Co-founder Keanu Reeves has logged tens of thousands of miles on all manner of motorcycles, all over the world. He came to bikes a bit later in life than Gard, but has been making up the miles by getting around almost exclusively on two wheels. In fact, he’s only ever owned a couple of autos – a vintage Volvo and a contemporary Porsche.
Keanu’s bike experience is not exactly typical. His first motorcycle was a Kawasaki 600 Enduro, which was followed by the beginning of his Norton affair and the first of many he’d own over the years. Often away from home and his Norton’s, he got in the habit of buying a bike when filming on location. He’d ride it while he was there, and sell it when his work was done. He’s owned a Suzuki GS1100E, Suzuki GSX-R750, 1974 BMW 750, a Kawasaki KZ 900, a 1984 Harley-Davidson Shovelhead, and a Moto Guzzi among others.
Having ridden so many brands and styles with wide ranging features; in all kinds of conditions, Keanu has honed his skills for what makes a great performing bike. Over time, being immersed in the visual arts as he is in his day job, Keanu developed a keen interest in the aesthetic of the motorcycle. This lead naturally to a desire to modify his bikes to enhance the whole of the riding experience, and with a particular bike lead him to Gard.
As the two talked about that bike and motorcycles in general it became clear that they shared a vision; equal parts form and function. As conversations turned into sketches and 3D models the vision became bigger and bolder. An entirely new bike came into view, molding the retro and modern design elements they both love and passion for riding they both share into a new shape.
As we move forward Keanu continues to serve as the voice of the long-time everyday rider and contribute key design insights to the Arch vision and experience.