Archive Page 2


Contempt for Ingratiation | 2010

The unveiling of the 2010 Confederate P 120 Fighter — Combat edition

Contempt For Ingratiation

Contempt For Ingratiation

For us, design truth lives through transparent cultural inspiration.

Our highest goal is to design and create honest machines!

Our contextual and strategic integrity is derived from the American way.

The American way mandates the fight for self-awareness and the courage to embrace and act upon self-discovery. Thusly, one must do what one is passionate about and what one is best at. This organic alignment drives the holistic actualized existence.

Issues which relate to control over others and/or creation of profits receive no priority. Effort is organized around permanent sustainable resilience and strength.

Self-perpetuating destination benchmarks are set of their own volition. An inherent healthy incrementalism results which makes for the most exceptional journey.

Mindful nurturing leadership, not management technique, sparks the core charge of the purist (the pure objective individualist). Each team member is empowered with our vision, our values, our goals, our mission, straight-forward focus, all necessary training and tools. Thrift, brilliance and best efforts are expected. Enterprise cause must zealously fire individual purpose. Deployment is predicated upon personal initiative.

We are the rebels. Our revolt challenges established order, which, though well-intentioned, organically confounds the purist’s critical journey of self discovery.

Our ideologically and philosophically driven protocal requires a skeletal (to showcase hand-craftsmanship), minimal (to express our profound feeling of humility and honor to be enabled to design and create the machines of our dreams), fresh (to be relevant), timeless (to be sustainable), classless (to inform individual uniqueness and equivilency of specialness), strong (to be everlasting), American (to communicate anti-imperial rebellion) body of work.

When we began in the Spring of 1991, American Industrial Design was at a low point. There have been numerous effective like minded design driven turn-around efforts since. We are very proud and honored to be a small yet active participant in this movement which we feel marks the beginning of another great chapter of amazing American creativity and ingenuity.


A Lush Midnight Ride in the Deep South

A Lush Midnight Ride in the Deep South

A little after 10 in the evening I sparked the 131 Combat edition Hellcat initiating a blast straight down 59 from Northern Mississippi to the French Quarter.  It was 87.  I was wearing perf leather and our carbon fiber full-face helmet.

Gently I rowed through the gears, covering a couple of miles to reach my desired 3500 RPMs in top gear.  This machine was tuned to the 21 tooth counter-shaft sprocket, making 92 mph at 3500.  I held steady for 10 to 12 minutes.  As ever, the Generation 2 Hellcat felt taut, primal, like it was carved from solid granite, light, stable, linear; with never a harsh response.

Handlebar feel is street perfection.  Power at 3500 is “shred the tire cannon fire” at the wrist flick.  I drop to 3 grand (76 mph).  The sound of a small aircraft with the calmness of having decelerated from a greater pace put me in the optimal Hellcat rhythm.  Every aspect of the machine feels omnipotent, alive and happy.  I meld with that explosive, yet confident beautiful sense of ease and begin an ultimate motoring meditation I haven’t experienced for too long.

When you’re riding the greatest torque to weight ratio on the planet, you must blast beyond lethargic unassuming cageriders every few minutes to release pent up machine/man stress-inducing anxiety.  There exists uncontrolled relish and glee in this exercise.

At the end is the all important dismount.  My destination, at a few minutes past midnight, is an extraordinary and well-attended club.  As I pull up, amidst a bevy of youthful feminine beauty, there is always prevalent absolute reverence for the aesthetic design honesty of a Confederate motorcycle.  Because this respect is extended to the mount’s rider, the ending almost rivals the mid-journey overall sensations of therapeutic well-being.  I play disinterest, but as all latent middle-agers secretly know, absent some form of Trojan horse, the form of respect I’m referring to no longer exists.

For me, the value of the above referenced occasion based motoring experience is priceless.


A few words from Virgil Exner…

Exner - page 1
Exner - page 2


The Ride of Your Life

The Confederate dynamic challenge is to create a living emotive romance between yourself and your individual Confederate machine.

Five priorities were codified to inform our solution at our founding:

I.   Symbiosis
A.  the feel is stable, light, agile and integrative

II.  Breathing
A.  Response is through cerebral and spiritual rather than physical energy

III. Heartbeat
A.  Ride and handling are in perfect harmonious balance

IV.  Muscle Memory
A.  Handlebar, seat and peg feel is over-sensory, over-communicative, deadly accurate and 100% linear

V.  Discipline
A.  There exists no suddenness or anything abrupt concerning change


Elements of the Business Case for the Fighter

The backstory for the Fighter begins on a balmy South Louisiana journey down Old Highway 61 between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Following a glorious law school graduation celebration, my best friend and I were cruising, top down, in my 74 Jensen Healy, at 80 plus around Sorento at midnight, when suddenly and thunderously, a contingent of Sons of Silence riders on skinny, long, stripped, stroked, shovel heads blew by in perfect formation on the bleeding edge.

The character of this bottom-up American mechanical expressionism spawned a genre of post modern caricatures, culminating in popular TV personalities and factory choppers.

The challenge for us, which has been simmering for quite some period of years, was rooted in creating an honest architectural echo of what the pure essence of these machine forms mean.

We begin with the geometric right triangle; a simple display of implicit strength. This form, to meet the true to concept test, had to be function driven. Thusly a 30 degree neck was lowered to visually live at 45 degrees relative to the prominent backbone. Leanness is implied through the acute narrowness of the design. Minimal, skeletal uncompromised craftsmanship is transparent; this illuminates the significant role the Fighter is destined to play in the life of its “purist” owner. Extreme light weight with big displacement massive torque speak truth to real power. The avant guard element lives in the negative spatial aesthetic relationships which organically create the gestalt of the machine. Therein is expressed the dark unspoken reality of what the tearaway rebel within us all knows to be ever present. The Caravaggio image of David grasping the artist’s severed head perfectly conveys the attitude and symbolism of the expression.

We are gratified with early critical support for the design.




The authenticity of pure, simple, minimal, skeletal, true to concept, avant guard foundational boundaries for American craft, art and design are derived from straight-forward accurate inference from rugged individualism which defines the American way. Juxtaposed against manifest destiny and the triumphant American system, the unique relevance of the Confederate brand, and our Confederate craft, art and design guild is properly illuminated.

The American system under which we labor is a hybrid system. Smith’s theory of moral sentiments and Rand’s Fountainhead imagined a pure capitalist economy where the client is king. Authentic, read honest, private mercantilism, built for long term strength, not scale, competing on a purely non-interventionist playing field would result in a linear, deliberate uncompromised qualitative pulled production of only that which informs and enriches the lives of the client. This core ideal of our American initiative thrives at a perfect holistic economic set-point; the linear thinking individual client will organically make his or her analysis of personal enrichment relative to competing opportunities, which intuitively consider all costs, including those of an environmental and social nature. Our initiative mandates a steady-state economy focused on sustainable qualitative growth.

The American system quite rightly imagined that the American way would result in a much more protracted build up of accumulated capital. A push system, fueled by interventionist governmental policies at the macro-level supported by non-linear agnosticism relative to contextual product pitch would result in growth and wealth accumulation at hare-like speed through vast economies of scale. The idea worked brilliantly. America became the most powerful empire in our known world in record time.

Confederate is a tortoise. We believe our ideals are right. Strategic, slow, methodical, intense, deeply-considered, passionate, honest, disciplined machine design, engineering validation and craftsmanship will beat a Cadillac Cimaron approach. However, I am negotiating the acquisition of a Black Cadillac V Series CTS as I write, as well as a yellow Camero SS for my youngest son. GM should not be held entirely at fault. The hare goes so fast he has to stop and rest. GM is not a small batch craft house and design think tank like Confederate. It has to make moves based upon the playing field it is on at the time. A cool quote from Gandhi is relevant: when asked what he thought of capitalism he responded, “I think someone should try it”. Nothing going on today is unusual for a hybrid economic system such as ours. (which is far and away the best in the world; where else could an upstart tearaway of rebels such as ourselves be so welcome and so nurtured.) I say give GM the bridge loan without conditions. The company that boldly designed and manufactured the 1960 Corvair, a bell-weather of avant guard American design purity, demands our reverence. Further, Detroit is the new New Orleans. She must be saved. Lastly, as Woody Allen once interestingly declared, “we need the eggs”.


Beauty is the splendor of truth

If you are reading this you already know that ours is a conviction brand. We lead our family of clients. Thusly, our authenticity is pure.

Our design body of work is strategic. At initial exposure, there exists high impact, a shock to the senses with a good measure of awe. A feeling of discomfort arises in the viewer. To the extent that timidity is engendered, the idea may begin to take root that the work is strange. To the extent that boldness and audacity is engendered, the idea will take root that the work is honest, straight, forward thinking and true to concept. The difference lives in the measure of self-confidence which our viewer possesses.

Irrespective of initial opinion, further in there exists allure. This fact is actual because as Plato declared, beauty is the splendor of truth. If we polled our audience of potential clients to determine what our body of work should be, our dialog would be indirect, tainted, diffused, disingenuous, untrue and irrelevant. It might be homely or it might be okay looking, but it would never rise above the status of mediocrity.

Fierce American rugged individualism grounds our strategic design effort. It is purely anti-establishment, standing in defiance of a well intentioned proxied intelligentsia who, unknowingly, organically create a one size fits all lowest common denominator. The manifestation of the ever present tension between the many of ordinary position seeking individual empowerment and the very few of extraordinary position seeking consolidation of power appears in the form and context of our machine. It is the blood of the Confederate motorcycle itself which breathes life into our eternal cerebral and spiritual rebellion. Each individual machine is a physical embodiment and transporting vessel for unique personal individual rebellion. Each encounter is a personal life-affirming, self-informing ritual of sentient enrichment.

The creative passion and romance which connects us to such a sacred emotional clarity can not be watered down. Only the most direct communication has value. The test score must equal 100% or nothing at all.