The L.A. bespoke brand offers their second motorcycle for purchase
Keanu Reeves had a dream- the acclaimed actor has always loved motorcycles, and he envisioned what for him would be the perfect American-made motorcycle, combining classic American cruiser lines with aggressive sport styling and handling. With the help of friend and eventual partner Gard Hollinger, the two set to work on building a motorcycle and custom company that would create and bring to market a motorcycle built to the customer’s specifications and tastes. In 2011, ARCH Motorcycle was born. From their debut ARCH KRGT-1, the now-unveiled ARCH 1s, and the limited-production ARCH Method 143, Keanu, Gard and their team of designers and builders pride themselves on challenging the perception of what an American motorcycle can be, and how they can be built.
The recently revealed and now available for purchase (for the few that can afford one) ARCH 1s is a remarkable feat of motorbike design and engineering. The bike has been in development since 2017, and while first unveiled back in March of this year, as of October the bikes are now up for sale- at $128,000 per build. That obviously prices the machines well out of most rider’s financial reach, but for those who have the quid to spring for one, they get a 124c.i. (2032cc) custom S&S Cycle v-twin that pushes a claimed 121.77 ft. lbs. of torque, mated to a 6-cog gearbox and dry clutch, with fully adjustable Öhlins suspension fore and aft, a full ISR braking system, Bosch ABS, and their unique “collaborative process tailoring livery and ergonomic fit to each owner.” More on that shortly.
This new ARCH model is a bit more sporting than their first-gen KRGT-1 machine, the ARCH 1s running on a shorter wheelbase for sportier handling. It utilizes a steel chassis and a billet-machined aluminum subframe and single-sided swingarm showing off that sexy rear rim and rubber. There also is carbon fiber in abundance- those BST 17 in. wheels, the 4.5 gal. fuel cell, both fenders, and the unique air intake system, among other bits. Speaking of which, the vents on either side of the tank housing actually draw air into the back of the system, where the filtration unit resides. Beautiful, aggressive-looking design.
The ARCH 1s sports an in-house designed, model-specific upswept exhaust, which functions as good as it looks. Very nice. The bike tips the scales at about 563 lbs wet, 33 lbs lighter than its elder sibling the KRGT-1. The ride, we’re informed, is quick, nimble, and light-feeling, with killer power and low-end grunt, yet form-fitted to the owner to experience a level of comfort and versatility unmatched by off-the-showroom motorcycles.
What’s special about Keanu’s and Gard’s approach is their direct connection to each customer who buys a bike from them. From start to finish, the owner is involved in the process of the building of their own bike. Controls positions, seat feel and comfort, foot position, reach, etc., each bike is built for each specific customer. The build process is meticulous, with an attention to detail expected in the price tag.
“It’s incredible to see how far we’ve come in such a short period – from the KRGT-1’s amazing reception to the new 1s as our second model,” Keanu recently stated. “And that’s a real testament to our talented design and build teams and their ability to produce something that fulfills ARCH’s ambitions for what a motorcycle company can bring in architecture, style, elegance, and overall experience.” Gard added, “The 1s beautifully merges American cruiser-inspired elegance and race-inspired performance- a concept we’ve worked to design, build, test, refine, and deliver since its initial reveal. I’m proud and honored that we have this opportunity to share the new 1s model with the world.”
It’s a fascinating machine, a fascinating custom motorcycle company, and a fresh approach to bike building- the customer literally helps create their dream bike. If you’ve got the coin, you can join the ARCH family. Few will be able to, but those who can will own a slice of very distinctive American motorcycling. Hats off to them, and may they continue to grow and expand their lineup and influence.