Arc is a team of British engineers, designers and business leaders who have created a bespoke electric motorcycle called Vector. The company uses exotic materials and each Vector is unique to the owner as the bike is made to order along with a Heads-Up display equipped helmet and an armoured jacket, tailored to fit the customer.
The Arc Vector boasts a hub-centre steering design which was earlier seen on the 1970’s Bimota Tesi and the Yamaha GTS1000, but the design was never implemented to other mass-market motorcycles because of the engineering challenges which Arc seems to have answered.
According to the company, the placement of the pivot point of the front swing-arm is of utmost importance. On a typical hub-centre setup, the pivot point is placed above the axle which lifts the bike upwards and the range of movement is unnatural for the rider, compared to the telescopic suspension. The front end on a typical telescopic suspension dives making changes to the wheelbase, shortening it, which adds to the rider’s advantage during cornering, as the bike with the shorter wheelbase can turn in quicker. On the hub-centre set up with a pivot point above the axle the front rises doing just the opposite and while cornering this makes the bike run wide.
Arc engineers have solved this by placing the pivot point below the axle centre which means when the brakes are applied the front end dives like a conventional setup and the weight of the bike is shifted to the front wheel. The energy required for the front end to dive is more than the conventional telescopic suspension and hence a softer suspension setup can be used without the risk of bottoming out. The hub-centre system on the Arc uses a direct steering attachment system and avoids the use of complex steering parts and gives a better steering feedback.
The handcrafted, made in Britain, electric motorcycle is powered by a 399V modular battery-chassis monocoque built in full carbon-fibre that delivers a range of 436 km on the NEDC cycle and can be charged in 40 minutes using a CCS DC fast charger. The Vector features a carbon-fibre front swingarm, direct connection scissor with carbon fibre fender which doubles as a control arm, Ohlins TTX suspension, LED lighting, Brembo Stylema Callipers with ABS and traction control. The bike weighs 220 kgs and can accelerate from 0-100 kmph in 3.2 seconds with the top speed limited to 200 kmph.
The Arc Vector is expected to be launched in 2020 and the production will be limited to 399 examples, each one of them costing around GBP 90,000.