ARCH Motorcycle Company Gets ExperiMental
Gard Hollinger isn’t the type to rest on laurels. You couldn’t blame him for being complacent after launching Arch’s KRGT-1, a high end, fire-breathing power cruiser that’s been well received by the public and media while establishing a brand with the marketing leverage a partner like Keanu Reeves provides. But that’s not how Hollinger rolls, evident by the various derivatives of the KRGT-1 in the company’s foyer, from a sinister-looking blacked-out version to a racy prototype Reeves rode at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
“We’re constantly refining the KRGT-1,” said Hollinger. Not only are they refining their consummate muscle bike, Arch is also aiming to debut a new model in the spring.
Hints at the company’s direction were spread about their showroom floor. The one-off custom called Goodwood ExperiMental is a prime example. The motorcycle features more aggressive frame geometry, from a shorter wheelbase to a tighter 26-degree rake angle (compared to the 30-degree rake of the production KRGT-1). The front end is outfitted with an Ohlins superbike fork and the BST carbon fiber wheel is a couple inches smaller at 17 inches. The forward-mounted foot controls have been swapped for CRG Ducati rearsets and the seat is positioned a little higher. A one-off single-sided swingarm opens up the look of the back end. For ExperiMental’s engine, Hollinger used the monster 126 S&S G2 out of the Super ADD drag bike he built for an episode of Biker Build-Off. An exhaust developed for MotoGP racing adds extra punch to an already powerful package.
Many of the variations on the Goodwood bike were carried over to Arch’s “test mule” called the KRGT-1S – tighter rake, shorter wheelbase, higher seat, rearsets. The majority of the rest is a reflection of the original KRGT-1 platform, from its downdraft injection to its S&S T124 Twin Cam built especially for Arch. With its combination of polished aluminum and liquid paint finish along with Arch’s newly anointed logo on its tank, the KRGT-1S looks more production ready than ExperiMental with its bevy of specialty parts.
And who’s to say the new model might not represent a new direction for the company altogether. Among the motorcycles in Arch’s showroom was a Harley Sportster 883 tracker with Evel Knievel-like paint and graphics. The tail section has been cut down and features an oil tank in a hidden housing below the seat. ISR Brakes and Ohlins piggybacks bolster capabilities on the rear. A big rear sprocket and chain conversion are more suitable for doing it in the dirt than the stock arrangement, as are the 19-inch wheels front and back. The tracker is equipped with rearsets Hollinger designed. While an Arch tracker is merely speculation, Reeves and Hollinger have been spotted at a couple of the American Flat Track rounds this year and are undoubtedly fans of the sport. Not to mention, 2016 American Flat Track champion Bryan Smith happened to be visiting the company while we were there.
In addition to checking out the domestic racing scene, Arch has also been busy making the international rounds, from the aforementioned Goodwood Festival of Speed to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This has translated to increased international interest in the KRGT-1 too, particularly in Australia which compelled Arch to apply for a specialty vehicle license recently. Hollinger said inquiries have come from other countries as well including Russia and Malaysia.
The best news for the company might be the fact that Hollinger will soon be channeling even more creativity into the brand. He’s in the process of wrapping up a few LA County Choprod projects like a custom RnineT and a supercharged Softail we saw on the lift, but once those projects are completed, his full focus will be on steering Arch Motorcycle Company into the future. Considering what he’s already been able to accomplish divesting his energy into both companies, it will be interesting to see what rolls out of the Arch garage come spring.