We’ve seen some wild concept bikes at this year’s EICMA, like the Royal Enfield Concept KX and the glorious MV Agusta Superveloce 800. But one of the most exotic machines of at all at EICMA isn’t a concept. It’s a functioning motorcycle from a brand-new company and it comes with a princely price tag.
The Arc Vector is an electric “neo-café racer” that promises heart-stopping performance and an equally cardiac-crisis cost.
But that’s not where it stops. Arc claim that the Vector is the first bike to completely integrate the rider and the machine electronically. They call it Human Machine Interface (HMI.)
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s being at the beginning.
Marc Truman was head of Jaguar Land Rover’s White Space division. Their mission is dreaming up the unconventional. Two years ago, Truman, who didn’t know bikes, began an electric bike concept within White Space.
Eighteen months ago, that spawned a company called Arc Vehicle Ltd, with Truman as its founder. Arc just landed major funding from Jaguar Land Rover, so this is a for-real company with serious investors.
Arc’s first bike is the Vector, a ground-up design they call an environmentally sensitive electric “neo-café racer.”
Some basic performance data: Arc claim the Vector can make 115 mph (200 kmh) and go 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds (same as the new BMW S 1000 RR.) It has a city range of 200 miles and a highway range of 120 miles. It has a 399-volt motor. Arc claim 133 bhp and 292ftlb torque. The vector weighs 485 lbs (220kg.)
Instead of a traditional chassis, it has a carbon fibre monocoque that holds the battery, motor, and internals. The front and rear suspension are attached to the tub. It’s carbon fibre-everything, including the swingarms. It comes with custom Ohlins dampers and and a Brembo brake system.
Those are the basics.
Now, here’s the wild part.
When you buy the Vector, you also get a helmet (made by Hedon) and a jacket designed with Knox. They’re connected to the bike in what Arc calls the Human Machine Interface.
The helmet has a Head-Up Display (HUD) just like fighter pilots, which shows bike data. It has a rear-view camera that kicks in automatically when anything’s in your blind spot and which displays in your HUD. The helmet also has integrated Wi-Fi.
The jacket gives you haptic feedback. Like dialing on your smartphone, it will vibrate in certain ways to communicate with you. For example, if you’re riding in a dangerous manner, your shoulders will vibrate. If a car is coming up from behind, you’ll get a tap on the shoulder.
That’s some wild stuff and why our headline says the Vector might someday change motorcycles.
So, can you buy a Vector? Yes, but bring your pocketbook. Arc want $115,000 (£90,000) for it. And they’re only make 399 of them — a number that matches the bikes’ voltage.
Power Drift let their camera do a tour of the Vector at EICMA. It’s lovely and unusual. Here’s their video.