Tomorrow's Motorcycle May Be Brooklyn-Born

A totally new way to not only look at motorcycles, but also how they’re designed and built will be featured at Progressive International Motorcycle Show (IMS) in New York City this weekend.

There are many reasons why tomorrow’s motorcycle industry could be exemplified at the area staked out by Brooklyn-based Vanguard. While the new American motorcycle manufacturer may not have the largest footage or even the most jaw-dropping exhibit, the company could be considered as revolutionary as the design of its very first bike on show.

The model on display at IMS is a running prototype, with production slated for 2018. It features a distinct silhouette, innovative design and pronounced indicators of ideas that seem to be cropping up in every article concerning any forward-thinking motorcycle.

Some of these elements are the frameless structural engine (Vanguard’s seems to float), a unitized crankcase, integrated exhaust and a tablet-sized digital dashboard with rear-view camera. Clean bold lines pull the motorcycles appearance together giving it the feeling of industrialized technology.

The motorcycle is equipped with a powerful, minimalist 1917 cc engine, so riders looking for power should be happy. Other interesting features include the bike’s exhaust hidden discreetly in the seat and an integrated rear-view camera, both of which are in the pictures below. The question would be, did you notice them initially?


Vanguard’s current model is a Roadster, has a striking contemporary silhouette and was conceived, designed and built in New York City. While this is the only prototype, if things go as planned not only will the riding world see this motorcycle on America’s streets by 2018, but also other versions such as Cruiser and Racer, all assembled in Brooklyn, New York at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

With a target weight of 550 lbs the Roadster is positioned as a premium motorcycle, yet Vanguard say they intend to keep it ‘within reach’ of the everyday rider with a price tag starting at $29,995.

But this motorcycle is more than forward-thinking design, how it came to be and the manner in which it will be built may point to where the industry could find itself. Vanguard created the prototype with a handful of employees using modern digital design, testing the motorcycle on a computer before tightening one bolt on a physical model.


Not only does this method allow Vanguard to create a motorcycle from scratch but make it affordable as well. Both in manpower during the design and costing out how it will be built, the design files can be sent anywhere in the world to engineering firms and manufacturers with the press of a button.

Using technology and opportunities that weren’t available ten years ago, Vanguard could be what the landscape of tomorrows motorcycle world will look like, a multitude of smaller manufacturers able to bring their vision and ideas to the marketplace. Ironically, this is exactly how the motorcycle industry was built.

Regardless if readers are drawn to Vanguard’s Roadster or not, we could all find something similar in our garage in years to come, at least in regards to how it was designed and built.

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