A taillight, some will tell you, is just a taillight. But in a well-lit warehouse in Hawthorne, California, Gard Hollinger and the team at Arch Motorcycle know otherwise. “The idea was to have a taillight that didn’t interrupt the bodywork, that didn’t have a red, plastic lens,” explains Hollinger. Instead, Arch has integrated a polished cup of metal into the tip of the machined seat of its KRGT-1. That reflective element is partially covered by a wing that carries the line of the tail on the outside and houses LED lights inside.
It’s symbolic of the way the rest of the bike is made, from the standpoint of both design and manufacturing. Much of this machine is cut from solid blocks of aluminum—the entire tail and seat, rear section of the frame, sprocket, headlight housing, and even the kickstand. The fuel tank starts as 431 pounds of 6061 aluminum in four separate blocks. After many CNC- and man-hours, around 410 pounds of metal have been chipped away, and the split tank is welded into its two halves.
What looks like paint in this photo is actually anodizing, and each customer can choose how they want the bike finished. Polished, brushed, painted, plain as can be, or covered in graphics—you name it. That the bike comes with performance parts, like an inverted Öhlins fork, massive brake calipers, carbon-fiber wheels, and an LED headlight, goes without saying. It’s an odd contradiction of high-tech and transcontinental components, powered by a pair of 1-liter pistons splayed in a corn-fed, air-cooled vee.
But taken together, Arch’s entire design ethos is summed up in this elegant and small LED sculpted into the rear of the bike. It’s a statement: Arch declaring itself the polished and ceramic-coated version of a motorcycle company, refined and exquisite with singular flair, reflecting without plastic lenses into the vastness of Hollywood.