When actor Keanu Reeves first approached bike designer and engineer Gard Hollinger in 2007 about a customization project for his Harley-Davidson, little did the motorcycle-obsessed duo know that they would end up launching Arch Motorcycle Company together in 2011, eventually crafting the ultimate custom American V-twin engine performance bike.
Inspired by Reeves’ quest for an American V-twin cruiser that would be ideal for riding long distances while maintaining the agile handling of a performance bike, Hollinger spent three years furthering the design and engineering of the original prototype. In 2015, Arch debuted the KRGT-1, bringing together the best in motorcycle design and technology.
Offered in limited production—currently, the Hawthorne, California-based company builds a maximum of 40 bikes annually; Hollinger says that number is not likely to exceed 100—each KRGT-1 is tailored to the rider’s preferences, from riding position to bespoke finishes. Here’s how to spot one of these exclusive performance cruisers on the road.
The KRGT-1’s chassis consists of a tubular and billet steel-constructed frame, combined with billet aluminum structural components.
Wheels and Suspension
“We use all the best components available, or we build them,” Hollinger says when describing the 200-plus parts manufactured at the brand’s factory. Hollinger and partner Keanu Reeves sourced the KRGT-1’s ultra-light, carbon-fiber wheels from South Africa’s Blackstone Tek, and the fully adjustable suspension technology from Swedish industry leader Öhlins.
Each KRGT-1 is fitted to the rider based on their preferred riding position: forward or mid-mount control. The shape and angle of the seat is also determined by the rider’s physique and riding style, as is the placement of the handlebars and footpegs.
Unique to the KGRT-1, Arch’s proprietary downdraft induction system (developed in conjunction with S&S Cycle) moves the intake system from the side of the engine to its center, positioned between the bike’s frame and two fuel cell chambers. “It takes away the possibility of it impeding on the rider’s leg and [their] comfort, while also helping to center the handling,” Hollinger says.
Forget buying a bike in a choice of three colors. “We use some exotic finishes that are not normally used on bikes,” Hollinger notes. One of those special techniques is shot peening. “The texture that the shot peen process yields helps create a unique depth and organic quality unlike standard liquid paint finishes, especially after the anodizing process that follows,” Hollinger says.
By Lesley McKenzie