Futuristic production motorcycle Vanguard Roadster is launched in New York

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 14, 2016

It looks so dynamic and futuristic that you may think that it is just a wild concept. But the new Vanguard Roadster is actually a radical production motorcycle designed by Edward Jacobs and Francois-Xavier Terny, founders of the Vanguard Moto Inc.

The new Roadster is the first of the low-production bike trio from Vanguard Moto, a motorcycle company based in Brooklyn, New York. Soon to follow the Vanguard Roadster are the Vanguard Cruiser and the Vanguard Racer. All three motorcycles are underpinned by the same platform. Vanguard Moto showcased the Vanguard Roadster at the 2016 IMS New York Motorcycle Show.

Once Vanguard Moto completes the road tests and finalizes its development, the company plans to commence production of the Roadster in 2018 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard using modular construction techniques. Sales and deliveries are to follow immediately. If plans push through, this would mark the first time that a production motorcycle is built in New York in decades. Such plans would not be impossible thanks to digital engineering and less expensive automation, as well as new production techniques like 3D printing.

Serving as the core of the new Vanguard Roadster is a modified S&S X-Wedge engine that delivers 110 ft lbs of torque. Aside from being the power source, X-Wedge engine is also employed as a stressed member engine (or frame) – it is used as an active structural element of the chassis directly transmitting output and torques. The decision to use the S&S X-Wedge powerplant as a stressed member engine allowed Vanguard to reduce the kerb weight of the Roadster motorcycle and centralize its mass. In fact, the Vanguard Roadster has a kerb weight of around 550 lbs (250 kg).

A stressed member engine also helps improve the bike’s improve rigidity. Designed by S&S, this 1,917-cc X-Wedge 56.25-degree V-twin engine was the powerplant of choice by Morgan for the Morgan 3 Wheeler. This S&S X-Wedge engine is also fitted on production bikes from Arch Motorcycles and Confederate Motorcycles. Interestingly, Vanguard Moto co-founder Jacobs was a former motorbike designer at Confederate.

Getting its juice from a bespoke carbon fiber fuel tank that could hold up to 5.5 gallons (21 liters) of fuel, the X-Wedge engine sends power to the rear wheel through a six-speed transmission and a low-maintenance shaft drive. Supporting the engine are fully adjustable 48-mm Ohlins forks at the front wheel and a concealed Ohlins monoshock suspension on the rear. Braking power is provided by twin Brembo four-piston calipers on the front and a single two-piston caliper on the rear. The new Vanguard Roadster has a starting price of $29,995.

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