There’s been no shortage of exciting motorbike announcements in 2018, from new models or manufacturers to updates for exciting bikes and a raft of concepts and customs.
While we’re excited for bikes like the Norton Atlas, BMW S1000RR and Aprilia RS 660, some bikes caught our eye by being completely unexpected, technologically advanced or just plain crazy.
British electric motorbike firm, Arc, unveiled their latest concept for what they say is the world’s most premium electric bike. Costing a projected £90,000, Arc say the Vector will boast 133bhp and 292ftlb of torque from its 399-volt electric motor.
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More importantly for the electric bike landscape, the Vector will have a 362-mile urban range and will be capable of fast-charging in just 45 minutes.
The Vector also includes some interesting ideas like a helmet with an integrated heads-up display that also acts as the ignition key and clothing that vibrates to warn of impending danger.
Bike-mad Hollywood A-lister, Keanu Reeves is bringing his Arch motorbike brand to the UK starting with the KRGT-1. The plan is for the Method 143 to follow next year.
The Method is as much a work of art as it is a motorcycle, with its Ohlins FGRT fork and carbon fibre air foil, along with the custom BST carbon turbine wheels. It is also powered by a truly crazy 2343cc V-twin engine.
Custom bike builder and engineer, Allen Millyard wasn’t going to let a £500,000 price tag stand between him and a Honda RC174 (the GP machine raced my Mike Hailwood in the 1967 350cc world championship). If he couldn’t afford to buy one, he decided that he would make one instead.
Using a combination of adapted parts (like the crank that started life in a Yamaha FZR250) and custom-built components, Millyard set about building a scale replica of his coveted ‘Honda Six’.
The result is about as close to the original as it’s possible to get without shelling out half a million quid and is a true feat of engineering.
2018 was a big year for Harley-Davidson as they unexpectedly announced a range of new middleweights including the American manufacturer’s first adventure bike, the Pan America.
The bike’s looks have proved divisive but the concept for the bike is an exciting one, with an all new 1250cc V-twin engine, brand-new frame and swingarm, Brembo brakes and Showa suspension.
The latest bike to join Honda’s growing retro naked line-up is the Honda CB125R and encouraged by growth in the European 125 sector, the Japanese manufacturer showcased two new concepts at Eicma in Milan.
Developed by Honda’s R&D centre in Rome, the CB125X adventure bike and CB125M naked street bike are futuristic, aggressive-looking machines.
While just concepts at this stage, Honda have form for carrying styling cues through to production models so we might see something close to these models in the range by 2020.
Don’t let the subdued, classic, naked styling fool you, the Horex VR6 RAW is nothing short of crazy. It uses a narrow-angle V6 engine with a triple overhead cam and three valves per cylinder to produce 161bhp.
The price tag is even crazier, it will set you back £31,500 although there aren’t currently any UK dealerships to supply them.
It’s been a long time since Peugeot last made a proper, geared motorbike but they unveiled two concepts at the Paris Motor Show in 2018. The P2X was shown in 125cc and 300cc formats, the former taking inspiration from the Peugeot 515 of the 1930s.
The 300cc version is a neo-retro café racer, complete with clip-ons and a number board on its flank.
Shaw Harley-Davidson Gobstopper
It will come as no surprise that the Gobstopper is a one-off build. It was created by Shaw Harley-Davidson with contemporary artist, Grayson Perry and was entered into the 2018 AMD World Championships of Custom Bike Building at Intermot.
"The Gobstopper is based on a 2007 Softail Nightrain and Neil Sefton, Head Technician at the Speed Shop worked closely with Grayson Perry in bringing the vision in Grayson’s head to reality with the build," explained Steven Willis, Dealer Principal and Sales Director at Shaw.
"Neil created the Gobstopper by stripping the original bike back to the bare bones. He then fabricated an aftermarket fuel tank, hand-made the rear fender and spine, seat pan and modified a single sided swingarm.
"The front of the bike was fitted with a new set of Springer forks and a 23-inch front matching wheel, both wheels repainted in a ‘Cadbury’s’ blue. Small curly apes (handlebars) were fitted with an aftermarket master cylinder and switchgear and bespoke grips. A headlight housing with an old-style speedo were also used in the project.
"The paint is totally unique and hours have been spent giving the depth of colour and detail."
The Zapp i300 is the second electric bike to feature in this list, but it would struggle to be further from the Arc Vector listed above. Aimed squarely at commuters, the 90kg scooter features easily removable batteries for convenient charging, a 0-30mph time of 2.4 seconds and a futuristic, minimalist design.
Swin Chatsuwan, Chief Executive of Norfolk-based Zapp, said: "With air quality in cities worsening and our roads becoming increasingly congested, the world needs new alternatives to urban transport.
"With its revolutionary design, thrilling performance, and clean power source, we believe the i300 is the urban mobility solution people have been looking for."