VFR1200-powered Ariel motorcycle to debut at Goodwood

Think more performance cruiser than race rep

Posted: 5 June 2014
by Visordown News

The Ariel Atom

BRITISH car manufacturer Ariel plans to unveil its new Honda VFR1200F-powered motorcycle at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in three weeks’ time, the firm has told Visordown.

The new machine, which also uses a VFR1200 single-sided shaft-drive swing-arm, will also ride up the hill at the motor sport festival, according to Simon Saunders, director of Ariel, which makes the 245bhp Atom car.

He said the firm was on a tight schedule but planned to have a 'mule bike' ready for the Goodwood hill climb, which showcases historic race cars and motorcycles. 'It's just a matter of bringing everything together,' he said.

Saunders said the production version would come in a range of guises, each bespoke to an individual customer, and revealed one option would be a performance cruiser with a 'quite upright seating position'.

'That's one end of the spectrum,' he said. 'What we're trying to do is offer a bike that will suit either end of the spectrum.

'But at the other end we're not making a race rep, which will possibly surprise some people.

'We looked at this and decided you can already go out and buy a bike that you could win the TT on, so building a faster bike seemed academic.

'Every single one of our cars is totally made for a customer and the bikes will be the same. We've got three different seats, two or three different tanks, different front ends, different wheels. It will be a bit like getting a suit made.'

He said the 170bhp VFR engine also meant the bike could be offered with Honda's Dual Clutch Transmission, which combines automatic and semi-automatic modes with a six-speed box.  

'It gives us the option of a DCT box, so for someone who wants a cruiser, you can have that.' he said. 

The Goodwood Festival of Speed will be held from June 26-29 at Goodwood House in West Sussex.

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Discuss this story

Oh... sounds a bit Somerset Chopper.

I'd got the impression that they were building a specific bike rather than offering a VFR bolt-on service. It's a bit hard to get excited by an options list.

Posted: 05/06/2014 at 13:29

Well done Ariel, sounds like a sensible first step, let's hope that in 20 years Ariel is as big as Triumph.

Roger - stop being a miserable cunt and lets give them some support

Posted: 05/06/2014 at 14:48



Posted: 06/06/2014 at 11:09

I'm more interested in interesting bikes than in teabagging a portrait of Queen Victoria while singing Rule Britannia and spunking my load (of cash) onto a Union flag. If I wanted to do that, I could donate to Norton today. Buying a Honda with some parts bin gleanings bolted onto it doesn't really enthuse me.

So, how many are you pre-ordering to show your "support", Freddie? You're not just some yappy gobshite barking about what other people should do, right?

Posted: 06/06/2014 at 12:12

I've ordered 10 and I'm sending one to your house just to get on your tits :)

All I think is that a British bike industry beyond just Triumph is surely a good thing. It just seems that anyone prepared to dip their toe in the water gets shat from a great height. Triumph dont build much that floats my boat but I'm right glad they exist as a company and many more like them would be smashing.

What colour do you want btw

Posted: 06/06/2014 at 13:24

Well, It's a Honda, so I'll have it in Nondescript Grey, thanks.

I do wish them the best of British luck, tally ho and give Jerry Fritz Hun a taste of our spunk, and so on, I just doubt I'll want what they're offering.

Could be wrong, let's see what they've come up with.

Posted: 06/06/2014 at 14:06

Jerry Fritz Hun does make exceedingly good bikes though...

Posted: 06/06/2014 at 16:09

I know, I have one. Damn him and his steely Teutonic efficiency.

Posted: 06/06/2014 at 20:55

At least with (modern) Honda power the engine ain't going to go bang and the final drive will manage to keep the insides in etc. No more parts bin than a Bimota or pretty much any other bike really. Suspension from x, brakes from y, fuel injection from z. Good luck to Ariel and should I win the lotto I'll be on the phone straight away.

Posted: 16/09/2014 at 12:37

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