Cycle News

Cycle News 2014 Issue 03 January 21 2014

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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Page 57 of 113

VOL. 51 ISSUE 3 JANUARY 21, 2014 P59 SMAN AT WORK what he wants. How cool is that? The Bienville Legacy… the latest creation of New Orleans-based designer J.T. Nesbitt. tending, then began designing motorcycles for Confederate Motors in New Orleans, after owner Matt Chambers recognized a fellow iconoclast who could help him promote Confederate's Art of Rebellion in creating V-twin mo- torcycles like no other. In designing bikes like the Hellcat with its exhausts exiting via the swingarm tubes, or the Wraith conceptualized from a blend of vintage board tracker and Italian racing bicycles, Nes- bitt set Confederate on track to becoming the boutique brand of choice for America's rich and famous, with Hollywood A-listers Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Nicholas Cage, through to rock idol Bruce Springsteen, heading the high-profile roster of Confederate owners. And more often than not, they wanted more than one of these exquisitely crafted and inevitably ultra-costly two-wheeled works of art in their personal garage. But then came the tragedy that was Hurricane Katrina, which in August 2005 devastated New Orleans, and with it the Confederate factory just as the Wraith was reaching production in the hands of development engineer Brian Case, working under Nesbitt's supervision. Confederate relocated to Birmingham, Alabama, courtesy of Southern motorcycle patriarch George Barber, but Nesbitt declined to go along with the move, preferring to stay in his adopted city, and help work on its recovery. He established Bienville Studios (Jean-Baptiste de Bienville was the Quebec-born French governor who founded New Orleans in 1717) as a free-

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