Why Keanu Reeves Motorcycle Company Rocks

In Motorcycle Buildsby Johnny M6 Comments

You don’t have to look too hard to find celebrities who have decided riding a motorcycle will up their cool factor. But there’s only one man in Hollywood who embodies the motorcycle life 100%, and he is, of course, Keanu Reeves.

In fact, he is such a died-in-the-wool rider, he even started his own motorcycle company.

Keanu Reeves motorcycle company, ARCH Motorcycle, is without a doubt the most interesting motorcycle company producing bikes right now.

In The Beginning

Keanu started riding in 1987. When working on a film in Germany he noticed one of the other actors riding to set on a dirtbike.

“When I was 22, I was working on a movie in Munich and a girl showed me how to ride her Kawasaki Enduro. Ever since then I’ve been addicted to everything about motorcycles.”

Since then Keanu has owned a varied stable, with everything from Suzuki GSXR-750 to a Harley Shovelhead. The Norton Commando is probably his favorite.

Because We’re Gonna Die

In 2007 Keanu walked into LA County Chop Rods, looking for some help customizing his ’05 Harley-Davidson Dyna. He asked owner Gard Hollinger if he could fit a sissy bar to the bike.

Gard said no.

But he didn’t kick Keanu out of his shop, and over the next several years the pair sporadically worked to build Keanu’s HD into a truly unique machine. During that period the pair formed a freindship, and when the build was completed, and they sat back and saw what they’d built, Keanu asked Gard if he would consider partnering with him to produce a new kind of bike, based on the custom HD they had jsut completed.

“I told Gard, OK, the reason we should do this is because the machine is amazing, and we’re going to die anyway.”

Gard remebers Keanu saying; “You know, someday we’re not going to be here, and it would be really great to leave something that matters to us, something we love.”

It took some convincing, but in 2011, the pair launched ARCH Motorcycle.

The ARCH KRGT-1

By 2015 the pair had designed and manufactured the company’s first offering, the KRGT-1.

It’s a bike that many in the motorcycling world consider to be among the best designed machines available. The entire bike was designed, and refined, in CAD, and most of the parts are built in-house, milled out of solid billet aluminum.

Powered by an S&S Twin Cam 124 cubic-inch (2,032 cc) 45-degree down-draft fuel-injected engine, and making 122 hp with 122lb-ft of torque at the rear wheel, it’s unlike any other bike.

Keanu has this to say about his creation; “It’s a bike that’s really confident feeling going straight, and it has a lot of torque so whenever you get on the throttle, you can really feel the pull and push of the motorcycle. It can turn and handle. We knew we wanted to offer something unique, not only aesthetically, but also when it comes to the pleasure of riding.”

But just how involved was Keanu in the design process? According to Keanu, he made suggestions along the way, and gave Gard his feedback, but the actual designing was left to the experts.

Gard; “He’s being modest. He always has a lot of feedback. I think he has to temper his wishlist a bit, because he doesn’t want to overwhelm me. His thoughtfulness and passion for riding was a huge part of what caused me to commit to the project. I’ve ridden my whole life, and when we talked about the riding experience, I was struck and impressed by how in tune he was. Man, all the years I’ve been riding, I’ve been taking it for granted.”

The Bad News

I know this all sounds great. The coolest guy in Hollywood, hell, the world even, has decided to start a company and build one of the most badass motorcycles around.

But, there’s a catch. Of course, there had to be.

Unless you have a credit card with an $80,000 limit, you won’t be able to just walk into ARCH and order one up. The other problem? They’re only planning to make around 50 or so, and I’m guessing that, despite the high pricetag, most of them are already spoken for.

The Cold Hard Truth

Most of us will probably never be able to ride one of these machines, let alone buy one.

But you know what? I’m ok with that.

Just knowing that people like Reeves and Hollinger are out there, building these beautiful machines, is inspiring to me. I’m never going to be able to afford a Lamborghini either, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into them.

And at the end of the day, no matter what you ride, you’ll always have the rush and excitement that riding brings.

“Riding a bike is pure freedom,” Reeves says. “I love the speed and how it completely clears your mind. When I’m out riding, I just feel like I’m very calm and focused at the same time. One of my favourite rides of all is taking the Pacific Coast Highway through the Santa Monica mountains and Malibu Canyon and then making my way back home along Sunset, there’s just nothing else like it.”

  • Henderson says:

    For my reaction, this is sad. Its always painful that this beautiful artistry is not available to us. The keanu reeves motorcyle does look like a very beautiful creation and the price probably matches its beauty but seeing that it is limited saddens the heart. I am also a big lover of motorcycles. My brother owns one and he takes me on big rides. It truly gives a good feeling, that speed. Thank you for the story on how the motorcycle came to be. Nicely written.

  • Mattias says:

    I wouldn’t lie, it was all getting really exciting until I heard about the price tag and also the fact that only 50piecees would be made available. That’s very bad and disheartening and i really wish that one day, people like us would be able to ride this machine bike. Seeing such developments in the motorcycle companies is really great but I’m very sad I’d only see and read about it but not ever being able to take a drift with it.

  • Aly says:

    Wow, I had no idea that Keanu Reeves is into motorcycles and has his own company!! What a cool origin story for the company, and they do truly look beautiful. I’d love to ride one of these someday, but given the limited production, I can tell that it’s going to take some work. Thanks so much for sharing this cool story about ARCH Motorcycle!!

  • RoDarrick says:

    Now this is what I call the ghost rider has resurrected. This motorcycle has wowed me in so many ways and knowing fully well it has some badass engine and designs with top notch performance and quality makes it the real game changer. But then, all my inflated happiness got punctured when I realised I might never be able to touch the bike.. EVER. It is really painful that great biks like this are not made for common men but still, I would make sure to follow the details and updates about it. Thanks

  • Vic says:

    You did your homework on this, didn’t you?  I was kind of surprised that Keanu Reeves made bikes as a hobby. I can’t imagine just what I would say to my bank trying to buy the KRGT-1 but I can assume it can only be a big no and more no on their end to me.

  • MissusB says:

    It’s so much to take that Keanu Reeves is also involve in designing the KRGT-1. I know he owns the company but being hands – on truly shows how passionate he is with motorcycles. I hope ARCH would do well in the industry and make top notched but affordable bikes for people. Of course, this would require more machines, bigger manufacturing houses and larger amount of capital. Since he has proven the quality of his motor cycle and created a name for it, I’m sure his next lines of motorcycles will receive praises as well and make lots of purchase order.