The annual International Motorcycle Shows always offer stuff brand-new and fascinating. Occasionally, we even spot something groundbreaking or trailblazing. But we’ve never seen anything like this.
With a motorcycle designed to usher in a new era of Roaring Twenties—the 2020s—the Vanguard Roadster is certain to make a bold splash at the Progressive International Motorcycle Show that starts Friday, December 9th at the Javits Center in New York.
CEO Francois-Xavier “F-X” Terny and his co-founder, CTO Edward Jacobs, have zero interest in creating a different version of the same old thing. Rather, Vanguard is an exquisite piece of industrial art, a pure machine that does only what it’s designed for, well.
Despite high-tech design elements that appear ripped from a sci-fi picture, the Roadster is not some pie-in-the-sky fantasy bike; rather, it will be a fully functional production motorcycle designed and manufactured in New York. And unlike other indie startups that expect consumers to fork over 75 grand or more, the Vanguard Roadster will be a little more attainable, retailing for $29,995.
“We wouldn’t be doing this if we couldn’t make it affordable,” F-X told me during an exclusive visit to the Vanguard design studio in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. “We want to create a viable option for the motorcycle enthusiast, do away with stereotypes, and give the rider that sense of pure joy that brought us all here in the first place.”
During our conversation just a couple of weeks before the Roadster’s debut at the New York IMS, both men exuded an earnest, honest, non-”greazy” friendliness—in no way coming across as hustlers or hucksters. The remnants of a celebration were evident the morning of my visit; Vanguard had hosted a coming-out party in their shop the night before with investors and people Terny insisted were "big-name motorcycle guys" (he wouldn't offer names). But one thing was clear: Vanguard’s founders have not only the enthusiasm but the commitment and financing (and the $2M prototype!) to bring their vision to fruition. Determined not to make the same mistakes other startups have made, Terny has huddled with people both in- and outside the motorcycle industry, learning valuable information and details grand and miniscule that others have overlooked on their way to either success or failure.
“We’re not interested in building custom motorcycles to be toys,” Terny insisted.
Click here to see exclusive photos of EBR Motorcycles’ new Black Lightning from the Long Beach International Motorcycle Show
They've got the prototype, and they’ve got the factory. They've got the material suppliers lined up. The financing is in order. They've secured a plum spot at Javits Center—right near the entrance surrounded by all of the major motorcycle manufacturers. And they’ve got a 9 a.m. timeslot on Media Day (keep an eye on the Motorcyclist Instagram feed that morning). This is not a joke, folks. These guys are all-in.
Production of Vanguard motorcycles will commence after testing of the prototype; Roadster models are expected to reach dealers by the end of 2018, and Vanguard already has plans for Cruiser and Racer models to follow a similar, modular design. Get more info at www.Vanguard.nyc. For International Motorcycle Shows info, visit www.MotorcycleShows.com.