Brooklyn-based Vanguard Moto, Inc. recently unveiled a prototype of its first model, according to the Robb Report. Vanguard’s stated goal is to “redefine the premium motorcycle” with advanced design and a new approach to engineering and manufacturing.
Vanguard’s first bike is the Roadster. It’s built on a frameless structural engine, meaning the engine itself is a major frame component, rather than being fit into an otherwise complete frame. The Roadster is powered by a modified S&S Cycle 117 cubic inch X-wedge-based air-cooled V-twin designed to pull 110 foot-pounds of torque. There is no mention of horsepower, though the torque rating pretty much says what many customers will want to know — if it pulls that hard, it’s hard enough for a 500-pound bike.
The bike is shaft driven and has a six-speed transmission.Vanguard says the Roadster, which has Ohlin front and rear suspension, Brembo brakes, and Metzeler tires, will be available in 2018 with a $30,000 “target price.” After Roadster production beings, Vanguard intends to use the same platform for two more models, the Cruiser and the Racer.
In addition to the structural engine, other notable Roadster features include a unitized crankcase, an integrated exhaust system, and a digital dashboard that looks not unlike a tablet and in addition to other information and functions, can show what is behind the bike via a rear-view camera. Other notable specifics include the Roadster’s 5.5-gallon gas tank, 32-inch seat height, and a ‘target’ weight of 550 pounds. To put that weight in perspective, a 2017 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 1200C with a 73 cubic-inch engine weighs 559 pounds.
Vanguard’s co-founders were formerly involved with Confederate Motorcycles. Edward Jacobs with the lead designer and Francois-Xavier Terny was a board member. Launching a new motorcycle company is a tricky proposal because unlike cars, nobody has to buy a motorcycle. You must make clear from the get-go what your bikes and company stand for, how they will be unique, and why customers should invest their funds in a bike from a company without a proven record. With the Roadster Vanguard’s co-founders are making a statement, the market will decide if it’s a statement they want to support.