2023 Arch 1s Review: The $128,000 Question

Casually leaned on its side stand in an unassuming Malibu parking lot, sat the 2023 Arch 1s. Dripping in carbon fiber componentry and flexing enough CNC-machining to make any CAD designer’s eyes go blurry, the thought of saddling up on Arch Motorcycle’s second production model was like coming face-to-face with a unicorn. The $128,000 price tag is enough to stop anyone in their tracks, but its elegant, racy appearance does that job handily enough. And it’s all more than an affectation because the Arch 1s is chipping away at the rigid American V-twin commandments with its sporting attitude.

2023 Arch 1s Review: Price

In between bites of what I’m told was a tasty pepperoni pizza, co-founder Gard Hollinger laid out a quick and dirty retelling of the Arch Motorcycle history. Hollinger, an accomplished motorcycle fabricator by trade, was approached by silver-screen superstar Keanu Reeves to build a sportier Harley-Davidson Dyna, which eventually became the inspiration for Arch’s debut motorcycle, the KRGT-1.

After some convincing from Reeves, the two certifiable bike nuts decided to fire up their own brand that’s now situated in Hawthorne, Calif., where the script is flipped on V-twin dogma. Top-tier performance parts mated to an aluminum and steel cradle frame, powered by a torque-rich S&S Cycle 124T V-twin engine, defined the more traditional KRGT-1 cruiser and the marque. Yet, the Arch 1s colors further outside well-defined lines while upping the sporting ante.

With the Arch 1s under the coastal sun, this lengthy steed wears its influence on its sleeve. Hollinger, Reeves, and Co. have lofty intentions with their new model, starting with items seemingly pilfered from a factory superbike parts pin. Seeing as price is no object, a chunky 48mm Öhlins inverted fork and TTX shock set the tone, while lightweight BST carbon fiber wheels are a hearty wink at potentially fancier footwork, and lest we forget its lusty single-sided swingarm, synonymous with motorcycles hailing from a particular boot-shaped nation.

2023 Arch 1s Review: MSRP

The curvaceous carbon fiber fuel tank cleverly integrates an airbox and downdraft induction system, eliminating unsightly side-mounted air cleaners that all too often clash with knees. Incredible care is put into every contour line of the Arch 1s, representing unmatched design precision, and that, folks, is where the high-dollar price tag starts to make sense.

Departing from the norm is a common theme on the 1s, which is underlined and emboldened with the high-mounted rear/mid foot controls affixed directly to custom engine cases. A flat, sport-inspired seat greets the backside of well-heeled clientele, excluding yours truly, and a casual reach to the narrow Rizoma handlebar feels like a throwback to early 2000s naked bikes such as the Ducati Monster S4R.

A keen eye will pick up on the various utilitarian elements like the starter switch at home on any full-blown track build, along with the AiM Sports instrument panel, which is almost the status quo in professional racing globally. Those functional bits live next to the bougie machined gas cap that lifts up on exquisitely machined scaffolding, which is just one of the many outstanding design treats on hand.

2023 Arch 1s Review: S&S V-twin

Arch views many aspects of the American V-twin tradition through a prism, yet the air-cooled two-liter S&S Cycle 124T lump stands as a true-to-form and crystal-clear message to the faithful. Yes, it’s gussied-up with custom aluminum cases, a proprietary six-speed transmission, dry clutch, and excellent fueling. Adding a semblance of sanity to a bonkers build, it shifts confidently and still goes like stink.

But, underneath those refinements lies a tongue-wagging torque monster with a healthy wink and a nod to the classic hot rod charm at the core of any flag-waving twin-cylinder engine. Twisting the grip out on Pacific Coast Highway, the immense low-end torque is limitless and backed by a thunderous chorus. High-flying rpm hijinks were never the forte of this V-twin, and there’s no reason to flirt with the redline either; with those ample jugs doing their damnedest to contain massive 4+ inch pistons, you’re going to feel quite a bit of vibration.

Our route weaved through familiar Santa Monica Mountains roads, and this is where other traits of the Arch 1s began to bubble to the surface. It’s fitting that a motorcycle that costs four-letter-word money won’t be bullied from the pulpit, told what to do, or how to do it. Things work the other way around.

2023 Arch 1s Review: For Sale

No, the conversation begins while sitting in the Arch 1s’ 31.5-inch high seat. It carefully explains that its sizeable 65.4-inch wheelbase and formidable 9.4-inch-wide rear tire will dispatch any hint of instability without a second thought. Peeling into the first set of tighter twists in the road, it gives an approving nod that, yes, you can lean aggressively into the turns as if you’re riding a conventionally sporty motorcycle.

Few bikes complete the man and machine connection to such a tangible degree as what’s seen here, and perhaps that speaks to its distinctive flavor. Could it do so, the Arch 1s would raise a ponderous eyebrow to anyone not working in harmony with it. Instead, your faith in its handling ability is rewarded with what would be miraculous if judged off the spec sheet alone.

Lapping up hits left, right, and center is the sport-tuned Swedish suspension. When examining suspenders of this caliber, it’s tough to find any fault, considering they were initially designed to face racetracks near and far. The sturdy chassis tracks through it all, primarily undeterred unless you get its near-600-pound curb weight moving in an awkward direction through heavy compression bumps. As such, the Arch lads know to create an athletic setup that doesn’t make you curse your coccyx at the end of a ride—a quirk that the short-lived Harley-Davidson FXDR 114 displayed.

2023 Arch 1s Review: Bespoke Motorcycle

Adding yet another layer to the Arch 1s’ sporting stance are the rarified six-piston ISR calipers, paired up with a span- and ratio-adjustable Magura master cylinder. On that note, feel is what you’d expect from any bike boasting “RR” badging on its fairing.

The front brakes clamp with a confident bite, boasting braking performance unheard of in the production cruiser or bagger scene, which typically errs on the side of caution. Interestingly, the weight distribution offers a helping hand to the four-piston caliper in the rear and can usher this beast without a fault.

The list of attributes the Arch 1s sticks to its proverbial guns on is extensive and helps flesh out its one-of-a-kind status. Still, plenty of other aspects are open to negotiation. Before a single wrench is turned in your bike’s direction, the Arch staff sits down and works out every detail from nose to tail.

2023 Arch 1s Review: Custom Motorcycle

Being a low-volume bespoke manufacturer allows the freedom for designers to realize quite a few wishes of its customers, where details such as ergonomics, colorways, and handling are finalized. As much as this is a production motorcycle, the term is used loosely; no two Arch motorcycles are quite the same. We sampled a test unit that serves as a canvas for customers once they’ve plunked down a princely sum.

That isn’t representative of your average dealership experience, which usually involves a fuel-tank-slapping salesman ready to boot you out the door on the way to the next commission. The same logic applies to Arch’s manufacturing and design processes, which are kept in-house as much as possible. CNC mills, waterjet tables, and other tooling adorn its building, and anything that their clever hands can’t make is entrusted to a short list of technical partners. The carbon fiber muffler, for example, is manufactured by Yoshimura R&D, but assembled in Hawthorne.

2023 Arch 1s Review: Keanu Reeves

A healthy hint of DIY spirit runs through Arch, which, to be fair, could probably be said of any manufacturer in its infancy. Pairing the best of the best in performance bits isn’t a novel idea, either. So, the next step for Arch is to develop a proprietary engine platform, which will place the brand in a tier above other boutique manufacturers.

After exploring sweepers of every variety and taking in a setting sun on Pacific Coast Highway, the indelible Arch 1s has already managed to sear a permanent impression in my mind—authentic performance chops dressed down in design that’s second to none. Deep coffers are required. However, if you can climb that financial mountain, you’ll be met by a machine that’s nothing short of peerless.

Photography by Don Williams


2023 Arch 1s Specs 


  • Type: S&S Cycle T124 V-twin
  • Displacement: 124ci (2032cc)
  • Maximum torque: 115 ft-lbs [claimed rear wheel]
  • Fueling: 45-degree downdraft EFI
  • Transmission: 6-speed
  • Clutch: Dry
  • Primary drive: Arch/Bandit belt
  • Final drive: 530 O-ring chain


  • Frame: Tubular steel frame w/ CNC-machined aluminum subframe; single-sided swingarm
  • Handlebar: Rizoma
  • Front suspension: Fully adjustable Arch/Öhlins FGRT inverted fork
  • Rear Suspension: Linkage-less fully adjustable Arch/Öhlins piggyback-reservoir shock
  • Wheels: BST carbon fiber
  • Front wheel: 17 x 3.5
  • Rear wheel: 17 x 8.5
  • Tires: Michelin Pilot Power 3
  • Front tire: 120/70 x 17
  • Rear tire: 240/45 x 17
  • Front brakes: ISR floating dampened discs w/ ISR 6-piston radially mounted monobloc calipers
  • Rear brake: ISR semi-floating disc w/ ISR 4-piston radially mounted monobloc caliper
  • ABS: Bosch


  • Wheelbase: 65.4 inches
  • Rake: 25.2 inches
  • Trail: 4.0 inches
  • Seat height: 31.5 inches
  • Fuel capacity: 4.5 gallons
  • Dry weight: 563 pounds

2023 Arch 1s Price: $128,000 MSRP

2023 Arch 1s Review Photo Gallery