Keanu Reeves, Gard Hollinger and the Arch Motorcycle Company KRGT-1

From the Wild File: The Matrix of Machined Metalwork

Keanu Reeves and Motorcyclist Digital Editor Brian Hatano
If you're wondering if Arch has sold a bike at $78K, that's Keanu Reeves putting break-in miles on a customer's orange-anodized KRGT-1 next to Motorcyclist Digital Editor Brian Hatano on the mid-controlled all-black model. Units have also recently shipped out to Australia and Russia.Photo: Barry Hathaway

"I don't make sissy bars, but why don't you come inside and we'll see what we can do," said LA Choprods design guru Gard Hollinger back in 2006 when Keanu Reeves (yes, that Keanu Reeves) rolled into Hollinger's shop with some ideas on how he wanted to customize his Harley-Davidson Dyna, one of many bikes that the star has owned over the years. That's pretty much how the association between the two began. Conversations and design sessions ultimately turned into a completely new build from the frame up, a retro-modern creation that would become the prototype for the bike that you see here. Together they formed the Arch Motorcycle Company (archmotorcycle.com) in 2012.

Best Dream Bike, Alternative Take:

Arch Motorcycles KRGT-1 V-twin cruiser
The building of each KRGT-1 requires approximately 1,200-pounds of 6061-T6 aluminum alloy. Solid blocks of high-dollar metal that Arch transforms, via CNC machining, into various components including their own primary cover, transmission oil pan, swingarm, ram air headlight housing, swingarm, tail and rear coved light housing, and fuel tank halves. We can’t even begin to show all the details that make this the most exotic V-twin cruiser we’ve ever seen.Photo: Arch Motorcycles

Reeves’ Dyna project served as the matrix for a power cruiser prototype that became the KRGT-1 seen here. Technically, the KRGT-1 is a production motorcycle, but aside from Arch’s plans to produce a limited quantity (as many as 100) of these luxury V-twins this year, everything else about this retro-mod machine says pure custom. No, we’re not talking about one of those silly 30-inch front wheel jobs dripping with buckets of House of Kolor product. This is custom on a whole ‘nother level.

Gard Hollinger and Keanu Reeves of Arch Motorcycle Company
Arch Motorcycles co-founders Gard Hollinger and Keanu Reeves.Photo: Barry Hathaway
KRGT-1 CNC-machined fuel tanks
A K&N filtered intake is hidden under the backbone between the machined billet(!) fuel tank halves. This trick design centers weight and significantly narrows the distance between the rider’s knees. Clever!Photo: Arch Motorcycles

Having star power to help launch a new motorcycle is certainly not a disadvantage and while Reeves spends as much time at Arch Motorcycle Company's Hawthorne, CA factory as his schedule allows, there are six full-time Arch crew members who are responsible for creating each KRGT-1. Hollinger and Reeves invited Motorcyclist to tour the Arch plant and observe what goes into the making of this ultra-high-end $78,000 motorcycle.

KRGT-1 S&S engine with downdraft injection
Powering the KRGT-1 is a proprietary S&S Cycle T124 featuring a new downdraft fuel injection system.Photo: Arch Motorcycles

Yes, you read that right, a no-haggle price tag of 78 large with a $12K cash deposit just to get the build-to-order process in motion. So we were compelled to ask Hollinger how he and Reeves could justify an “introductory” price tag with so many zeros on the left side of the decimal point and his response was simple and to the point. “Sure we can make it cheaper. We can also make it more expensive. That figure that we decided on doesn’t even begin to cover the years of R&D, the materials, and prototyping of each special part that went into this bike. If we can sell 50 of them over the course of the year, we’ll be happy. We’re hoping to hit 100 this year and if we can exceed that, even better.” Plans are already underway to add two more models to the KRGT line. It’s hush-hush for now but you’ll see it here when it happens.

KRGT-1 CNC-machined aluminum coved taillight assembly
No plastic or even a lens is used in the light assembly. It’s all CNC machined aluminum with a polished cove that reflects light from rear-facing red LEDs affixed to the back side of the horizontal bar.Photo: Arch Motorcycles