Not only is the fuelling oddly excellent for such a huge capacity air-cooled Vee, but the gearchange is crisp and positive, and the cumulative effect almost Diavel-esque in its penchant for egging you on to ride it harder. The gear lever is badly set on our test bike though, meaning that your natural foot position is at odds with its plane of action on upshifts - making toe-bleedingly hard work of what should be effortless.
A quick glance at the Motogadget dash reveals that it’s really rather ineffective, but also that speed builds fast, and three figures arrive on the red-out-of-black dot matrix screen with ease. What the occasionally active green dots mean is anyone’s guess, but you’ll only bother looking at the dash before speed cameras.
But, attractive as it is, it’s the riding that impresses most – and much of that is down to the brand-definiing arch of the frame, and the crucially well set-up Öhlins hardware.
How Arch have it all dialled-in to deliver stiff, sporty composure, while allowing a ride quality that’s astoundingly cosseting over bumpy British B-road imperfections, is extraordinary. This really is a cruiser that can hustle – hard.
It takes positive bar pressure to hold it on a line though, and with no traction control or rider modes, you do have to treat the super-fat 240/40 rear Michelin Commander II with some caution.
Its flat profile puts you on the narrow shoulder at even the slightest of lean angles and with so much torque on tap it would be easy to get bitten. But feel and feedback are communicated clearly, and even the 19/18in rim combo doesn’t dull that. I’d like a wider span handlebar, but you could spec that when you order.
That deep scalloped seat is oddly comfortable too, the bum-stop supporting your spine to eradicate the backache that usually plagues the second hour of any cruiser ride.
It’s not without fault, but it’s an endearing chameleon. Trickle through town and it’s smooth, loud and effortless. Grab it by the scruff of its neck and it’s just the same. Just don’t ever idle at traffic lights if you like your retina attached.
A sense of self-indulgence sweeps over you from the moment you thumb the starter and wake the enormous bespoke tuned S&S T124 45-degree V-twin. The churning mechanical effort of ignition is palpable, and once thumping out its idle tune, you’ll immediately want to kick a gear into place and get moving; partly to revel in the aural assault of the 2032cc Vee’s heavy breathing, and partly to make the appalling tickover shuddering stop.
Providing you can pull away before your fillings work their way out through your ears, you’ll be rewarded with a tide of smooth, addictive thrust. The throttle metes out the stomp with genuine precision, and from the moment you’re rolling there’s a creamy tsunami of grunt. That tide builds towards peak power across a rev range short enough that you’ll crave a quickshifter to help slice through the robust Baker 6-speed ’box.
One of the great beauties of the Arch is that there’s not much to go wrong – and that the rafts of high-end parts it uses mean that – while they may be assembled in a fresh order – they’re all well tested.
S&S engines are bullet-proof, as are BST wheels, ISR braking components and Öhlins suspension. The rest is beautifully packaged and resolved, and there are no obvious cautionary areas of concern.
There’s no way to put this delicately. The Arch KRGT-1 is bloody expensive. At £90,000 it’s dramatically outside most rider’s remit, and even pre-owned ones are unlikely to be much cheaper. A ‘used’ bike has never sold in the UK, so no-one really knows what price tag one would command.
Are the costs unfair? No – not really. When you understand the cost, quality and craftsmanship that goes into one, it all adds up.
Cost of ownership shouldn’t be any worse than a £20k bike, but spare availability will be more of a struggle, as parts will all have to come from the States – and some may need to be built to order.
The Arch is dripping with enough jewellery that you’ll be as happy sitting in the garage on a rainy day revelling in its parts pornography as you will be to find a flowing B-road when the sun comes out.
Finishes depend on your choices at build – but the detailing on the engine cases, Swedish ISR braking hardware and bespoke spec’d Öhlins, expansive BST carbon fibre wheels, stunning billet single-piece seat unit, billet tank (yes, really), and opulent LED headlamp all reveal new secrets the more you sit and stare at them.
But while it will come with ABS in the UK, that’s where the electronic rider aids end. There’s no traction control, slide control, cornering ABS, braking control, launch control, or any other sort of control other than that exercised by your brain and limbs. And that’s rather refreshing, isn’t it?