When the Arc Vector was unveiled in 2018 for a whopping equivalent of $120,000; it raised a lot of eyebrows. It was a lot of money, but the Vector had some wild tricks up its sleeve. But the journey since has been quite bumpy for Arch Vehicles. They filed for bankruptcy in 2019 and all was thought to be lost.
But Founder, CEO, and lead designer Mark Truman bounced back with his company, and now, the radically luxurious electric motorcycle is almost ready to reach its anticipated customers. And for the final refining touches of its complex suspension setup, Arc has roped in celebrated MotoGP rider James Ellison.
The hub center steering and front swingarm design is not entirely a unique approach as we have already seen this layout in motorcycles like the Bimota Tesi H2, the 1990s Yamaha GTS 1000, and a cool two-stroke concept from 1989 called the Gilera CX125. The ground testing is underway and Arc is promising an electric motorcycle with an elevated riding character.
James Ellison is testing and fine-tuning the Arc Vector’s sophisticated front suspension setup before custom deliveries begin in 10 weeks.
James Ellison’s Expertise Is Helping Arc Sharpen The Vector’s Riding Dynamics
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Bringing in an experienced MotoGP rider to tune a motorcycle is an indication of the commitment that Arc Vehicle intents to put in. The Vector electric motorcycle is an exclusive offering that is packed with a slew of advanced components. And the most notable one is its front suspension and steering setup.
It uses an unconventional hub center steering and a carbon fiber front swingarm. While this sounds all cool and fancy, this setup is tough to master, and it needs a lot more effort to help the Arc Vector behave smoothly and naturally, the conventional fork suspension.
While Arc has been able to tune the suspension setup to an extent using software, it will never be as good as getting things done in the real world. And that’s where James Ellison comes in. He has been tasked with fine-tuning and giving the finishing touches to this complex front layout.
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He is also supported by a team from Ohlins; the supplier of suspension components for the Vector. Ellison will be chiming in the final spring and damper settings on the Vector. While it has been just two days since Ellison testing this premium motorcycle, he is already impressed.
He states that “The way the machine carves up corners is incredible. Vector is definitely big on grin factor, it’s just so different to anything you will ride. I’ve been really surprised by the agility, the bike changes direction like a much smaller bike due to the steep steering angle it can run”.
James is playing a pivotal role in making Arc Vector ready for its customers and sure looks to be bringing an exciting experience to the table.
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Perks Of Using An Unconventional Front Suspension On The Arc Vector
It might sound silly to ditch a perfectly simple and tried-and-tested suspension setup for a more complex layout that is pricier and requires a lot more engineering effort. But then again, the Arc Vector is being pitched in as “the world’s most advanced motorcycle”. So going the extra mile to prove that really matters. But this complex setup does come with a lot of perks over the traditional fork layout.
Using a swingarm for the front suspension gives the motorcycle a lot more stability and rigidity in high-speed runs. The hub center steering is clearly sterner and more sure-footed than the conventional setup. But Arc is going one up over this with the use of carbon fiber for its front swingarm. This stiffens the front end all the while reducing weight notably.
Another perk of having this layout is a steeper steering angle with a 20-degree rake that has been achieved. This makes the Vector behave like a much more compact motorcycle. In other words, it changes direction effortlessly and is enough to put a wide grin on the rider’s face. It did for Ellison!
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Rest Of The Arc Vector Is As Exquisite And Tech-Savvy As It Can Get
This is one of the most futuristic-looking motorcycles that has managed to make it to production. And with those sharp sweeping lines, we now understand why Arc went above and beyond to use the complex front suspension setup. It just goes so well with the overall design. In fact, it looks like a prancing jaguar from the side.
The core is composed of a carbon-fiber monocoque frame which uses the battery pack as a structural member. Spec-wise it packs a 127 hp electric motor and does 0-62 mph in just 3.2 seconds. It has an electronically limited top speed of 124 mph.
The 16.8 kWh battery pack is slated to do 200 miles of urban riding and 120 miles of highway runs on a single charge. These are more or less realistic figures. But the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) has given it an urban rating of an unreal 362 miles.
We will have to wait and see how it performs in real life. The Arc also supports DC fast charging and can juice things up in about 45 minutes. But the coolest features of this luxury motorcycle include a tech-enhanced jacket that provides haptic feedback to warnings and a cool helmet with an integrated heads-up display.
Deliveries Of The $100,000+ Arc Vector Start In Under Three Months
After quite the setback, the Arc Vector is finally prepping for deliveries. Its price of £90,000 (~$110,000 at current exchange rates) was eye-popping when announced back in 2018, and still is in 2022! But the extensive use of technology, complex features, and exquisite materials looks to do justice to the asking price. The first lot of deliveries of the Arc Vector electric motorcycle are slated to happen three months from now.