Recently announced motorcycle maker Arc has launched its first model, the Vector, at Milan’s EICMA Motorcycle show today with the company claiming that the Arc Vector is the most advanced electric motorcycle ever brought to market. With a price-tag starting at £90,000, that is about $165,000 AUD, it bloody well should be too!
The hand-built Vector has a lightweight carbon-composite structure and battery-module monocoque. Its lighter weight solves one of the headaches normally attributed to brick battery EVs, and ARC are claiming MotoGP levels of chassis stiffness.
The Samsung battery cells are cutting-edge and Arc claim to be the first motorcycle manufacturer with access to this technology. The battery packaging has been developed to be completely modular, flexible, and legacy-free, maximised for simplicity, space and mass-reduction. Arc’s batteries are the only motorcycle batteries tested to Reg100 standards – a test normally only undertaken by automotive OEMs.
The powercell produces 399 units of voltage, giving a realistic range of around 320 kilometres in urban use and 200 kilometres on the highway. The NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) showed a 600+ kilometre urban range, which is the drive-cycle often quoted by companies
Vector utilises carbon-fibre swingarms front and rear with suspension via custom-made Ohlins dampers. Brembo supply the brakes while the wheels are from BST.
The entire package tips the scales at 220kg, which is almost 60kg lighter than comparable machines. Vector has the best power-to-weight ratio of any electric motorcycle of its class by a considerable margin.
In raw pace, Vector rivals regular sporting motorcycles, sprinting from standstill to 60mph in 3.1 seconds and carrying on to 120mph.
Human Machine Interface (HMI) has been taken to a new level, comprising an intelligent rider jacket packed with haptic sensory technology and a Heads-Up Display (HUD) helmet inspired by those of fighter pilots, giving the user important information and enhancing the freedom and wellbeing of their riding experience.
The key to the bike is the Zenith helmet, which has been designed in collaboration with Hedon. Its connected HUD projects speedo, sat-nav and ancillary graphics onto the rider’s visor so they can keep their eyes affixed to the road, Iron Man-style. A live rear-view camera is encased in the calfskin-trimmed helmet, giving the user the ability to see what’s behind them.
The bespoke jacket, Origin, represents a game-changing advance in intelligent technology, making motorcycling even more immersive. HMI has been applied to the armoured ride-wear by packing the jacket with audio-type haptic amplifiers – like a smart phone’s vibration notifications, but a lot more advanced. These may vibrate to alert of a potential hazard, provide dynamic performance-based feedback, or enhance the senses when on a stimulating ride.
The Origin jacket, which is tailored in collaboration with style gurus Knox, has three settings. Urban Mode focuses on safety, alerting the rider to dangers such as vehicles in their blind spot with a polite tap on the shoulder. Sports Mode gives the rider feedback on the bike’s dynamic position and parameters by taking G-Force related data from the Vector’s carefully nuanced sensors and providing a graduated level of feedback. This tells the rider how close to the limit of the motorcycle’s capabilities the rider is. For example, the harder you brake the more feedback you receive.
Euphoric Mode lets you play music through the haptics as you ride and simulates the bass through the jacket’s amplifiers, making your hairs stand on end. It communicates with the Vector bike and the Zenith helmet wirelessly, emboldening freedom by enhancing the senses.
Financial backing has been obtained from a number of blue-chip beneficiaries, including Jaguar Land Rover’s venture capital fund InMotion Ventures, Mercia Fund Managers and the Midlands Engine Investment Fund.
Mark Truman, Founder and CEO, Arc Vehicle Ltd
“We felt that there was more one could get out of motorcycling which no one was tapping into. This is about using technology to strip back the experience of riding a bike, through the use of haptics and HUD. The helmet and jacket work in tandem with the Vector to remove distractions and emphasise the joy of riding.
“With Vector, we’ve set out to build the best performance electric motorcycle. With electric vehicles in general, the powertrain weighs a lot. This really can’t be avoided if you want capacity, distance and performance. So, it was about stripping everything back and using a lot of exotic, lightweight materials, such as carbon-fibre. The chassis and battery module had to be one, and because of this approach we’ve been able to reduce the weight as much as possible to achieve the performance we wanted. The design brief was; if the term ‘cafe racer’ was going to be coined in ten years’ time, what would that look like?
“Arc Vector satisfies those of us who are rarely satisfied, who are always looking for a different road, a different view. We understand the need to be different, to be better, and challenge the norm.”
Arc Vector Specifications
Build Volume – 399 in first year
Maximum Power 103 kW
Maximum Torque 85 Nm at Motor, 397 Nm at Gearbox Output Sprocket
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