Keanu Reeves’ 2023 Arch 1s Is About To Be One Of The Coolest Motorcycles On The Road

Archtop

Yesterday, Arch Motorcycles, a venture created by actor Keanu Reeves and motorcycle builder Gard Hollinger, released its second boutique motorcycle. The Arch 1s is a sport cruiser hand-built to order featuring a 2,032cc V-twin making 121.77 lb-ft torque. It’s wonderful.

If you haven’t heard of Arch Motorcycles before, I can’t blame you. The company isn’t a household name and builds just a handful of bikes each year. The force behind Arch Motorcycle involves two motorcycle fanatics. As lifestyle site Wave writes, Gard Hollinger is a lot like most of us here. As an eight-year-old in California, Hollinger’s fascination with motorcycles began when another boy asked if Holinger wanted to ride his minibike. And as a teenager, Hollinger worked as a mechanic, which culminated in him opening a motorcycle shop in Washington at 21. His love of two wheels wasn’t just limited to the road, either, as he raced motorcycles around the Pacific Northwest. Hollinger wanted to be a professional racer, but modifying and putting motorcycles back together paid the bills.

2020 Arch Motorcycles Krgt 1 13
Arch KRGT-1 – Arch Motorcycle

Eventually, Hollinger found himself back in California and working in the entertainment industry as a stage manager. That didn’t last too long, as he eventually found himself as a fabricator at a custom motorcycle shop. Hollinger quit the shop over a pay dispute, but ended up finding customers wanting him to build them custom motorcycles.

Along the way, Hollinger met fellow motorcycle lover Keanu Reeves (today known for Speed, The Matrix, and John Wick). When they first met, Reeves reportedly wanted a builder to customize his Harley with a sissy bar, a throne seat, and more. Hollinger apparently declined to customize that motorcycle, but in 2009, the pair got to work on a custom bike. When it was finished, the bike ended up being way more than a custom one-off. Reeves wanted to put it into production.

ARCH Motorcycle Company was founded in 2011 and its first model, the KRGT-1 (above), got on the road in 2015. By 2019 the company had built only 45 examples of the KRGT-1. From the jump, the pair had the idea of three models: the KRGT-1, 1s, and Method 143. And after five years of development, the 1s is ready for motorcycle lovers with deep pockets to enjoy.

Arch Motorcycle 1s Left Rear Angle View
Arch Motorcycle

The 1s starts with a 124 cubic-inch (2,032cc) S&S Cycle T124 V-twin. Horsepower figures haven’t been released for this unit, but it’s making 122 lb-ft torque. The engine punches that power out through a six-speed transmission and a chain to the rear wheel. It’s saddled in Arch’s custom tubular steel frame with a machined-billet aluminum subframe. And the rear wheel sits on a single-sided swingarm. Carbon fiber is also used extensively, from the motorcycle’s wheels to body parts.

Arch Motorcycle 1s Right Side 5
Arch Motorcycle

The 563-pound motorcycle is held up with an adjustable front fork developed with Öhlins. An adjustable rear shock with reservoir and hydraulic preload adjustment, also from Öhlins, brings up the rear. For stopping power, six-piston brakes are offered up front with four-piston brakes bringing up the rear. The 1s even gets Bosch ABS.

This motorcycle offers a more sporting position than the KRGT-1, and if it’s anything like its predecessor, the fit and finish should be great. However, reviews of the KRGT-1 suggest that the handling and the ride of these aren’t quite on the level as something like a Ducati Diavel. The 1s also has a starting price of $128,000, which means that many riders will never touch one, let alone see one.

Arch Motorcycle 1s Cockpit View 2 Studio
Arch Motorcycle

Like Janus Motorcycles, Arch prides itself on two things, the aesthetic and the experience. I think the aesthetic here is fabulous. The 1s looks like a cruiser designed to race a fighter jet down a runway. I’d rank it as one of the coolest designs alongside the beautiful Indian FTR and burly Triumph Rocket. Heck, I’d pitch a camping chair and just stare at it on those snowy days that I wouldn’t ride it. So I think Arch absolutely nailed that.

The other part is the experience. The Arch Motorcycle team wants to personally meet every customer to build them the motorcycle of their dreams. Like a tailored suit, your 1s will be built to fit you perfectly and will include the custom parts that you want. Because of this, no two Arch bikes leave the shop the same. Like other boutique bikes that I’ve written about, Arch’s clientele are the kinds of folks who will spend tons of money for an exclusive watch or rare car. So Arch isn’t trying to compete with the likes of Ducati, instead paving its own way.

Arch Motorcycle 1s Riding 6
Arch Motorcycle

You can place an order for a 1s right now, then you’ll eventually get to meet with the Arch team and iron out what your motorcycle will look like. While these have a price tag that most motorcycles won’t be able to stomach, I still hope to see one of these out there. I just hope the owner will be okay with me drooling over the thing.

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28 Responses

  1. I don’t ride but think the KRGT-1 with a big old V-Twin seems cool as a cruiser with that low end grunt. To add a sportier bike seems like a logical step in Arch’s evolution. However to stick the same/similar, old dumb tech V-Twin with it’s likely 40lb flywheel in a sport bike seems like a misstep (in my own non-enthusiast know nothing brain). Something more compact/with more cylinders and a modern valvetrain seems more appropriate.

  2. This doesn’t appeal to me the motorcyclist, other than for something to be seen on sometimes.
    The price is 10 fold of what I’d consider paying for the experience, but I’m not the target, however I do understand the target and I consider this well aimed.

  3. Looks like a Britten V1000. But without without the speed, handling and innovation. OTOH, while the new prices were similar once you account for inflation, I suspect it will cost you double that if you can find one for sale today.

    Mercedes, please add an article on John Britten to the idea pile.

  4. I know I’m in the minority, but I’m not a fan of the rear wheel not attached to the bike look. I appreciate the engineering and enthusiasm but so many bikes only look good from the seat forward. Road bikes shouldn’t look like hill climbers.

  5. Oh look, another Arch that I don’t like. Keanu seems rad, but I think he and the other guy are the only actual motorcycle people into these things. These things are both too cruiser-y and sportbike-y looking at the same time with all the performance (and weight) to be competitive with the weekend pirate leather daddy set.

    Maybe you buy one just to hang with Gard and Keanu for a bit? Seems steep.

  6. Reminds me a LOT of the Ludwigsen or Bott Power frames for Buell engines, but with a front downtube.
    I have a Buell XB9R basket-case and it’s mighty tempting to ditch the perimeter frame and make something weird out of it.

      1. That is always a difficult path to tread, on one side the conservator merely a guardian for a time and the always near term popular “make it yours”.
        I like to keep things reversible, but that is not always a promise you can stay true to or given the goals may not even make sense.
        I empathize with your torment.

        1. Thank goodness it’s not torment, just indecision while I wait to get a Round Tuit (can’t get those on EBay.)
          It has bare white plastic fairings so it looks like an Imperial Stormtrooper. It was picked up from a neo-Nazi compound by a guy who looked a lot more like John Boyega than the sellers would have liked. I might want to name it Finn and give it a “FN-2187” custom plate.

      2. You totally should. I’m a huge Buell fan myself (as is Mercedes I know).

        Maybe a decade ago, I had a chance to buy a new (if dusty) orphan XB9 that I came across sitting in a dark corner of an HD dealership that basically just wanted it gone. It was one of those HD dealerships that took the company money to put up the big blue Buell sign on the building, but had zero interest in them. I kinda feel that was mostly of them.

        I didn’t pull the trigger, but still wonder from time to time if I should have…

        1. I was interested in a Buell. Went into a HD dealership (with a Buell sign out front) to check one out. None in the building. When I told the salesman I was interested in a Buell, he essentially said, you don’t want one of them sissy bikes, get yourself a Harley. I walked out. That dealership is now out of business.

          1. Yeah, it was really frustrating how the HD attitude did its part to tank Buell.

            Wasn’t all HD’s fault, but you’d think it would have realized the long-term benefit of having sport offerings to broaden its customer base, and instructed its dealers to act accordingly.

            And there was an easy ethos to get them there – Erik Buell’s foundational job as a HD engineer, that most of the bikes had HD engines, etc.

            Sigh.

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