I was asked on LinkedIN: What do you think of this venture? I’d be interested in your perspective as a businessman, an industry writer, and avid rider. I find their design concept interesting.
As far as an investment, well…I’d not recommend it – if a return was required by the investor. And mind you, I like innovation in two-wheeled business. This machine answers a question no one has shown interest in asking.
I love the S&S X-Wedge engine, it’s a beast of an engine that needs a home. But I am not sure it needs this home.
To my somewhat informed eye this machine with its clearly “unconventional” looks appears as if it was designed by folks that don’t ride. It’s pretty obvious that the business is not borne out of a passion for riding motorcycles.
These folks are more interested in CAD and Agile working process. There might be a lot of tech, but there’s not a lot to love: this machine lacks the tiniest shred of soul (IMHO of course) – which is critical for a motorcycle to succeed in any regard.
Vanguard says all kinds of things on their website including this:
“We created our own language, staying away from the ideas of heritage and nostalgia, using utilitarian, modular and functionalist approaches…
Yep, OK… well…I think they made a mistake. Heritage is heritage for a a reason and nostalgia is highly valued in the two-wheeled world: as demonstrated by every successful motorcycle manufacturer. Even the most innovative builders and designers stay within a fence line.
You want innovation and real design from a guy who RIDES his innovative creations? Take a look at what Lock Baker is doing with a Motus motor to see what real innovation and real world design two-wheeled looks like. You want to see mechanical craft at its most street? Take a look at the work Alex Lerner is doing at SLNYC.
These guys make machines with their own hands, they ride them and sell them – they’re in business and not begging for investor money. If a patron came to me looking for an investment, I’d point them to guys like that.
Vanguard has stepped out – I wish them luck.