As the run-up to EICMA continues, Arc continues to release a small trickle of details about the Vector, its futuristic electric motorcycle that will be unveiled during the show in Milan, Italy.
A new heavily shadowed picture of the Vector shows the front of the bike. The front of the nosecone vaguely resembles a racing number plate, another throwback to its cafe racer inspiration. But rather than numbers, it incorporates the headlights and daytime running lights that could conceivably double as turn signals. This gives the front of the bike a smooth, sleek look unlike those ancient rattletraps from the 20th century.
Hidden in shadows underneath the nosecone is a hint at an unconventional front suspension design. A strut of some kind is visible stretching from the center of the wheel back toward the body rather than upward toward the handlebars like a conventional fork design. Beyond that, not much is clear about how the front of the Vector will work.
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Details have also trickled out about the Vector's unique user interface, which includes a helmet with a heads-up display and a jacket with haptic sensory technology. Helmet HUDs are new but not unheard of. They work pretty well and are improving all the time, as I learned when I got the Nuviz HUD unit I've been testing for the past year. Firmware updates since I got it have made added more features and made it even better than when I first started using it. Similar, if not more advanced technology seems possible from Arc.
A jacket that is designed not only to protect you but to provide tactile sensations while you ride sounds like something out of Asimov's Science Fiction. If it works, though, it's an extra means of communication between you and the bike. If your battery is running low, for example, the jacket could vibrate to alert you to that fact. If the Vector is equipped with the proper sensors, the right shoulder could vibrate to warn you of a road hazard detected to your right. The possibilities are endless.
The website can still cause an epileptic fit, but we hope that after the EICMA reveal it will tell us all about this modern bike from the future. I'm still holding out hope that it can deploy walls like a Tron light cycle, which would be a great tailgater deterrent in Boston area traffic.