Arc Vehicle and the Vector motorcycle are back on track, as Arc plans to roll out the Vector to their first owners next year.
After speaking to Mark Truman, founder of Arc Vehicle, it’s clear that Arc’s vision and goals remain the same, bringing an exclusive and coveted electric motorcycles with a hi-tech riding experience. After a few hurdles in funding and taking back control over the company, Mark has set forth to start delivering Arc’s first Arc Vector motorcycles in about 12 months, to a lucky group of only 10 initial owners. Those ten lucky folks will have an additional treat coming with their Vector motorcycle, that we got an exclusive on from Mark.
There is so much to say about the Arc vector, and after a pleasant conversation with Mark, founder and owner of Arc Vehicle, we have all that much more. Mark previously lead the Jaguar Land-Rover ‘white space’ team, with some of the most interesting and bureaucracy free projects;
“…we did some fantastically interesting projects there, we did the project Hero which was the search and rescue vehicle for the red cross. so we were the first people to have land drones on a moving vehicle. We were getting involved with things like the bond cars for the James Bond films. (where) the electric E-type that was created…”
When starting this project, Arc and the Vector was well backed by InMotion – the VC arm for Jaguar Land-Rover, and Mercia fund managers.
“…We started to work on a group of recreational vehicle, this isn’t and A to B vehicle, it’s an A to C because you want to go have some fun. We established the idea of the stand alone business that would sit next to Jaguar land-rover and produce these vehicles, and that business is called Arc.”
When starting to work on the Vector motorcycle- the engineers went back to the drawing board. There, Mark and his team put together the monocoque battery casing design that will act as the motorcycle frame. That results in loosing the unnecessary weight, and immensely increased performance and range. They didn’t follow any convention, just because that was the convention, and they were willing to throw away things they felt were not absolutely mandatory, such as front forks, or chassis all together, really anything on the bike was a needed component.
“…You can’t just take what someone else has done before, and presume that that is the right thing, and than start delivering it. So for me everything really has to start with the math and a blank piece of paper and proof that that is the direction that you should be taking… in a new world of electric motorcycles where we don’t need a frame to cradle an engine anymore, than why have one? all it does is cost you weight, takes up package space, and then forces you to cover the bike with lots of fairings…”
These are the type of moves we see now coming out in the 4-wheel space by companies like Tesla. Their latest designs include more single molds of frame, improving their performance and range.
On it’s first unveiling in EICMA 2018, the Vector caught the eye of old-school riders all the way to millennial and everything in between. It presents engineering at its best, highest quality of materials, and amazing performance. But with that, the Arc Vector has an exclusive approach to the riding experience which brought them several other patented technologies which makes this motorcycle even more exciting.
The “human machine interface” was a concept we discussed throughout this conversation, it was clear that the riding experience is at the heart of the Arc Vector’s technology. The Jacket uses a haptic sound system, that vibrates to the rider with alerts and signals at increasing intensity as the level of danger (say, too much G force on a turn) increases. Similarly, existing systems like ABS are used for their data, to determine hard breaking, riders position and more. All of the technology was developed right from the beginning of the project, as Arc was looking to provide an exclusive riding feeling, something we often hear in electric motorcycles, where there is no gear shifting function. Put all those together with a helmet Heads Up Display, and you can understand that when talking about the future of motorcycles, not necessarily electric ones, the future is already here right now.
… There are three modes with the hepatic system – it was initially developed for sport mode, which gives you an all-encompassing feeling that feels like an immersive vibration which grows in intensity the higher G-force you pull in any direction… An IMU on the motorcycle used for thing like the ABS and the traction control, measures G-force in any direction, so the harder I break, the harder I accelerate, the harder I corner – my jacket is letting me know how close to the limit of tire adhesion I am… Urban mode really covers rider assistance, safety alerts, if you can imagine having blind spot monitoring and you start to get a tap in the back of your spine, and that tap goes further up your back the closer the car gets and of course the speed that it moves up your back will tell you the close-in speed of that car… just gives you more support at times you need extra awareness…”
The company has had it’s hurdles to overcome both with Covid effects, as well as investor issues, where a potential investor had fallen back from realizing he cannot deliver on his investing term sheet. Despite great support in their crowd fund capital raise, with the investor gone, the company went into a tough spot. Unwilling to use crowd funding, Mark instead went into administration. During that episode, and after seeking investors for a while, he had decided to retake control over the majority stake earlier this year and proceed with the project. A lot thanks to the great support globally, and the hundreds of riders that wanted to see the Vector hit the road despite the hardships.
“… I didn’t want normal people like us that had put their 100 pounds 1000 pounds or whatever it was, i didn’t want that money to disappear… in the end I just decided I’m going to muster everything I can personally and take the business forward myself…”
Arc has set out from the very first stage, to position as an exclusive, high-end product and brand. And that’s where Mark plans to take it, now that he has full control over decision making. To paraphrase Mark, the Arc Vector will be a motorcycle you will be lucky to say “I’ve seen it on the road” let alone be an owner of one. A coveted piece of machinery on two wheels.
Although the Arc Vector’s Pilot System is not in full production just yet, an exclusive we got from Mark, is that – with their planned release of the first 10 owned motorcycles, they will allow the lucky owners to participate in the beta launch and of course receive the system first once it’s ready. Arc’s team rides the motorcycles and provide data learning to their systems, but now adding the extra 10 customers to the riders – and allowing the customer to partake in the advancement of their own technology – it is a huge deal. Now you wish you would be one of those owners, wouldn’t you?
The Arc Vector will not be sold at the quantities that were initially published (only 399 were offered at first), and it seems it will be all the more exclusive when it’ll first see tarmac. When asking Mark whether we can expect increased production for 2022, considering only 10 motorcycles are planned to be delivered in 2021, he commented that:
“…we’re looking and thinking, in 2025 how many bikes might we be building, and I would say you’re probably looking at something between 50 and 75…”
It is great to see that the Arc will stick to it’s path and go to production in the coming year.
When discussing the options for where Arc Vehicle may be in the future, considering success comes with the Vector model, Mark interestingly comments on the options of allowing us riders, to select from a set of per-designed monocoque frames, and custom fitting the motorcycle you want, to be a unique piece that you own, made by you and the Arc engineers. Perhaps even going into other vehicle types, like ATVs or a buggy, and bringing the technology of riding to other spaces.
“imagine a world where you can come to an Arc shop, you can select one of six battery monocoques, one that is motocross Enduro style, one that is vector sports bike style, one a bit more adventure bike… then you can effectively select items from the Arc catalogue… the positions of the handlebars, the look of the foot pegs, the design of the top panel… the design of the seat or the top frame… and you can design very different looking motorcycles”
Arc are already in discussions on customization of their motorcycles to their clients. Currently these ‘special commissioned’ bikes will be customized in a process that includes 3D printing of parts especially to the client’s wants and needs, customization for ergonomics and more, but only two lucky owners would be able to own these special commission motorcycles each year, at this point at least.