Keanu Reeves is no stranger to the motorsports world, often being spotted at festivals and racing events across the globe. While it’s not unusual for someone of Mr. Reeves status to brand their own type of automobile, it is interesting the avenue Keanu decided to take. With Arch Motorcycles, Keanu Reeves and crew have brought a unique hybrid to the motorcycle market.
The story behind Arch motorcycles is rather entertaining. Keanu Reeves, an A-list actor, wanted some custom work done to his Harley-Davidson. While on a journey to customize his Dyna, Keanu was introduced to Gard Hollinger of LA County Choprods. Reeves asked Gard to install a ‘sissy bar’ and other accessories to his Harley; Gard answered with an unapologetic ‘no.’ But he didn’t just leave it at no, he decided to invite Reeves in and show him around the shop, exploring everything they build there. The duo started talking, starting to explore what experience Reeves really wanted to get out of his dream motorcycle. This was the seed that created Arch Motorcycles, a unique brand that builds bikes like no other.
Arch Motorcycles have been around long enough that the concept no longer shoots people onto their heels. But the motorcycles they create are unique enough that when you first see one you are instantly drawn to it. They are expressive, burley bikes that make you wonder if they are cruisers or sportbikes. The reality is they are both, with a little muscle sprinkled in. Think of the Ducati Diavel but better.
The Design and build process is absolutely staggering. Keanu and Gard enlisted an A-team of professionals to make Arch Motorcycles a reality. With the right hands on deck they started from the ground up, building an incredibly unique backbone style frame fittingly called the ARCH. It is constructed from tubular steel with reinforcements made from both billet steel and billet aluminum. They claim this is what gives Arch Motorcycles such a stable platform. From there they construct the majority of parts in house, getting pallets upon pallets of raw aluminum shipped in so they can machine it themselves. The gas tank is a perfect example of this insane craftsmanship. Each tank starts life as just a block of raw billet aluminum and is milled into shape. The results are absolutely stunning, so much so that the tank doesn’t even need paint, allowing each owner to run it bare or have it anodized to their favorite color. That alone makes it special.
The entirety of each bike built by Arch Motorcycles has as much meticulous thought put into it as the tank. Every piece that is machined is down to the 10,000th of an inch. It’s detailing like this that bring the whole picture together, showcasing why they throw around the word obsessive. You can’t get this level of detail without being obsessive. Arch has integrated LED lights throughout the bike. The taillight is integrated directly into the formed aluminum tail-piece, while the turn signals sit tucked in at the end of the handlebars. The front headlight is a gorgeous single lamp design made out of, you guessed it, billet. While it looks fantastic it is also more than just a way to see in the dark. The shape of the shell forces air into the engine, allowing for a more streamline body that doesn’t require the side entry air cleaner seen on most S&S engines. Who says you can’t have form AND function.
What lends to Arch Motorcycles distinct character is its inability to pick an allegiance. It’s not quite a cruiser, but it’s also not a sportbike. It sharply carves its own path, spitting in the face of anyone that says you can’t be comfortable while carving a canyon in impeccable style. The use of Öhlins forks and Race tech rear suspension give the KRGT-1 the handling that you won’t find on any Harley. Yet the weight of 613-lbs and the 68-inch wheelbase give the KRGT-1 that planted feeling that you will never get on a sportbike. Even its riding position isn’t clear, having forward foot controls for comfort, but with handlebars that still let you attack corners. Keanu and Gard weren’t kidding when they said they wanted a bike that blends the best of both worlds.
So the chassis is impressive, what about the engine? Well it’s interesting, that’s for sure. Both Reeves and Hollinger are fans of good ol’ American iron. So with typical fashion they decided on a giant 124-Cubic-inch S&S V-twin. This gives the KRGT-1 a decent 122hp with a smashing 122ft-lbs. It’s not a world beater, but that’s more than enough power to have fun. The thumping S&S can be seen shaking violently at idle like its antagonizing you to rev it. Seeing a Yoshimura exhaust on a Harley is slightly off-putting, but somehow Arch made it work beautifully. While a factory exhaust note is typically the Achilles heel on such a good looking bike Arch managed to make it all work.
So the KRGT-1 is a pretty phenomenal creation, but it doesn’t come cheap. All that Billet aluminum combined with the custom options offered to each customer it brings in a pretty lofty price tag. Around 78-thousand US dollars to be precise. To put that in perspective you could purchase a Harley-Davidson CVO Limited and a Ducati Panigale R and still have 17-thousand dollars left over. That’s a lot of accessories for both bikes. But as the saying goes, ‘you can’t ride two horses with one ass.’ Arch Motorcycles knows this all too well, creating what they consider to be the best of both worlds wrapped in a gorgeous package.