New British bike firm reveal radical Arc Vector electric bike

A new bike manufacturer has broken its silence this morning, revealing that it will release its first new motorcycle at the Milan motorcycle show (EICMA) this November.

Arc Vehicle are a brand-new British manufacturer, born out of a concept created by founder Mark Truman’s in his previous role as head of Jaguar Land Rover"s Whitespace department – a skunkworks division for "crazy ideas with commercial opportunities."

The engineer assembled a top team, including a MotoGP chief engineer, and FEA analysis specialists, to push the idea through to development stage and ultimately production. The project has been running for two years within this Whitespace department, with Arc Vehicle Ltd being established 18 months ago.

Strong backing from investors

This is no flash-in-the-pan concept – multi-year financial backing has been obtained from a number of blue-chip backers, including Jaguar Land Rover’s own investment fund, InMotion Ventures.

Claimed by the firm to be the "the most fulfilling, safest and cleanest motorcycle – ever," they will pull the wraps off their "futuristic neo Café Racer" (neo café appears to be the new buzz phrase of the moment) at EICMA on November 6.

A Human Machine Interface

This is said to be the first fully-electric café racer, it looks set to arrive with Human Machine Interface (HMI) technology. What, you might ask, it that? HMI essentially refers to haptic technology, which will mean a jacket or suit, helmet and possibly even gloves and boots all of which will contain sensors and reactive panels that interact with the bike, and the environment.

This is likely to manifest itself as a warning tap on the shoulder if you’re about to pull out in front of a car, or a burst of vibration through the sleeve of your right hand if you’re about to pile into a corner too fast and should be braking.

The helmet could also include head-up displays for bike and navigation options. Arc have made no comment on the systems yet, but this would follow the path outlined by BMW two years ago when they unveiled their BMW Vision Next 100 electric concept with haptic (HMI) integration.  

The world"s most premium electric motorcycle

Mark Truman, CEO, Arc Vehicle Ltd said: "Technology, performance, safety and experience come together like never before on two wheels. The Vector is more than just the world"s most premium electric motorcycle; it’s the world’s first motorcycle with integrated multisensory HMI (Human Machine Interface), it’s an innovative heads-up display helmet and it’s a tactile riding suit – all making up the most involving motorcycle experience on the market today."

The firm have only released one teaser image, intended at showing just a glimpse of the shape and style of the new Vector. Apart from the sharp but elegantly simplistic lines, it’s clear that the Vector uses an unconventional front-end, with a form of hub-centre steering damped by what looks to be a fully adjustable Öhlins monoshock mounted on the righthand side of the bike.

A banana swing-arm

Meanwhile, perhaps surprisingly considering the front-end, the swingarm appears to be a far more conventional banana-shaped twin spar, also damped by a fully adjustable Öhlins monoshock.

The wheels look exceptionally familiar, too – appearing to be either BST carbon fibre five-spokes, or clones of them. The rear brake caliper appears to be a twin-piston caliper acting on a single disc, while the meaty front anchors look like 330mm discs being gripped by small 4-piston calipers (probably Brembo’s new Stylema calipers), unconventionally attached at the 6 o’clock position.

Carbon fenders front and rear continue the weight management, while the minimalist bodywork flows over the top of the electric heart of the bike in what appears to be a single "tank" and seat unit with integrated lighting. If you want to know what the future will look like – this is it, and it looks exciting.

Virtual reality headsets

The Vector promises to be one of the most innovative launches at this year’s Milan show, and there will be a virtual reality experience available for showgoers to immerse them in the riding experience.

With Arc Vehicle appearing on the Motorcycle Live exhibitor list, it looks certain that British showgoers will get to see the the new bike at the NEC this November 17-19, just a short distance from Arc"s Coventry base.

MCN will bring you more information as we have it.

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