ducati’s notable models for a variety of reasons

  15. Klein says

    Terblanche designed some great industrial kitchen appliances while at Ducati! His enthusiasm in the video speaks volumes for his interest in this project for Confederate. Apparently he needs a job though in the industry again after unmemorable forays at MotoGuzzi and I believe Norton.

    One question: what happened to all the other motorcycle designers that have worked for Matt over the years who were going to revolutionize the industry…

    • jt nesbitt says

      Sandy Kosman (the original designer of the 1st generation Hellcat chassis) has recently retired after a lifetime of drag racing innovation.
      Brian Case is a founding partner at Motus Motorcycles and is preparing to launch production of the incredible MV4.
      Ed Jacobs is a successful working Industrial designer in New York.
      After an 8 year hiatus cross-training in the automotive world, I am about to launch a new bike this winter, thanks for asking. — JT

  16. says

    My impression is that this is another variation on the same theme, like Hollywood makes more and more sequels to any movie that gets any box office traffic. Rocky, Star Trek, etc.
    In this case, it was once a radical and novel and “outlandish” style that had its day. I think that day is over and it’s time for a fresh look, not a re-make of the same basic thing with more “outlandish” trappings.

    Not that there is anything inherently “wrong” with the styling theme, for those who like it. But, I just think it’s a played-out look, and they need to move on.

  17. Paul Crowe says

    The knee jerk reaction of some observers to a design like this is predictable, it’s not to their liking, therefore, it’s ugly, though as I noted above, judging a design by the rendering is a little dangerous, the real thing may strike you differently, perhaps not, but worth a pause before heaping on the criticism.

    Of course, I’ve never understood the “my way or the highway” critics, motorcycles allow designers great latitude, and if the basic function remains to some degree, any design will, and should, have its adherents. How well do Confederate motorcycles function? My observation is, though I’ve seen a fair number of pre owned units for sale, they never seem to have many miles. Draw your own conclusions.

    Confederate designs have always struck me as mechanical art more than as functional machines. Some motorcycles can fill both roles, some ignore art altogether, though when you go the art route, it’s easy to get it wrong, easy to over do it, easy to alienate a lot of observers, the same as any other kind of art, but Confederate isn’t trying to be Honda, either. They don’t need or want a huge customer base, but they do need some and that small base may be fine with mechanical art because they want one in their garage to look at or show visitors to their home, they want to be seen on one and have no intention of taking long trips or carving corners at speed.

    A far smaller group, than even those, are the ones who buy based on real knowledge and appreciation of what the machine is. Satisfying them is impossibly hard and you may only get it right once, followed by endless efforts to hit another one out of the park.

    I’m not sure who Confederate is trying to attract, but if they have that customer nailed down, what you or I think doesn’t really matter because I’m pretty sure they’re not aiming at most of us.

    • Lost Boy says

      This is probably the best piece of information on this whole site. “Of course, I’ve never understood the “my way or the highway” critics, motorcycles allow designers great latitude, and if the basic function remains to some degree, any design will, and should, have its adherents. ” There is such clarity in that statement!

    • Dr Robert Harms says

      2 points of (respectful ) disagreement :

      1.0 PC sez: “judging a design by the rendering is a little dangerous”

      –that’s true enough BUT they put out the press release announcing a new bike and Terblanch’s snore inducing video notes “shipment in June July” That’s a lot more definitive than heres a concept we are playing with particually when I assume they are amenable to deposits today

      2.0 PC also sez: “How well do Confederate motorcycles function? My observation is, though I’ve seen a fair number of pre owned units for sale, they never seem to have many miles. Draw your own conclusions.”

      None to be drawn Ever seen a high mileage Lambo or Ferrari. I just sold my 2006 car that had about 7000 miles, yet since that purchase Ive run thru 3 pickups with a total mileage of 300,000 plus . With Confederates remember that lobby art doesn’t get ridden

      BTW — that offending gigundio cylinder on the front of the bike is an electric motor for some hybrid application Think that’s gonna be available in 6 months ??

      • Paul Crowe says

        Timeline probably does indicate the image is closer than most concept drawings. Point taken

        As for the function comment, my wording was a little inarticulate. Most used Confederates are low mileage, but that’s probably a reflection of the clientele, such as yourself, who have multiple bikes and other vehicles and ride it on rare occasions. The “draw your own conclusions” statement meant exactly that, it didn’t mean the low mileage proved lack of function, it implied that it really is hard to tell because they are not a daily rider. Few, if any, have been put to the test. Mass production bikes are sometimes sold with low miles, but are often sold with very high mileage so we can easily discern how well they work. Again, poorly worded on my part.

    • says

      It’s true that a designer (or design team) can design and possibly actually produce anything they see fit. I’ve yet to see the merit in the Confederate design themes. The bikes of late are outlandish to say the least. Yes, it’s cool when somebody throws good sense out the window and buils some crazy contraption. Evereyone will take pictures of it at a show much like you would gawk at a freak in the circus. I saw no mention of the bike’s cost and doubt that anyone with motorcycle rding experience would be dreaming of owning one. The description that this would be best sitting in the background of Tony Stark’s garage in Iron Man 4 is where this bike should begin and end it’s life. I’m all for challenging the conventional wisdom and pushing the envelope, but in the case of Confederate, it continues to be answers nobody has asked….and for good reason. I was wondering how slippery this thing was in the wind tunnel too? I thought of a customer for this bike, if it was 2″ long and made of plastic, Hot Wheels or Mattell could produce profitable units.

  18. Lost Boy says

    Honestly, in my opinion, this is a losing battle for Confederate. Its hard to one up yourself, and for me the Wraith (in a certain trim) was the coolest looking motorcycle ever. Yeah, maybe it rides like crap, maybe its completely uncomfortable, but if I had the money, It would be the first thing I buy to park in my living room. I’m aware this goes against the grain and is the opposite of what motorcycling is about, but every one should be granted a stuck up, eff you moment or dream and this would be mine. I know a lot of people wont agree with me, but it goes like this. Remember when you’re about 13 and that pretty girl sits next to you in class and immediately you are completely enamered with her. Her smell, her hair, all that jazz. I mean complete love at first sight? Before you even hear her speak? Maybe you’ll never “have her” but its a dream. Well when I first saw the wraith (again in a certain trim) I felt that way. Then again she could open her mouth and have severe snaggletooth, but I’m sure you catch my drift. These bikes are 99% art and 1% function. The people that buy them must know that.


    • Dr Robert Harms says

      I own a Wraith and I agree in form but I’m not at all sure about your journey back to grammar school.

      It is the coolest mo-fo Ive ever owned. Also a crappy motorcycle just like a Countach is a dreadful car.

      You are also correct that the worst thing you (anyone, any company, any designer, engineer, athlete whatever) can do is metaphorically hit a home run first time at bat like they did with the Wraith.

      In cars and motorcycles no company not even icons like Ferrari, Bugatti or even Vincent were condemned to the sisyphusian curse of a lead off homer (to continue in the baseball genre).

      I am surprised that your link is to an early Wraith prototype that Im not sure ever really existed (??). Like most concept bikes it was marginally cooler that the “production” bike but that’s like saying you have an everyday Picasso.

      • Cowpieapex says

        First let me thank you for supporting original American motorcycle design in a very tangible way.
        I would love your candid insight into what defines the Wraith as “crappy”. I can see with my own eyes what makes if a “cool.. mo-fo”.
        I think though, the future of Confederate Motorcycles is sold short when a bike that has even a hint of crappy is pegged as penultimate.
        The Lamborghini metaphor can be extended to The Muira which came far earlier in that company’s life than the Wraith, which followed multiple notable but lesser Confederate bikes. I hope to see the bar set far higher under Terblanche, and beyond.

      • Dr Robert Harms says

        regarding the Countach, yes absolutely

        But the later production cars are light years ahead in every possible way except “radicalism”

        You can actually use them . Really

        VW aka massive cash infusion was a game changer

  19. steve w says

    I’ve never really understood this company. It must be a wonderful feeling to have money to design and build something that few will ever own and not really care if you sell 2 or 42. The early versions had some real world use if they had chosen to revamp just a couple areas. They actually sold some of them. With each new version they get further from producing anything that will ever be used and become just a concept company. I don’t dream. I am a realist. For this reason, this company can disappear.

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