ARC VECTOR (2022 - on) Review


  • 115bhp electric
  • Hub centre steering
  • Carbon monocoque chassis

At a glance

Power: 115 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.5 in / 825 mm)
Weight: High (529 lbs / 240 kg)


New £90,000
Used N/A

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Hand-built near Coventry by a talented team of engineers, including former Triumph staff and development riders including ex-BSB and MotoGP rider James Ellison, the Arc Vector is a festival of carbon fibre and electricity.

Arc founder Mark Truman designed the Vector while working at Jaguar Land Rover and he’s a dyed-in-the-wool bike nut, who’s raced everything from motocross, Suzuki RGV250s and Yamaha FZR400SPs in a previous life. Arc also work with the automotive industry using their knowhow to develop their EV projects.

They’ve have had a difficult start to life. A major investor pulled out causing the company to go into receivership in 2019 before production started and if it wasn’t for Truman ploughing his own money in to realise his dream a year later, they wouldn’t be here now. But now the future looks brighter and the first Vector rolled off the production line on September 2022, ready to be shipped off to a customer in the US.

Arc Vector left side

Arc have bravely gone for two unconventional technologies for its maiden motorcycle project at once: battery power and hub centre steering. The benefits of its funny front end will be felt at very fast road or track speeds, but it robs the Vector’s front end of some feel.

Its huge battery pack makes this a very heavy machine for its size and can be unwieldy at walking pace, but the acceleration, speed and smoothness it delivers is outstanding. Shed some weight and wrap this powertrain in a cheaper, more conventional chassis for the masses and the Arc shows how bright our electric sportsbike future could be.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The Vector’s ‘frame’ is actually a three-piece carbon fibre box that contains the 399v battery pack and the mountings for the steering assembly, front swingarm, electric motor and self-supporting seat unit. Carbon front mudguard and rear hugger are structural components and the rear swingarm bolts to the back of the engine. Carbon BST wheels are shod with Pirelli Diablo Rosso IV Corsa rubber.

Bimota-style hub centre steering has its swingarm pivot below the front spindle line. It promotes an element of dive and reduces the wheelbase on the brakes, like a telescopic fork set-up, to help the Arc turn. The system allows a racy steering geometry while retaining stability with rake at just 20 degrees – far steeper than any superbike. Arc experimented with an 18-degree angle during development, which worked well on track, but was too responsive for the road. Trail is 105mm and wheelbase 1450mm.

Throwing a leg over a motorcycle that costs the same as a Ducati Superleggera is always intimidating enough, but there’s a lot else going on to unnerve you at first. There’s a sequence of buttons to push on the Domino switchgear to make it live and after that the engine waits for you silently, which is always slightly sinister on an electric bike.

Arc Vector front

It has a ‘funny’ Bimota Tesi front end, looks like an extra from a superhero movie and is incredibly heavy for a diminutive machine. There are no gears or clutch, the back brake is on the left bar, like a scooter and the dash display is recessed into the top of a ‘tank’ that stretches all the way down to its LED projector headlight, like the nose of an F1 car.

It’s a lot to take in at first, but despite it all the Arc Vector acts and rides just like any motorcycle.

Each Vector will be tailored to the owner, from the seating and handlebar position to the manufacture of bespoke billet ali footpegs. This prototype’s layout and general size is reminiscent of a noughties supersport bike, like a Honda CBR600RR. It’s compact and racy, but not particular uncomfortable. Ride quality has the firmness of something like a Suzuki GSX-R1000R - again, not too extreme.

Arc Vector headlight

What separates the Vector from its rivals, or any mass produced petrol-powered sportsbike isn’t just its stiff carbon monocoque chassis, but its hub centre steering. Unlike telescopic forks the Arc’s system separates braking forces from suspension movement.

The Öhlins front shock only needs to deal with bumps, which lets the Arc turn sweetly, even with a big handful of Brembos. It also allows much steeper steering geometry and a short wheelbase for fast steering, without sacrificing stability.

At road speeds there are no tangible advantages to the Arc’s hub centre steering, but no big drawbacks, either, aside from limited lock and a slight disconnect you feel through the bars with ultra-light steering inputs.

Arc Vector front shock

For the most part the Vector steers and handles conventionally and thanks to its low front swingarm pivot position the dive it produces trail braking into a corner gives you feel.

But when you let go of the brakes and tip in, the pressure you’d normally feel running up the forks (or even a BMW Telelever set up) and into your hands as the tyre digs in, disappears. It gives the sudden impression of running wide or losing grip. It’s just a different sensation to learn to after a lifetime on forks, but it can be unnerving, especially on cold Michelin Power Cup 2 rubber fitted to this prototype.

The front end would be easier to trust on a hot day, or on track where tyres generate more heat lap on lap. Arc also say the production version will come on more road biased Pirelli Diablo Rosso IV rubber, which solves the problem.

Arc Vector left hand bend


Next up: Reliability
5 out of 5 (5/5)

The undoubted star of the Vector show is its motor. A petrol engine would give its oily pistons to have a power curve like the Arc’s electric motor. Smoothness is the name of the game here and from the first crack of the throttle to the motor’s 4900rpm peak it produces 100% torque.

The Arc is eye-wateringly quick when you want it to be and accelerates with the urgency of a supersport bike, but it gathers its speed with buttery smoothness and little fuss. Just twist and go hurtling towards the horizon. Arc claims a top speed of 124mph and 0-60mph in 3.1 seconds.

Unlike an Energica or Livewire there’s no loud, high pitched jet engine-like whine. Instead, the Arc is quiet, not just from within, but there’s no clattering from the chassis either, thanks to its clean, silent belt drive and robust front end. Some electric bikes sound like they’re falling apart unshielded by engine noise, but the Vector just floats along, like a bullet train on a magnetic rail.

Arc Vector swingarm

Electric acceleration is as addictive as that of any petrol engine. It’s just different, in the same way a V-twin doesn’t feel like an inline four, triple, single, crossplane four, parallel twin or V4. You don’t even miss not having gears, but there are a couple of downsides.

The lack of clutch stops you being able to finesse the throttle at very low speed and having the rear brake lever on the bar is confusing at first. It would be more natural down in the normal foot position, but if the Arc was yours, you’d quickly adapt.

But the biggest drawback for electric is the heavy battery pack needs to lug around to power it. Arc have made it as light as they can, but the Vector is hard to push around, or paddle backwards. It could do with a reverse gear (production bikes will actually have a forward and reverse crawl mode) …and a scooter handbrake to keep it locked when parked on a slope.

Arc Vector turning right

The bulk also serves to dampen some of the excitement you’d normally have on a conventional sportsbike. That said, Arc a planning a faired and geared supersport version in 2023 that’s a massive 40kg lighter, which will be more like it.

Most electric bikes have a frame and battery box, but the Vector’s monocoque does the job of both, allowing Arc to squeeze in more battery cells (Samsung) without adding to the Vector’s all-up weight. As a result, it can go further and is quicker to charge. Claimed range is 270 miles and charge time is 40 minutes from flat with a CCS (Combined Charging System) Type 2 Rapid Charge. It also features adaptive regenerative braking.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

It’s too soon to comment on reliability but fit and finish is sky high and it could hold its head up high parked next to the best of any European exotica.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
2 out of 5 (2/5)

Unsurprisingly the Arc’s main rivals are cheaper, although still expensive compared to petrol power: the £23,995 108bhp 235kg Zero SR/S, £28,995, 103bhp, 251kg LiveWire and top spec £29,140, 169bhp, 260kg Energica Ego RS.

Justifying the Vector’s peppery price tag is tricky. Most of us could buy a garage full of dream bikes for 90 grand with change to spare. But for those with deep enough pockets, a fascination with the Arc’s tech and boutique design, exclusivity is guaranteed.

Arc Vector seat


5 out of 5 (5/5)

As well as being made almost entirely from high quality carbon fibre the Vector has fully adjustable Öhlins suspension and Brembo Stylema calipers. There are three riding modes with ascending levels of power: Rain, Eco, Road. Finished productions models will have traction control and Continental cornering ABS.

An Arc Zenith Helmet, co-engineered with Hedon is under development with a Bluetooth enable voice activated head-up display and rear facing camera, as well as an Arc Origin Jacket, developed with Knox, with haptic warning transmitters.

Keyless ignition sensor is contained in a ‘watch’. It ‘sleeps’ if not moved for three seconds and stops sending a signal to stop it being cloned when left near the bike.

Arc Vector watch/key


Engine size -
Engine type Air-cooled permanent magnet AC motor
Frame type Carbon fibre monocoque
Fuel capacity -
Seat height 825mm
Bike weight 240kg
Front suspension Hub centre steering with single Öhlins ILX56 shock, fully adjustable.
Rear suspension Single rear Öhlins TTX56 shock, fully adjustable.
Front brake Twin 320mm discs with four-piston Brembo Stylema calipers. Cornering ABS
Rear brake 240mm disc with single-piston Brembo caliper. Cornering ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption -
Annual road tax -
Annual service cost -
New price £90,000
Used price -
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Three years

Top speed & performance

Max power 115 bhp
Max torque 128 ft-lb
Top speed 124 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 270 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2022: Arc Vector launched

Other versions

Each Vector is bespoke with spec to suit customer

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