You might have to squint a bit to make out much from the image of the Arc Vector electric cafe racer. As a teaser picture, the company is leaving something to the imagination before the global unveiling at the EICMA 2018 show in Italy on November 6th. But the accompanying press information makes for interesting reading.
What we can make out from the press image is a modern cafe racer motorcycle. And what appears to be a horizontal front suspension linkage, rather than conventional forks. The rear shock absorber and set-up appears to be more conventional. But what we can’t see is that Arc Vehicle has also created a Human Machine Interface (HMI). Which they claim will make the Vector safer, as well as environmentally friendly.
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 multi-sensory 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.”
Lots of major motorcycle manufacturers and some start-ups have already been exploring connected motorcycles and technology. But there are some good reasons to see Arc Vehicle as serious contenders in the space.
Founder Mark Truman previously headed up Jaguar Land Rover’s Whitespace department, which was the secret skunkworks for crazy ideas. And the team working on the Arc Vector include a MotoGP chief engineer. Plus specialists in Finite Element Analysis (FEA), which uses computer modelling to predict how something will react to real world physical forces and effects. So you can run through lots of stuff virtually and get an accurate result.
The British Arc Vector electric cafe racer has also been in the works for two years already, with the parent Arc Vehicle Ltd company being set up 18 months ago. And they’ve got multi-year financial backing from firms including InMotion Ventures, which is the Jaguar Land Rover investment fund. They’ve previously invested in companies like ride-sharing firm Lyft, so InMotion don’t mess around. And Arc is based in Coventry, near to Jaguar Land Rover, so will probably have benefitted from collaboration already.
What’s most interesting is the combination of the heads-up display and the tactile sensory input via the riding suit. It opens up possibilities to alerting you to hazards. But also as manufacturers strive to make motorcycling safer and more environmentally friendly, using haptic (touch) and other inputs can still make riding a bike more involving and exciting than being stuck in a car.
We’ll find out more about the British Arc Vector electric cafe racer soon. And it definitely looks like something worth following closely.