Vanity Fair (US), August 13, 2015

Inside Keanu Reeves’s Custom-Motorcyle Shop

by Krista Smith

I’ve loved Keanu from the beginning. His amazing body of work spans three decades, from My Own Private Idaho to Much Ado About Nothing, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure to The Matrix to John Wick. There really is no one like him; he is a unicorn. He is totally authentic, and that includes his love of motorcycles. What started when he heard a motorcycle roar as a kid growing up in Toronto has culminated in creating a custom state-of-the-art $78,000 motorcycle.

Early one morning I went down to check out his studio in Hawthorne, just south of Los Angeles, where he and co-owner Gard Hollinger run Arch Motorcycles. He was just off of a plane from Japan, where he attended the Suzuka 8 Hours motorcycle endurance race. My only complaint? The bikes are only built for one, which meant I couldn’t get on the back with Keanu and go for a ride.


Photo captions

“It’s cool to be a part of the tradition of the American motorcycle in Los Angeles, California,” says Reeves, photographed here with Arch Motorcycle business partner Gard Hollinger. “Part of the reason why we loved [the name Arch] was the story that that word implies and describes. It’s structural, for an arch in the doorway or for bridges, and then these are entrances and exits. It’s journey, it’s connection, it was the rider, it was the motorcycle, it was [the] guiding eye into the company that we founded.”

“I didn’t learn how to ride a bike until I was 22,” Reeves says. “I was taught by a young lady when I was filming in Munich. When I got back to L.A., I got a similar bike and then I went and got a Norton Commando. Those were the early days. As I was working, if I was filming, I would go to a used bike shop, buy a bike, work, and then sell it back. I had a chance to ride a lot of different kinds of bikes.”

“Whenever you walk up to the bike, there’s always something to see. It’s not seductive but it’s interesting, it’s attractive. Your eye follows the lines of the bike and there’s always something to see.” BY SIMON HAMMERSON

“There’s a bespoke aspect to the motorcycle. It’s bespoke with finishes, trim, color, and it’s also fit to you. Seat height, foot placement, handlebar placement. It’s like a suit. We fit the motorcycle to you and then we go through the custom seat. There’s a custom seat aspect to it.”

“I wanted to build a custom production motorcycle that you can ride. There are a lot of wonderful, beautiful, exotic, hand-crafted motorcycles and builders and people designing these fantastic machines, but oftentimes you can’t ride them. You can ride it to the store or you can ride it to the bar or the café, which is fantastic, but we were hoping to create something that if you wanted to go past the café and if you wanted to go for ... it has five gallons, the gas tank, so you can keep going.”

“It’s a time to think, contemplate, quiet time,“ Reeves says about riding a motorcycle. “Every time you get on the bike you’re going somewhere, even if it’s the store. I guess it all comes down to pleasure. There’s a pleasure, there’s a physical pleasure, there’s an emotional pleasure, there’s sensorial experience.”


Article Focus:

Arch Motorcycle


Arch Motorcycle , My Own Private Idaho , Much Ado About Nothing , Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure , Matrix, The , John Wick


Guest (2016-06-02 13:51:40)
 I am a big fan of Keanu Reeves and the after reading the above article I came to know that Keanu Reeves and I share the same interest of motorcycles. In the early days I also purchased the used bike and learnt how to ride the bike. I have also read that article Keanu and the art of motorcycle maintenance posted by Ruben V. Nepales. I liked that article too.
The vehicle shipping company also shared the article on maintenance of motorcycle at few months ago. That article was also good and worth reading.

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