Alabama motorcycle company Confederate has changed its controversial name to Combat Motors in the wake of the global Black Lives Matter movement.
Back in 2017, the company considered changing its name after the race riots in Charlottesville, Virginia, where one person was killed and 26 injured when a car slammed into a crowd of people protesting a white nationalist rally.
However, Confederate Motors president H. Matthew Chambers only introduced the name Curtiss Motorcycles for the introduction of their electric models. The name comes from the famous aviator and motorcycle racer Glenn Curtiss.
At the time, Chambers admitted they had “lost a lot a business with that name” and “missed out on branding opportunities”.
However, they continued producing conventionally powered motorcycles under the Confederate brand.
Now, with Confederate and other racist statues and monuments being toppled around the world in the BLM movement, they have relented and changed the name to Combat Motors.
In a Facebook statement they said they changed the name “to better reflect the spirit and the values of the Combat Motors team, manufacturing partners and clients”.
Here is the rest of the official statement:
Confederate Motorcycles was established in 1991 as an international brand. In psychology, confederates are actors who participate in a psychological experiment pretending to be a subject but in actuality working for the researcher. This is why we would commonly refer to our customers and clients as our confederates. In much the same way, they participated in building and celebrating our bespoke motorcycles that by their very design bring people together to agree in the proposition that this motorcycle is like no other.
Our motorcycles are realized through a partnership with our various members of our team who design, build and distribute these one of a kind masterpieces. We feel that the new name better exemplifies the spirit and values of that team. We stand with those fighting for change in the United States and are very happy to contribute an overdue but small part of that change.
The F-117 Combat Fighter, P-51 Combat Fighter, FA-13 Combat Bomber and the Combat Wraith are each built upon the CX-4 frame, feature an S&S X-Wedge 117 or 132 cubic inch engine, BST wheels, RaceTech suspension, Beringer Brakes, Motogadget electronics, a Bandit clutch and have a frame carved entirely from solid billet blocks of aircraft-grade 6061 and 7075 aluminum built by 3D Systems, resulting in the most robust, fatigue-resistant motorcycle possible. Each of our manufacturing partners makes doing what we do possible.
True to his passion as “curator of the brand”, Ernest Lee, owner of Combat Motors, has hired many of the design, assembly, sales, service and support team from the company’s past, Jay Etheridge, Jason Reddick, Landers Sevier, Andrew Reuther, and Dave Hargreaves to name a few. Our manufacturing vendors, our clients and our team are each integral to not only our current successes but also to determining our success in the future. We make a ritual of consulting with clients and those previously involved with the company while deciding on the appropriate path for the brand and have received overwhelming support for this change.
Our brand is bigger than any one of us and needed to be something that would match the values of the company and the feeling that people get when they see our motorcycles for the first time. Combat Motors will live in the spirit of clients that have owned our bikes and in the people who have been involved with the company since its inception in 1991. As long as we have motorcycles on the road, our brand will shine through their owners.
Combat Motors will continue to support Confederate branded motorcycles and is offering re-branding with any service at its Birmingham location for any Confederate Motorcycle owner interested in an update.
Today’s announcement signals to the world that Combat Motors will be built for many years to come.
Look for them on the road.
Confederate has many celebrities owners such as Nicholas Cage, Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves, and has been imported into Australia by Urban Moto Imports.
Confederate had been imported into Australia by Urban Moto Imports, but there is no longer an Australian distributor.