After a tumultuous few years that very nearly saw the project shelved, the Arc Vector electric motorcycle is being revived, but unless your daddy is an oil baron, you're a technopreneur, or your surname is Bezos, you probably won't be buying one. The premium zero-emissions ride is set to cost an eye-watering, jaw-dropping, £90,000 (~$117,000) when deliveries begin sometime next year.
Only 399 will be made, buyers will be able to customize the materials, geometry, and finishes, and every one comes with a custom-made motorcycle jacket that includes touch controls — like Google's Project Jacquard — and a bespoke Arc Zenith helmet with a built-in head-up display (HUD). In that sense, the Arc Vector is like an electric supercar... just minus two wheels, and the other accouterments of its four-wheeled peers.
Widowmaker power — The bike debuted at a 2018 motorcycle show in Milan, Italy, but Arc went bankrupt in 2019 after investors backed out of the project. Founder Mark Truman (previously a designer at Jaguar Land Rover), has since brought the company and the project to life again. Each bike is handmade in Coventry, England, and the company is promising comprehensive after-sales service to buyers, including sending repair-people wherever they're needed if it comes to it.
"Arc's hotline is available all day seven-days-a-week. Arc's dedicated mechanics are on standby and can travel to anywhere in the world to assist you, should it be required," the company explains. "Nevertheless, with long service intervals, minimal moving parts and diagnostic work that can be made remotely from Arc HQ, reliability is expected to be excellent and customers can rest assured that Arc's products are built to be ridden whenever and wherever the desire takes them."
Showstopping design — We love the design, particularly when it comes to the unusual front suspension that comes from the body rather than via top-down forks. Performance-wise, the 127 horsepower electric motor will provide a top speed electronically limited to 124 mph, and up to 200 miles of range for urban use, or 120 miles on the highway. The 0-mph 60 time is a mere 3.2 seconds, and fast-charging support means you can fill up again in around 40 minutes.
That price is tough to swallow, though — We understand the Arc Vector is a dream machine. But $117,000 is still tough to swallow. Energica sells similar electric motorcycles that are nearly as powerful, and at prices starting around $20,000. And Lightning's LS-21 is way more powerful than the Vector with its 200 horsepower motor and a dramatically cheaper starting price of $38,000. And the Verge TS is similarly futuristic-looking for $27,000.
What the world needs more of is affordable electric vehicles that'll wean humanity off fossil fuels, not ultra-luxurious rides for the one percent. Still, it's important to have fantasies, and this is now one of ours.