ARC Vector (2023) - Review


Price: from £90k | Power: 117bhp | Weight: 240kg | Overall BikeSocial Rating: 4/5


ARC motorcycles is the brainchild of CEO Mark Truman, who set out to create something special: the world’s most advanced electric motorcycle. To create a bike free of the constrictions of noise, emissions, heat, exhaust routing and a thousand other conventional petrol bike limitations. He started with a blank piece of paper, then let his imagination and engineering talent run wild.

The ARC Vector was revealed to the public at EICMA (the annual motorcycle show in Milan) back in 2018, stunning the motorcycling world with its dramatic hub-centre steering, a claimed range of 271 miles (436km) and recharge time of just 40 minutes. However, the company went into administration in 2019, when key investors removed themselves from the project.

Unperturbed, Mark and his company bounced back, and earlier this year conducted the bike’s final testing, with former BSB and MotoGP racer James Ellison at the helm.

With the first bespoke and British-made Vectors now reaching customers, we took one of the very first £90,000 bikes to leave the factory for a quick spin close to ARC headquarters near Coventry.

The ARC is unique. There is no conventional frame; the chassis is the housing for the battery and motor, similar to Ducati’s Panigale and new MotoE race bike. Hub-centre steering allows a very steep head angle of 20 degrees compared to a normal sports bike’s 24 to 25 degrees. The pivot point of the front shock is below the front wheel spindle, which, unlike other hub steering models, allows the front to dive slightly like a conventional telescopic fork. The hub steering also allows the ARC to run a light spring at the front, which can cope with the weight (240kg) better than conventional forks.

Both rear and front arms are carbon fibre, as are the wheels (by BST). There are Brembo Stylema brakes up front, a full carbon seat unit, keyless ignition (via a wrist strap key) and belt drive. A digital dash on top of the dummy fuel tank which houses the charging ports.

Despite having multiple riding modes, our test bike didn’t have a finished suite of rider aids installed, which will include lean-sensitive traction control and conventional ABS developed in partnership with Continental.

In the not-too-distant future ARC also plan to produce an interactive ARC Zenith helmet with British firm Hedon. The helmet will connect to the bike via Wi-Fi and show a head-up display featuring an array of voice activated performance related graphics and navigation assistance. A jacket, developed in with Knox, is also part of the company’s AE program and will connect to the bike and the rider via Wi-Fi, and will interact with the rider, vibrating for example when the ABS or Traction control is



Pros & Cons
  • Stunning and bespoke
  • Quick and light steering
  • Mid-range power and torque
  • Out of financial range for most
  • Poor steering lock
  • Dash is hard to read
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Above: Chad checks his selfies, or adjusts the Arc’s app configuration. You decide.


Power and Torque
Motor & Battery
Handling & Suspension (inc. weight)
Comfort & Economy


ARC Vector (2023) Price

How much is the ARC Vector? Prices start at £90,000.

There is no hiding the fact the ARC Vector is expensive, and £90,000 is only the starting price. Our test bike, the AE model, which is in final development to interact with the jacket and helmet will be priced at £110,000. However, this is a bespoke, handmade electric superbike for a very limited lucky few, so perhaps it’s best to think of the Vector in terms of supercar money, like a Ferrari or Bugatti.

Each bike is built at the company’s UK HQ and tailored to the rider’s size and weight. Potential owners are invited to the factory for a fitting. Pegs can be moved and fitted to match the rider, it’s just like having a made-to-measure suit.

Customers are then invited to choose colours, materials, and final spec. No two bikes are the same and you can let your imagination run wild. If you want wood finish bodywork like an old skateboard, that’s not a problem.

Competition is hard to define. Damon motorcycles, produced in Canada, have the Hypersport Premier, a $40,000 conventional electric superbike, which they claim has a top speed of 200mph, makes 200bhp and 200 Nm of torque. Energica, the Italian electric specialist, who currently supplies the bikes in MotoE has the Ego + RS, priced at £29,140.

Pricewise, Ducati’s limited edition Superleggera V4 is £90,000, producing 234bhp from its petrol V4, and tops the scales at only 152.2kg with a race kit. And if you want hub steering you could look at the supercharged Bimota Tesi H2 at £60,000.



ARC Vector (2023) Power and torque

The ARC’s permanent rare earth magnet, AC motor is cleverly hidden by a dummy belly pan, which houses a channel that directs cool air to the small, rear-facing radiator, which cools both the motor and inverter. The motor produces a peak of 173 Nm of torque, and 87kw/117bhp of power, directed to the back wheel via a belt drive (not a chain, which was originally shown on the concept bike).

The battery has a capacity of 16.8kWh (using Samsung Battery Cells) and is housed in a monocoque carbon shell, to which the front and rear bespoke carbon suspension is bolted. There is no conventional frame. 

The Vector’s headline range is a quoted 436km/271 miles, but Mark and the team say that, realistically, around 200 miles/320km could be expected during normal riding, and 120miles/193km during aggressive riding or with a motorway stint. On track, with former MGP racer James Ellison putting in impressive lap times, 60 miles/ 97 km was the worst recorded result – which is impressive.

Top speed is limited to 200kph, or 120mph, and ARC quote a 0-100kph (0-62mph) time of 3.1 seconds. Recharge time from 0% to 90% is only 40 minutes on a Type 2 rapid DC fast charger. (This is the only way to charge the ARC; there is no home three-pin system).

The ARC is fully road legal and meets Euro5, which isn’t as strict for electric-powered vehicles as there are no noise or emission targets to meet.



ARC Vector (2023) Motor & Battery

Despite almost spending around 30% of my riding time testing electric bikes these days, I’m still getting acquainted with riding powerful electric superbikes. Today, that initial anxiety is amplified by the value and uniqueness of the ARC. I’m the very first person outside the company and test team to be allowed on the £100,000-plus bike. To add to my worries, the TC and ABS have not yet been finalised for production so there are no rider aids today. Luckily the weather is kind, and ARC HQ is surrounded by some great roads.

There are no gears, of course, and the instant response of direct torque always takes a little while to get used to. The ARC also runs a handlebar-mounted back brake.

‘Engine’ response off small throttle openings is a little sudden compared to a petrol-powered superbike (even in the lower power Urban mode) and when you accelerate rapidly, much as you would on a conventional superbike like a BMW S1000RR, it’s hard not stop your left foot hunting for a gear lever. You don’t have to wait for peak revs, and it’s very quiet, too.

In fact, from the lights or from 30, 50, 60mph, it really is just a case of twist-and-go. Except it goes very fast. In wet or cold conditions, traction control will be needed, and I could feel the front wheel go light on occasions over crests.

Overtaking is effortless, with no changing down gears to access peak torque necessary. It’s a strange sensation passing cars with such a consummate lack of effort and in near silence.

ARC has deliberately dialled-in minimal engine braking, meaning there is very little re-gen. Some electric bikes have strong engine braking and re-gen to deliver power back to the battery to extend range, but the ARC Vector doesn’t. This gives it something of a two-stroke feel that helps you roll and flow into corners, and is a characteristic I came to appreciate when I raced an electric bike at the Isle of Man TT.



Handling, suspension, and weight

Hub-centre steering is nothing new, and still used by Bimota, while Yamaha famously had a crack at it with their GTS 1000 in 1993. In fact, books have been written on the advantages and disadvantages of alternative front end suspension systems compared to conventional telescopic forks.

But the ARC system is different from most previous designs. The crucial element is the pivot point of the front swing-arm, which is below the front wheel spindle, meaning some weight can be transferred to the front end, allowing the front to dive reassuringly under braking, adding a conventional feel missing on most hub steering bikes. The other advantage is the ARC can run a steep steering head angle of just 20 degrees (most sports bikes have 24-25-degree head angles). The ARC system also allows a lighter spring for the Öhlins front shock.

But yes, there are disadvantages, and cost is an obvious one. Development was extensive and expensive. Then there is the actual cost of production: the front swing-arm is carbon fibre while the front mudguard, which is a structural component, is also one complete carbon unit. The other main disadvantage is a large turning circle that makes the Vector a tad awkward in town.

But ARC’s development team knew an electric superbike would be heavy and that a hub-centre steering system, which separates the braking, steering and suspension functions would, dynamically, manage that weight better than traditional forks – and allow a steep and sporty steering head angle. They were also unconstrained by normal design limitations: without a radiator, waterpipes, front exhaust routing and engine heat to worry about, the designers and engineers had a relatively free run at the project.

Initially, the 240kg superbike does feel heavy, especially when you’re moving it around and throwing a leg over the 825mm carbon seat for the first time. Other electric bikes I’ve tested, which are considerably heavier, have a reverse or crawler gear, which the ARC doesn’t. But once the carbon BST wheels are turning that weight diminishes rapidly.

That steep rake angle makes the ARC feels lighter than it actually is, and it took a few miles to re-calibrate as I was constantly turning too quickly and hitting the apex early, then picking up the bike and having a second stab at it. But the more I rode the ARC the more we clicked, and I found myself using less input at the bars and pegs to make it turn.

Fact is, the Vector steers faster than any other electric superbike I’ve ridden, but it’s far from skittish. With suspension and braking forces separated and a relatively light spring controlling the ride, you can feel the front end reacting to bumps and imperfections – the ride is almost plush – but there isn’t a huge amount of drive or weight transfer either. The rear suspension uses a directly mounted Öhlins unit, which is on the firm side. You really feel this at low speeds and over imperfections around town, but once up to speed, it comes into its own.

Riding the ARC is a little like riding a proper race bike on the road. Generally, race bikes have less squat and suspension movement than road bikes and that’s the same with the Vector. While that doesn’t feel great at slow speed or over large bumps and road imperfection, once you’re up to speed and putting forces through the suspension, it moves into its design window and begins to work accordingly. Like a race bike on the road, the Vector doesn’t want to be ridden slowly; above 40-50mph is when the suspension works. Stability is absolute, long flowing corners are its natural hunting ground. Once the bike and rider are dialled in, it’s an incredibly rewarding bike to ride briskly.

In town it’s not great - the rear is a little harsh and the steering lock is limited. Add a tall-ish seat and that instant torque as you crack open the throttle, and I can see most owners heading for the countryside or track (lol) immediately. However, because each bike is bespoke, suspension and power settings can be tailored to match the customer’s requirements. Theoretically, a wealthy owner who wishes to ride their ARC around Monaco rather than Cadwell Park can have it tweaked to suit…



ARC Vector (2023) Comfort and economy

I’m assuming comfort was never too high on the design brief at ARC. But as mentioned each bike is matched to its owner. Pegs are fixed but only once the rider has found the perfect setting on a ‘dummy’ bike.

The rear suspension on our test bike was a little harsh around town, and the comfort wasn’t great, but again this can be personalised – and the riding position isn’t too radical.

I’m assuming most wealthy owners aren’t going to go touring, although the claimed range of 436km/271mile is impressive. ARC admits, in the real world it’s more like 200 miles/320km or 120miles/193km if it’s doing high-speed stuff. After a few hours you’ll be about ready for a break and the 40 minutes it takes to recharge will be a welcome relief.

Cruise control as standard and so long as you plan your journey with a DC fast charger along the way, you could cover some decent miles on the ARC. Sadly, I suspect most will only be used for short journeys.

The range and battery usage are displayed on the dash, which is on top of the dummy fuel tank. This also shows speed, riding mode, etc. Ignoring the price for a moment this is my only real criticism, because it’s hard to see, especially when the sunlight is directly behind you. However, in the future, all the information you’ll need should be in the head-up display in the ARC Zenith helmet.



Stopping the Vector’s 240kg is down to two Brembo Stylema Monobloc calipers gripping 320mm discs. The rear is also a Brembo item, this time a 240mm disc. As mentioned, our test bike didn’t have ABS fitted but customer’s bikes will have conventional ABS. It will also be possible to deactivate the ABS completely, should you wish to in Sports mode on the top sped AE model.

Braking takes a little getting used to, especially with so little engine braking. The front dives a little; unlike some HCS systems you can feel the front tyre loading as weight transfers forward, but not as much as conventional forks. Meanwhile the rear brake lever on the handlebar like a scooter is very effective.

At slow speed, I don’t think I used the front brake at all as the rear set up is so effective. It is only out of town, when you’re using all that torque and having fun, do you start to brake normally.

When you brake heavily, that positive but subtle suspension movement helps you feel the front tyre’s contact patch. There’s none of the detached sensation you can experience on bikes with funny front ends. I’d really like to try the ARC on track, to nibble at the boundaries, but as this was an early road test only all I can truly say is that the quality Bembo items are up for the job on the King’s highway.


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Rider aids, extra equipment, and accessories

While the overall design and spec – Brembo brakes, Öhlins suspension, BST wheels – are fixed, each Vector is tailored to the rider and their demands. Colours, finish, the position of the pegs… Almost everything can be matched to the owner’s personal taste. Some customers have requested black Öhlins springs instead of yellow, some have even gone for a wood-like finish on the top section – there are few limits.

The big talking point and what makes this bike unique is the Human Machine Interface (HMI). This is a direct connection between the bike and the rider. A Zenith helmet will feature a head-up display (HUD) just like a fighter pilot’s. The helmet will also have an integrated rear-facing camera, which will automatically highlight anything detected in the blind spot via the HUD. Rider modes will have the option to be voice-activated from the Wi-Fi Helmet.

The standard bike has three rider modes, which reduce power delivery and Torque. Rain 40%, Eco 70%, Road 100%. The lean sensitive traction control, once developed, will work in partnership with these modes. Once the HMI is competed there will be a further three modes: Urban, Sport, and Euphoric, which will interact with the helmet and clothing.

Furthermore, in partnership with Knox, ARC is working on the Origin Jacket, which is part of the HMI experience. For example, in Urban mode the jacket will alert the rider to dangers; in Sports mode it will give the rider feedback on their riding, taking information from the IMU or transmitting how much TC is being activated. Euphoric Mode will let you play music through the haptics – all currently in development but close to final production.

The top-spec model, with specialist machined parts and programmed for HMI will set you back £110,000.


ARC Vector (2023) Rivals

In terms of price, performance or even unique appeal, we only have a handful of choices at this level of investment. After all, the project goal was to create the world’s most advanced electric motorcycle. However, if you’ve got the cash then how about one of these:


Ducati Superlegerra | Price: £90,000

Power/Torque: 224bhp / 85.6 lb-ft | Weight: 159kg


Honda RC213V-S | Price: £180,000

Power/Torque: 212bhp / 118 lb-ft | Weight: 160kg


Damon Hypersport | Price: £35,000 (est)

Power/Torque: 200 bhp / 147.6 lb-ft | Weight: tbc


Crighton CR700W | Price: £95,000

Power/Torque: 220bhp / 105 lb-ft | Weight: 130kg



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Chad considers pawning his Yorkshire-ness


ARC Vector (2023) Verdict

Mark Truman and his team deserve a lot of credit. The ARC Vector is a gigantic project, one that started from nothing and has become a motorcycle that is unique, stunning and very special. Its very existence is a huge achievement.

Painstaking development of the HCS front end has delivered a system that allows some dive, has quick steering and gives great feedback. They’ve built a bike that uses the main battery as its chassis, with both carbon swing-arm bolting directly to it and a carbon mudguard that is a structural part of the bike. There’s also the forthcoming HMI interaction with bespoke futuristic jacket and helmet. No longer constrained by the conventional architecture of petrol bikes, they have truly moved the dial in terms of design and engineering. 

And, on top of all this, it works as a motorcycle. It feels deceptively light once on the move, turns well, gives feedback, has excellent brakes – this is one fast electric superbike. Our test machine was a little firm and the initial throttle response a tad urgent but this can all be ironed out. The clocks are a little disappointing, and you obviously can’t ignore the eye-watering price.

But for some, price isn’t an issue and those privileged few who manage to grab an ARC Vector will be buying something special, not only in looks but in design and performance. No wonder the order books are already filling up fast.


ARC Vector (2023) Technical Specification

New price

£90,000/ AE spec - £110,000 machined parts, program developed HMI


Electric, 16.8kWh

Engine layout

Permanent Rare Earth Magnet AC Motor


87 kW / 117hp


173Nm/ 128lbft

Top speed



One gear, belt drive

Average fuel consumption

Claimed range of 436km/271mile

(ARC admits real world it’s more like 200 miles/320km or 120miles/193km high speed)

Rider aids

Three rider modes as standard, lean-sensitive TC, and conventional ABS. AE model, three more rider modes, and the option to remove ABS.


Monocoque (battery is the frame)

Front suspension

Hub-centre steering, carbon fibre swing-arm, Ohlins ILX56 single shock, 150mm wheel travel

Front suspension adjustment

Fully adjustable

Rear suspension

Öhlins TTX56 single shock, 110mm wheel travel.

Rear suspension adjustment

Fully adjustable

Front brake

2x320mm discs, Brembo Stylema 4-piston calipers, std ABS

Rear brake

240mm disc, Brembo 2-piston caliper, std ABS

Front wheel / tyre

120/70 X 17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso 4 Corsa

Rear wheel / tyre

180/55 X 17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso 4 Corsa



Seat height





3 years

MCIA Secured rating

Not yet included


1st service: 12 months or 1000 miles. Then every 2 years or 3000


Pics: Jason Critchell


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What is MCIA Secured?

MCIA Secured gives bike buyers the chance to see just how much work a manufacturer has put into making their new investment as resistant to theft as possible.

As we all know, the more security you use, the less chance there is of your bike being stolen. In fact, based on research by Bennetts, using a disc lock makes your machine three times less likely to be stolen, while heavy duty kit can make it less likely to be stolen than a car. For reviews of the best security products, click here.

MCIA Secured gives motorcycles a rating out of five stars, based on the following being fitted to a new bike as standard:

  • A steering lock that meets the UNECE 62 standard
  • An ignition immobiliser system
  • A vehicle marking system
  • An alarm system
  • A vehicle tracking system with subscription

The higher the star rating, the better the security, so always ask your dealer what rating your bike has, and compare it to other machines on your shortlist.