Motorcycles

The Arc Vector is a $111,000 electric work of art that you can ride

But is this electric motorcycle worth its massive price tag based on style alone?

The Arc Vector is a wildly expensive, superlimited, carbon-fiber electric motorcycle designed and built in the UK.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Remember when the Harley-Davidson Livewire's pricing was announced, and people were livid that it was going to cost over $30,000? Well, those same people are likely to burst a blood vessel when they see the Arc Vector's price tag.

Now, to be totally fair, the Livewire is meant to be a volume production motorcycle, and the Arc Vector -- which Arc announced earlier this month -- is a superlimited functional design study, so the fact that it's going to set its 399 potential buyers back $111,000 is less of a surprise. Still, that's a boatload of greenbacks, so what do you get for all that money?

What you're getting the most of is style, and for a "This doesn't look like anything else"-to-dollars ratio, it's not such a bad deal. Still, it's not going to be for everyone, and personally, I think it's a little "much," but taste is subjective.

Next, you get a ton of carbon fiber. Most of the bike is made of the stuff. That includes the bike's monocoque frame and both of its swing arms. Yes, that's right, I said both. It's got a swing arm up front, too, because it uses hub-center steering. All that carbon helps keep weight down to a respectable 485 pounds, which is comparable to most ICE-powered sportbikes.

You're also getting a surprising amount of claimed range for your motorcycle dollar. The makers of the Vector suggest that it's capable of 270 miles combined. That outpaces just about every other electric moto on the market if it's legit, even if that's measured on the slightly more generous WLTP cycle rather than our EPA cycle.

As far as power goes, with 133 horsepower on tap, you're not going to set the world on fire. But it's always torque that shines with electric motors and the Vector delivers on that front. It produces a healthy 293 pound-feet of the stuff -- that's significantly more than a late-model Volkswagen TDi motor, but without any of the pesky environmental concerns. 

Is the Arc Vector worth its wild asking price? We haven't ridden it so we can't say for sure, but based solely on the numbers and aesthetics, we'd say no, but that's just us. We'd probably go and buy three Livewires and find two friends to ride with instead.

Now playing: Watch this: Riding Harley-Davidson's all-electric Project LiveWire...
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Originally published June 14.
Correction, June 17 at 10:16 a.m.: Corrects the Vector's torque figure, which was based on a typo in the news release.