Decades of making movies, collecting motorcycles, and now running his own motorcycle company, Keanu Reeves enjoys the ride and makes it look easy. As one of the great ambassadors for motorcycle riding, there couldn’t be a better example of humbleness and positivity for bike enthusiasts and collectors.
When someone is pitching their product and says it’s “not about the money,” you know it’s about one thing and one thing only. The money. Certain people will try to convince the world they have no motivations of profit and riches, and their intentions should be trusted as pure, honest, and genuine. Most of the time, you will find this to be complete B.S. It’s always about the money.
Once in a while, there’s a great example of someone entering into a venture for the pure joy and passion of the thing itself. When I began learning about Keanu Reeves and his motorcycle company, Arch, that’s exactly the impression I had.
Keanu Reeves Motorcycle Company
Since the 1980s, Keanu Reeves has been riding motorcycles. His first experience came when he was filming a movie in Munich, Germany. He spotted a woman riding a Kawasaki 600 Enduro and asked if she could teach him how to ride it. The rest is history. Keanu proceeded to buy his own Kawasaki 600 Enduro and was officially hooked on riding bikes.
During a recent interview with GQ where Keanu discusses some of his favorite motorcycles, he begins by asking the question, “when do you become a collector, when you have more than two, or more than one, or more than three? Is it more than three? Then I’m barely a collector.”
In the GQ video, Keanu admits to bending a few rules when it comes to riding and the demands of his acting career. Some movie studios would include disclaimers in their contracts for certain roles, where riding motorcycles was strictly prohibited. This was to protect the actor from injury and possibly jeopardize the production of certain films. Keanu explains, “you know, you’re an asset, and they don’t want you to crash, so sometimes I would pay attention to that, and sometimes I didn’t. Uh, oops. Can’t help it.”
Keanu’s second motorcycle he ever purchased was in 1987. He bought a 1973 Norton Commando 850 MK2A. Keanu mentions in the video that he grew up loving the upswept exhaust pipe of the Norton. Also appreciated is the feather-bed frame of the Norton with a rubber-mounted engine, reducing much of the vibration while riding. He comments on the Norton sound and the smell of the oil when it is heated. You can obviously tell he’s put on many miles with his Norton Commando.
Keanu Reeves Dream Rides
You might be thinking to yourself; there’s probably nothing that Keanu Reeves hasn’t experienced when it comes to motorcycles. One of the world’s most famous actors has a passion for collecting and riding bikes; he’s going to have it all, right? Wrong. Keanu Reeves has a net worth of $360 million, but it doesn’t mean the actor owns every great motorcycle he can get his hands on, which is pretty refreshing to consider. In fact, not only does he not have an entire airplane hanger full of every make and model known to man, there are many of his favorite all-time bikes he hasn’t even taken for a spin.
A few of the motorcycles Keanu would love to ride someday are the Vincent Black Shadow, a Brough Superior from the 1920s, and a Moto GP bike. It’s pretty cool to see Keanu ponder the chance at a ride on a Moto GP. Couldn’t the actor snap his fingers and make something like that happen pretty quickly? I’m sure he could, but he hasn’t. And it’s just another tiny display of restraint and humility that makes the guy that much more likable.
If you love motorcycles and enjoy customizing your own bikes, why not start your own custom motorcycle company? That’s exactly what Keanu has done, co-founding Arch Motorcycle along with well-known motorcycle expert Gard Hollinger. Keanu met Gard while trying to convince him to modify his Harley Davidson. The two struck up a friendship and eventually co-founded Arch Motorcycle together in 2011.
The first model the company produced is the Arch KRGT-1. It’s known as a custom production performance cruiser, with the Keanu Reeves GT model 1 (KRGT-1) title. The bike sells for $85,000 and includes custom-tailored fit and finishes. Once a down-payment of $15,000 is secured, the build process begins, completely in-house at the Arch Motorcycle facility in Hawthorne, California.
Arch provides a perfectly fit motorcycle to each rider. Everything from a unique seat tailored to each owner and countless adjustments to footpegs and hand and foot control positions connects the rider with the machine.
Arch Method 143
The Arch Method 143 is the second model in the lineup of custom production motorcycles. Carbon fiber, aluminum, and fine leather are layered for this unique and futuristic design. The powerplant includes 143ci (2343cc), the most powerful engine of the Arch lineup. There are only 23 units produced for sale worldwide.
Jay Leno’s Garage Featuring the Arch KRGT-1
Jay Leno had co-founders of the Arch Motorcycle company on his show, Jay Leno’s Garage, to discuss the motivation behind the Arch brand. Keanu Reeves and Gard Hollinger talk about the challenges of starting a new motorcycle venture. It turns out Keanu spent a few years trying to convince Gard to help him start Arch Motorcycles. Finally, Gard agreed, but not before he told Keanu his opinion of starting a motorcycle production company, “that’s a horrible idea.”
You can tell from the Jay Leno’s Garage interview that Keanu Reeves really loves building motorcycles. He says to watch a customer drive off on a bike that his company built is really something special.
Try to find one bad thing said about Keanu Reeves; I dare you. It’s challenging. Most articles you read about the actor describe his latest movie and then proceed to explain why he’s known as an “all-around good guy.” There are dozens of high-profile publications that just get right to the point, like this article in The New Yorker, “Keanu Reeves is Too Good for This World.” Once you read the article, it’s difficult to argue against its title.