It all began in 2007 when Keanu Reeves met Gard Hollinger asking him for a custom Harley with sissy bars. To which Hollinger said immediately “no”. But he showed him the kind of custom he could do and Reeves was so convinced that he came with a second great idea, to start a motorcycle company together. Holliger, who is a pragmatic man, said “no”.
The KRGT-1 and its carved tank
Hollinger finally accepted and Arch came to life. He puts a lot of care in all his custom made bikes but I was stunned when I first heard how they manufacture the tank. It’s carved from a solid block of aluminum. This takes more than 60 hours and because they’re in California they also became very skillful in recycling the aluminum left over from the production of the tank itself. I’ve seen it from smaller parts like fork bridges or brake calipers but never for a tank.
This is how Arch take their design seriously. Every bike is personalized for each customer and therefore unique. The bike with its 200 parts is made in Los Angeles.
The frame has an interesting shape. Nothing crazy about the kind of frame but I like the signature in the “arch” part of the frame that goes over the tank. Which is like motorcycle frames used to be built in the 20s but in this case, it’s curved or arched if you like. This should give more space to the tank. There are two riding positions available, a one more relaxed cruiser like and another one more sporty to enhance the riding experience.
The engine is a big, huge, American V-Twin, 2,023cc to be precise. But the size is not there to reach performance, it’s there to serve the feeling and satisfying the soul.
Soul, identity and its place in this world
Arch is not a cafe racer, a naked bike or a cruiser it’s a new interpretation of the American bike. It’s a different genre that more brands are trying to define in the last years like Ducati with their Diavel although the Diavel is more a sporty cruiser while the Arch more in its own category followed by Vanguard motorcycle, a new project based in New York.
There are Japanese muscle bikes like this, you might think, but it’s a different story. While the muscle bikes like the Yamaha XJR are fully packed with technology the arch is a mechanical beast and technology is just there to enhance the rider experience not to disconnect him from the machine.
It will cost $78,000 which is a lot of money but let me put it this way: in a world of mass production something shaped by human hands is not only special, it’s alive.