Arc, a British electric motorcycle manufacturer, debuted its first premium electric bike, the Vector EV, at the 2018 EICMA Motorcycle Show in Milan. Arc billed it as the world’s most premium, advanced, and personalized zero-emissions motorcycle, and while felel stopped short of calling it the Tesla of electric motorcycles, it didn’t stop people from comparing the two-wheeler to Elon Musk’s best-selling EVs. Arc has announced that it is finally ready to release the first ten, limited-edition Vector Angel Edition (AE) prototypes to ten lucky customers after recovering from “financial difficulties” in 2019. Each winner will also have the opportunity to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime AE Program to help develop the bike’s proprietary Arc HMI System.
The Vector Angel Edition’s futuristic, eye-catching design isn’t lacking in exotic detailing, and — while startups with odd-looking motorcycles aren’t uncommon these days — it’s unlikely to be mistaken for any other bike on the road. The majority of the attention, however, is focused on Arc’s “breakthrough human-machine interface,” or HMI, a system that improves the riding experience by connecting the rider to the motorcycle and its surroundings via a high-tech helmet and matching riding gear.
“This is a crucial step for motorcycling that has many layers. Initially, it is about developing a system that can increase the enjoyment of riding motorcycles while also saving the lives of motorcyclists each year “Arc’s founder and CEO, Mark Truman, said of the accessories. “The ability to connect to the IoT (Internet of Things) and the integration of AR (Alternative Reality) technology into systems like this will make motorcycling far safer in the future.”
Arc Vector Angel Edition: For the lucky few
When the ten customers receive their fully customized Vector Angel Edition electric motorcycles, they will participate in a testing program to gain first access to Arc’s HMI System on racetracks in the United States and the United Kingdom. The Angel Editions will then be upgraded with beta versions of the HMI for the ten clients to test on public roads. The most exciting part is when the first production Vectors are delivered to each of the ten customers after final testing. “We wanted to give those involved in the AE Program the ultimate behind-the-scenes look,” Truman explained.
Zenith & Origin
Arc adds that the AE program will take about two years after customers receive their Angel Edition Vector bikes. Meanwhile, Arc will begin offering the HMI system across its motorcycle lineup around 2024 to early 2025. It’s still a long way to go, but developing a new vehicle for production has previously stumped a number of ambitious startups.
The Arc Origin is Vector’s second human-machine interface component. It’s an armored riding jacket tailored to each Vector client, woven with audio-type haptic sensors on “sensitive areas” to provide notifications and subtle feedback. For example, the system may vibrate on the rider’s shoulder to warn of approaching vehicles or other road hazards. It also has a Sports Mode, which uses G-force readings from the motorcycle’s sensors to provide feedback to the driver.
Riders can disable the haptic feedback if desired, and the jacket is not required to use Vector. If you skip the special clothing, you won’t be able to use Euphoric Mode, which plays music through the haptic sensors and simulates bass notes with Origin’s built-in amplifier. According to Arc, the Origin jacket is wireless and can run for up to two hours before running out of power.
The Arc Vector’s stunning design is inspired by vintage British café racer motorcycles and is an eclectic mix of space-age materials. Arc claims that its carbon composite architecture and bespoke battery module monocoque are stiff enough for MotoGP racing. It has carbon swing arms fore and aft, Ohlins dampers, and performance Brembo brakes. The entire package weighs no more than 485 pounds (220 kg), according to the manufacturer, which is the best power-to-weight ratio of any electric motorcycle.
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Arc has yet to release official powertrain specifications, but it has revealed some impressive figures. Vector, according to the company, can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in less than 3.1 seconds and has a top speed of 120 mph (200 kph). It has 16.8 kWh Samsung battery packs that give it a range of up to 200 miles in the city and about 120 miles on the highway.
The Arc Vector Angel Edition, as well as participation in the AE HMI Program, costs $135,000 (£110,000). It’s a lot of money for an electric motorcycle, especially when better-known brands will get you on the road for a fraction of the price, but it’s easy to see how the styling, materials, and high-tech accessories will be worth it for some.