Less than ten years since the collective dream of Keanu Reeves and Gard Hollinger took hold, their company Arch Motorcycle has evolved rapidly, with the KRGT-1 the newest incarnation. By intent, the bike eludes categorization. The Arch is an amalgam of Reeves’ and Hollinger’s passion for motorcycles, riding and racing, bringing together traditionally contrasting elements into one two-wheeler.
The KRGT-1 draws the eye through its tastefully contoured design flow. Under closer scrutiny, those machined elements and refined touches reveal serious mechanical functionality and purpose.
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The Arch is grounded in the time-honored badge of two-wheeled individualism; a powerful American V-twin—in this case a proprietary 124 cubic-inch S&S V-Twin producing a ground rumbling 121.7 ft lbs of torque. The engine is fed by a proprietary 45-degree downdraft induction system. In addition to creating more efficient breathing, it cleverly rids the motorcycle of the bane of most V-twins; the unsightly bulge of a carburetor and air cleaner protruding from the side of the engine.
After throwing a leg over the new KRGT-1 and settling in the cockpit, you are immersed in beautifully machined elements of billet aluminum. The fuel tank, triple clamps, levers, dashboard, virtually every element reflects a concentrated effort that is as much function as aesthetics.
Crank the massive V-twin over and the vibration from those 124 cubic-inches is unavoidable, resonating up through the handlebars in visceral declaration. Clicking the Arch into gear and gently rolling in some throttle instantly awakes the senses. The torque is more than impressive, acquainting each gear with a seemingly endless delivery of power.
The bike possesses a unique combination of handling characteristics. The steep rake provides responsive, fast turn-in, while the long wheelbase and planted rear end grant it uncanny stability. The result is a comfortable attitude while cruising, which can transform instantly with solid canyon-carving ability.
The massive billet aluminum swingarm is pure racing technology, possessing a rigidity that can tolerate the enormous torque forces being generated by the big V-twin, reducing flex and ensuring that the power reaches the rear wheel without being absorbed by the chassis.
Öhlins suspension units, front and rear, gift the KRGT-1 a plush ride with settings that can handle aggressive action. The two-channel anti-lock braking system was designed by Bosch and is mated to dual ISR six-piston calipers, providing impressive stopping power.
The bike utilizes top-tier components; Magura lever assemblies, lightweight BST wheels and a Yoshimura carbon-fiber muffler. But where the it really shines is in its handcrafted bits. Comprised of over 150 custom pieces (all manufactured on-site in the Arch shop), the KRGT-1 is a rolling sculpture and deserves to be contemplated. The deeper one looks, the more layers of craft and human touch begin to emerge.
The test ride was highlighted when founders Reeves and Hollinger joined in on their personal machines for a surprisingly spirited run through the San Gabriel Mountains. Reeves proved his abilities and seriousness as a motorcyclist. Although his celebrity brings a certain amount of press to the company, Reeves is quick to point out: “No one has bought an Arch because of my name.”
The model presents an old school, stripped down persona—the essence of motorcycling—and marries it to functionality and modernity, reminding us why we got into bikes in the first place; that feel of power and the magic of being up on two wheels.
Each example is created in the team’s Los Angeles shop after a one-on-one consultation with the new owner. The KRGT-1 takes shape over a 90-day build process with regular interaction between Arch staff and the customer. Every machine comes with an exquisitely machined billet aluminum owner’s box that holds the keys and model number authentication; an appropriately decorative element, which, much like the bike itself, is worthy of display.
Launch Gallery: We Test-Ride the Arch KRGT-1 With Keanu Reeves
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