When I got the call to attend a press launch for the new 2015 KRGT-1 Arch motorcycle, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Sure, everyone knows the company is backed by Keanu Reeves (yes, that Keanu Reeves), but I didn’t know much else about the production of the bike. I’ve been around the business long enough to have been to a celebrity meet and greet with an A-lister, where they show up, don’t know much about the product, shake hands, kiss babies, and then leave you with nothing but a signed autograph and little knowledge about the product. Much to my surprise this couldn’t have been farther from the case.
Before we get to the bike, let’s address the first reason why Arch will be getting attention from the masses. Let’s face it: Keanu is one of the biggest movie stars of our generation, and his list of credits includes some all time epic movies (Matrix, Speed, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and Dracula, to name a few). When it comes to the business of Arch motorcycles, let’s make this clear: He’s not just a smiling face pushing a product. He is a true partner, participant, test rider, and designer for the KRGT-1. On the day of the launch, Keanu lead every mile of the test rides, sat down and had genuine conversations with all the journalists, and knew every inch of the motorcycle and why it was there. He is a true motorcycle rider and enthusiast and loves the thrill of the ride as much as, if not more than, most of us.
It’s up to business partner and master designer Gard Hollinger and the rest of the Arch staff to capture that enthusiasm and translate it to the soul of the machine. If they can make that happen, there is no doubt Arch will have one of the finest machines on the planet. Now on to the bike…
As Keanu would probably say in a 1980s movie, “Whoa.” With a $78,000 starting price tag, it begs to raise the question, “Where did all the money go?”
The construction of chassis of the KRGT-1 is second to none and would probably be certified for space flight. If it looks like metal, there’s a good chance it’s been CNC’d out of grade-A aluminum with a tons of hours of engineering time behind every cut. The frame, swingarm, parts of the frame, transmission pan—heck, even the primary cover—have all been machined from billet aluminum with such precision and details down to how the final cuts will look before polishing. Their recycle guy must love them. Most impressive would have to be the gas tank and bodywork that too are CNC’d from solid material. An additional benefit of the process is the rigidity, and the gas tank becomes part of the frame strengthening process. Because the bike is 100-percent metal, this offers some amazing choices when it comes to finishes. Each piece of bodywork is shot peened before being anodized. After, that clear enamel is laid over the bike to protect it from the sun. There are no painted parts on the KRGT-1. Pictures don’t do the final outcome justice, and it’ll be interesting to see what final color choices owners will decide on.
With such a high price tag, Arch probably could have decided on a number of different choices when it comes to the powerplant. What they finally decided on, was a good ol’ American V-twin from the fine folks at S&S. This 124ci monster was specially tuned for the KRGT-1 and features 121.53 hp and 121.77 foot-pounds of torque
at the rear wheel. Power is transferred to through a proprietary right side output Baker transmission. Most surprising for this type of powerhouse is the wheel/tire combination. Gorgeous BST Carbon Fiber hoops come in 3 x 19-inch up front and bulbous 8 x 18-inch out back. With more rubber out back than Iggy Azalea, the rear has a 240-rear tire that sits out farther than norm with a 68-inch wheelbase. The KRGT-1 is a long bike, for sure. Another shocker is the 27.8-inch seat height. Even this stubby pony-legged editor was fully flat footed and then some.
The suspension is first class all the way. Fully adjustable inverted Öhlins 43mm forks take lead duty, while a custom-tuned Race Tech monoshock handles the rear. Braking is courtesy of ISR and includes dual radial mounted monoblock calipers in front and a single four-piston monoblock out back, all putting the squeeze on floating discs.
The electronics of the bike include a High-Output LED to light up the night and a super-trick and custom rear LED taillight with integrated signals. Gauge duties are compact but thorough thanks to the Motogadget instrumentation.
To sum it up, there are a lot of go-fast goodies that add up to the high price tag. That’s great for a bike destined to sit in a fancy garage surrounded by other bikes and exotic cars that are never driven. But how does it all come together on the road?
For the test portion of the ride, we hit the world-famous hills of Malibu Canyon. For those who aren’t familiar with these roads, they range from 10-mph tight twisties to long fast sweepers and join either the 101 Freeway or the 1 highway. That’s a pretty good real-world test of all conditions.
On the straight open road, the S&S pulls the 538 dry weight with ease. There are a few choices when it comes to foot controls, either mid or forward. If I lived someplace where the twisties were limited to off ramps, I’d probably go with the forward. Not to say they don’t handle the twisties, but the feet-out-front position is perfect for all-day highway blasting. When the road gets tight and the action gets fast, the KRGT-1 does start to show its size. It’ll handle the tight stuff if you know how to handle a bike. For me, riding a bike that costs much more than my year’s salary and trying to keep up with a Hollywood A-lister who helped developed the bike from day one kept my right hand from going too crazy. The bike is not a sportbike, but it’s not a pure cruiser either. If I had to describe what it is, it would be an MMA fighter.
While a boxer is fast nimble and precise, an MMA fighter is just big, mean, and packs a powerful punch. The KRGT-1 is a big, mean machine but also has class and refinement. It’s that combination of brutality mixed with beauty that sets it apart from other two-wheeled machines.
Would I pay the $78,000 for the KRGT-1? That’s really not a valid question, as I’m not the target market for this bike. Truthfully, for that price, I could probably own multiple bikes and have the entire V-twin collection I want. The owner who’s going to buy this bike is going to be a true motorsport connoisseur. It’s going to be one who appreciates all the craftsmanship that goes into producing each bike and wants the whole experience that comes along with buying a boutique production motorcycle. Keanu’s star power might put a lot of eyeballs of the general buying public to cast their opinion at, but all that doesn’t matter to the real cash-paying client. But, hey, I got to play a rich man for a day and hang with one of my Hollywood idols,
and I will remember that forever.
|Engine||Arch Proprietary S&S Cycle T124 Twin Cam; 124 Cubic Inches (2,032 cc); 45° Downdraft Fuel Injected V-Twin|
|Max HP @ Rear Wheel:||121.53|
|Max Torque @ Rear Wheel:||121.77|
|Transmission||Arch Proprietary 6-Speed Baker Drivetrain w/ Custom Compact High Torque Mainshaft|
|Primary:||Arch Proprietary Bandit Dry Belt w/ Compact Clutch Basket|
|Final:||Right Side, 530 O-ring Chain|
|Frame:||Arch Tube & Billet Steel w/ Billet Aluminum Structural Members|
|Swingarm:||Modular Billet Aluminum with Titanium Axle Adjusters|
|Front:||Ohlins Inverted 43mm; Fully Adjustable|
|Rear:||Race Tech Single Shock w/ Reservoir and Hydraulic Preload Adjustment; Fully Adjustable|
|Wheels||BST Ultralight Carbon Fiber; Front: 3”x 19”; Rear: 8”x 18”|
|Tires||Front: 120/70ZR19 Rear: 240/40R18|
|Front:||Dual ISR 6 Piston Monoblock Radial Mount Calipers; Dual ISR Floating Dampened Discs|
|Rear:||Single ISR 4 Piston Monoblock Radial Mount Caliper; ISR Semi-Floating Disc|
|Headlight||High-output LED w/ Integrated High Beam, Low Beam|
|Signals||MotoGadget Bar End LED Front Turn Signals|
|Tail light||Arch Cove-Reflective LED w/ Unitized Brake and Turn Signals|
|Battery||Ultra lightweight, compact Lithium Ion power cell w/ Up to 700 CCA in a sub 4 lb package|
|Instrumentation||MotoGadget Motoscope Pro Digital Instrumentation w/ Programmable at Your Fingertip Function|
|Geometry||Wheelbase: 68” Rake: 30° Trail: 5.0” Seat Height: 27.8”|
|Weights & Measures|
|Fuel Capacity:||5 US Gallons|
|Ergonomics||Each Arch can be custom tailored to enhance ride comfort and performance. Ergonomic options include Forward or Mid Controls, Narrow or Wide Mounted Foot Pegs and 2” or 3” Handlebar Pull-Back Risers|
|Price||$78,000 USD (Introductory Offering) $12,000 USD Reservation Deposit|