Riding Keanu Reeves' £90,000 motorcycle: the 2020 Arch KRGT-1

We travel to Los Angeles, California, to test the new 2032cc powered bespoke and handmade Arch KRGT-1.

1y ago
37.8K

Adam 'Chad' Child is a multiple UK record holder, international road racer and has been professionally bike testing for 20 years.

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This isn’t like any other production bike. This is a bespoke, handmade machine that takes 90 days to assemble and costs £90,000.

Arch is a company created by Keanu Reeves (yes, him) and Gard Hollinger, and the KRGT-1 is the latest machine to roll out of their small factory in LA. For 2020 there are 20 major upgrades and 150 newly designed and manufactured components.

Some of the changes – like the re-designed rear mudguard, or fender as they say in California – have been forced upon the team to meet Euro4 homologation. Other components have been tweaked to improve the handling and performance or simply to add aesthetic value. Drool over the lovely five-spoke carbon wheels and new ‘race-inspired’ billet aluminium swing-arm, which increases rigidity and reduces weight.

There are noticeable changes throughout the bike. New digital clocks, for example, with more information; updated bodywork; a re-designed billet aluminium fuel tank that takes a week to produce. The tail section, which is also billet, is all-new, as are the seat, suspension, ABS… the list goes on.

There is billet aluminium everywhere – 544kg/1200lb of aluminium is used to produce one bike. The in-house machined side plates are lovely, equally so are the fork bottoms that accommodate the six-piston ISR monobloc calipers (£1,440/$1,500 per side). From the tailored seat to the Magura levers, which are £760/$1,000 per lever, every detail has been thought about to a Rolex level of detail and precision.

The new digital, slightly retro dash illuminates with a turn of the rather large central mounted key. One press of the starter button and that huge 2032cc air-cooled V-twin barks into life, along with a bespoke exhaust designed in partnership with Yoshimura.

The vibrations are as apparent as Boris Johnson’s incompetence, and the new clocks shake charismatically as I blip the throttle. Bottom perched on the comfortable seat, bar-end mirrors positioned correctly, into a surprisingly slick first gear on the forward-set controls – and we’re away.

I’m immediately aware of the taut Öhlins-suspended chassis, which is on the firm and sporty side for a cruiser. The ride isn’t overly harsh, though, and the seat is comfortable, but the lack of rear sag certainly takes me by surprise.

Even in LA, where rubber faced celebrities and supercars are around every corner, the Arch turns heads at every intersection. The two-into-one Yoshi’ exhaust has a charismatic bark. As I ride through LA I notice that the gearbox is far smoother than expected, a far cry from the agricultural American gearboxes of old. The clutch is lighter and easier to use. The dash is clearer than before, though not the full-colour display you might expect on a high-end cruiser.

Up onto the freeway and the KRGT-1 is in its element, snorting up to speed without fuss. Acceleration from 1500rpm in any gear is like riding a tidal wave of torque. Without passing 3000rpm I’m already up to 80mph and breaking the speed limit. Away from the eyes of the law she’d hit 100mph with only a tickle of the throttle and continue climbing, but as the police are armed over here I’m not keen on trying the Arch flat out.

Cruising on the freeway and the ergonomics feel natural. I’m relatively short, yet the bars and feet-forward controls aren’t a reach. That firm suspension doesn’t bump me out of the seat on bumps and undulations as I was expecting, in fact the ride quality is inspiring. At 75-80mph the motor is ticking over smoothly around 3000rpm, giving a sense of vibration through the bars which is noticeable rather than annoying. With its 19-litre fuel tank you could easily go touring on the new Arch, no problem – the only detail lacking in this respect is a fuel range indicator.

As you’d imagine with a wide rear tyre, long wheelbase and a lethargic, raked-out front end, stability was never going to be in issue. The initial turn is a little sluggish, but once passed five degrees of lean the Arch rolls into corners gracefully. You can then just keep leaning and leading.

The Arch delivers with almost sportsbike levels of lean, the stuff Harley riders can only dream about. Fit some more rear-set pegs on this bike, drop the bars and you’d have a knee down mid-corner cruiser.

That quality Öhlins suspension holds the heavy chassis extremely well. There is very little sag in the rear shock and because the rear isn’t sitting down as expected, nothing touches the road, even when a few unexpected undulations are thrown into the equation. Despite the lack of squat, you can still dial in fistfuls of torque and feel the grip. Eventually, without any rider aids, that fat Michelin will break free, but you’d need to be devilish with the throttle or have a cold tyre to do so.

The front 48mm fully-adjustable Öhlins forks are also on the sporty side, while the uprated six-piston ISR calipers are sportsbike-strong and free of fade, which is impressive given that they have to haul down 244kg plus rider.

Verdict

The level of workmanship that has gone into this bike is mind-blowing. The components, the CNC machine work, the creativity and craftsmanship are all unmatched.

For a performance cruiser, the KRGT-1 handles, stops and certainly has some go. The elephant in the room is its price. At £90,000 it’s not realistic or achievable for most; simply a poster bike, a dream. But it blew away my expectations. Time to cash in the pension of the kid university funds?

A budget alternative...

If £90k is out of your price range, but you're really set on a masterpiece from Keanu Reeves, may we recommend Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-Ray? *guitar solo*

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Comments (7)

  • 100% jealous

      1 year ago
  • There are two types of people who are potential buyers.

    If you try to see all his films and also buy tickets for his guitar performance because you are his biggest fan.

    Or if you are so rich, you'll see it in one of those magazines I only read on airplains or sauna's and just go on your phone and click "buy".

      1 year ago
  • Quite Breathtaking

      1 year ago
  • Actually Thats not a bad price, the Carbon fibre wheels arent cheap, neither are ohlins shocks, And it IT should be PROPER quick, the Original 2015 KRGT could despatch 400m in 9.90 @ 233km/h.

    but Here are some comparisons:

    Tom Cruise's Bike of Choice, is a Bimota Tesi, Price Tag is $52,000 Aud.

    A Chopper from OCC (orange county choppers) is between $50,000 - $150,000 US

    One of the worlds Fastest production Bikes the Kawasaki H2, is Just $31,000 US- and wont make your hands/wrist's Numb from Vibration.

      1 year ago
  • I had a privilege to sit on one of the earlier models and it is only then that I fully realized the incredible level of works that made this bike. The photos just don't do them justice, it is stunning. The price is not the reason I won't buy this beauty. If I am twenty years younger I'd ride the hell out of her ( but I'd move the footpegs backwards). But, I won't have the money back then...

      1 year ago
    • It is plain wrong to emphasize the price of Arch. Y'know, that is a money for a mass produced SUV that would end in a junkyard in ten - fifteen years and this bike will always be one of the best anywhere.

        1 year ago
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