Revealed: Ariel Ace

Ariel's first new motorcycle in over 50 years

BRITISH marque Ariel has just unveiled its first new motorcycle in over 50 years.

Called the Ace, it's powered by the 1237cc V-four engine from the Honda VFR1200, making 173hp and 96lbft.

Ariel has released pictures of two versions of the new bike, both featuring the same billet aluminium frame but with different styling and ergonomics. One looks like a power cruiser and has 'Ariel Girder' forks featuring an Öhlins shock. The other looks like a super naked and uses upside-down telescopic Öhlins forks.

According to Ariel, the two are examples of many possible configurations of the new model and each one built will be bespoke.

The Ace will go into low-volume production at the beginning of 2015, with between 100 and 150 built a year alongside Ariel's Atom sports car at its factory in Somerset. Prices will start from £20,000.

Ariel Director Simon Saunders said: 'The first photos show just two different possibilities of specification for the bike, but the combinations are nearly endless and we plan to continue to add further options in the future.'

The Ace will do 0-60mph in 3.4 seconds and hit a top speed of 165mph according to Ariel.

As well as the engine, it also uses the single-sided shaft-drive and swing-arm from the VFR1200. Like the VFR, it's offered with either a conventional six-speed gearbox or Honda's Dual Clutch Transmission system, which has automatic and semi-automatic modes.

Three different seats are available, ranging in height from 745 to 825mm. There is also a choice of steering head angles, and wheel-base can range from 1541 to 1563mm.

The front brake uses Nissin 320mm dual floating hydraulic discs with six-piston callipers while the rear has a Nissin 276mm disc with a two-piston calliper. The wheels are five and seven-spoke alloy but full-carbon ones are also available.

Ariel motorcycles were produced from 1902 until the 1960s, with best known models including the Square Four and Arrow. Today the marque is better known for the 245bhp Atom car.

A release from Ariel said: 'The Ace represents the first new motorcycle from Ariel for over 50 years and builds on a history that began in 1870 making revolutionary bicycles and patenting the spoked wheel.  More recently known for the iconic Atom, Ariel were famous throughout the last century for innovative motorcycles such as the four-cylinder Ariel Square Four and the two-stroke, pressed steel frame Ariel Arrow. The new Ace reinforces Ariel’s tradition, both old and new, of all that’s best in British innovation, performance, quality and craftsmanship.'