Since our launch a few weeks ago, on December 9th at the New York City motorcycle show, everyone from the Economist to Uncrate and even Maxim has written a bit about Vanguard and the Vanguard Roadster.
We launched our website, and this blog at the same time, but there is so much more about Vanguard that we want to tell you. This post will be the first in a three part series providing some background on Vanguard as a company and the Vanguard Roadster as both a concept and as a running riding prototype.
We jumped the gun a bit this week, and last, and posted a lot of content. Most recently we posted a time lapse of what was planned as part of the second installment of this series: early prototyping. So please forgive us if we jump around a bit.
From the middle:
This spring was the culmination of almost two years of work designing the motorcycle known as the Vanguard Roadster in a CAD program called Solidworks. While most of the designing was completed on the computer, our sourcing team had their hands full procuring the parts needed to take the Vanguard Roadster from digital model to physical prototype.
While we do some of our own machining and fabrication, we outsource certain parts when it makes sense. During the winter of 2015, and the Spring of 2016, our sourcing team was busy working with vendors to order individual parts that would become the Vanguard Roadster. We had to work with multiple vendors, because we were in stealth mode, and did not want anyone to see our entire design before launch.
Over the course of the spring, parts began to show up. Carbon fiber tanks, aluminum crankcase halves, thermoplastic cam covers, acrylic turn signals, and hardened steel shafts and gears. Relying on outside vendors can be tricky, but with a lot of late nights on the phone, and a lot of quality control work on our side and theirs, we had all the right parts for the Vanguard Roadster by summer.
Building a motorcycle for the first time is much more complicated than a jigsaw puzzle. Even though you know where all the pieces go, you still have to work out how they go together, and you need to be extremely conscious of how your bolts and other mating surfaces interact. Ed gave the entire team a crash course in mating steel fasteners with billet aluminum parts: some of this is shown in video to the right of this post. Relax, its time lapse, even Ed cannot build that fast.
Putting together the prototype is not even half the battle, but it was amazing watching it come together, and seeing the Vanguard Roadster complete for the first time.
Stay tuned for the second, third and possibly fourth parts to this three part series.