What starts out as a 1,200-pound block of aluminum and gets whittled down into a mere 120-pounds of usable material? If you said components of the bikes created by ARCH Motorcycle, you’d be correct. Cofounded by Keanu Reeves and Gard Hollinger in 2011, ARCH has become synonymous with unbeatable quality wrapped up in a sleek and powerful bike that’s truly unique to the person who owns it.
The design process for each bike—from beginning to end—can start with something as simple as an idea and napkin sketch, says Hollinger. From there, a computer-generated 3D model gets made that then moves to a programmer in the ARCH machine shop. Here, code is written for a machine to print the parts that make up an ARCH bike.
From the machines that make precise cuts—like CNC milling machines that move along several axes to carve out functional parts from chunks of metal—to various components of each bike to the welders that make the metal pliable enough to be manipulated and assembled, each step of building an ARCH bike has been fine-tuned to perfection. And when it comes to customization, ARCH has a solid system in place to make sure each customer gets exactly what they want.
“Once a customer places an order, initially I ask them to give me some visual examples of things that they respond to,” Hollinger says. Then, computer renderings and a mood board are designed to show the customer what their bike will eventually look like. Together, the ARCH Motorcycle team and the customer refine the rendering until it’s just right.
Once the parts are built and an order is ready to be assembled, one of two techs at ARCH begin putting each motorcycle together. And to ensure quality control during assembly, ARCH has the same technician work on a specific bike from start to finish. It typically takes between a week and ten days for a bike to be fully assembled. After that, it gets prepped for delivery.
Hollinger tells Popular Mechanics that he’s especially proud of the fact that ARCH Motorcycle makes its bikes right here in the U.S. “[It’s] not only an honor, but sort of a responsibility… creating jobs here and creating a product that’s an American product. It’s part of the foundation of our company,” he says.
Hollinger looks forward to the future where he hopes he’ll be able to watch the next generation of ARCH bikes reach new heights.
To catch the newest episodes of “Made Here,” subscribe to our YouTube channel.
You Might Also Like