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Presentation Ariel Ace

What you want

Only the heirs of Shakespeare can come up with this: based on an extroverted framework, offering everything from cruisers to naked bikes, combining historical echoes and modern technology. Allow me, Ariel Ace – and what to do with it.

Triumph, Norton, Hesketh, Brough Superior – and now Ariel. The rebirth of the British motorcycle past continues unabated. However: The actual Ariel comeback was already 15 years ago. Back then, Ariel owner Simon Saunders brought the AT.riel Atom on the market. This is a street-legal racing two-seater of the purest water, powered by the high-revving four-cylinder of the Honda Civic R-Type.

Presentation Ariel Ace

What you want

Ace 1200 V4 because it gave us the money and the connections to build this bike ”. The most important of these was, of course, that of Honda, because it is usually not part of the company policy of the motorcycle giant to supply its engines to small series manufacturers. "I think the success of the Atom, an absolute niche product that Honda would never have built itself, helped convince them in the box of the Ace, "explains Saunders.

And so it became a reality, the Ace, and the Goodwood Festival of Speed With 180,000 visitors appeared as a worthy setting for the presentation. However, MOTORRAD employee Alan Cathcart had the opportunity to extensively drive a prototype beforehand. The rest of the world, however, marveled at a thoroughly British eccentric motorcycle with one of the most striking frames in all of two-wheel history in the gardens of Lord March. Or better: marveled at two motorcycles. Because the Ace is a real mutant. Whether a radical naked bike or a powerful power cruiser – the British can be anything the future owner wants.


173 hp and 129 Newton meters of torque should be enough to fire the approximately 230 kilogram Ariel.

The only constant is the frame, which is made from six fully milled aluminum sections. For that alone, around 70 hours are estimated in Ariel’s 19-man factory before an Ace is then completed according to customer requirements. Forged aluminum rims – by the way, the historic vehicle manufacturer Ariel was the inventor of the modern aluminum rims – or carbon fiber wheels, one or two-person rear frame, elaborate trapezoidal or fine Ohlins forks, footrests high or low, handlebars wide or narrow, Large (21.3 liter), medium (18.6 liter) or small (14.1 liter) tank – everything is in the customer’s hands. Even the steering head angle, which can be varied between 61.6 and 68.2 degrees: of course, a must with such different vehicle configurations.

“Motorcyclists love their machines,” says Simon Saunders. “And they want their very own motorcycle, not just any one.” No doubt about it, with the Ace you get it. And one that can be moved very quickly, but does not overwhelm the capabilities of its drivers, says Saunders. Initially, they wanted to build a real superbike, but then quickly saw that the bullets that were already on the market could hardly be topped and were only suitable to a limited extent for public roads.

And so the future Ariel owner will rather ponder the material and color of his seat covers, think about the upholstery of the same or configure his exhaust system than worry about the engine performance. 173 HP and 129 Newton meters of torque should be enough to fire the approximately 230 kilogram Ariel. These are pure superbike values, no question about it, and the Ohlins TTX suspension elements should also meet the highest demands. But they should, because no Ace variant will be cheap. It should start at around 25,000 euros, and production should start in early 2015. But those interested in Ariel will certainly need this time frame in order to be clear about what exactly they want.



As a sporty naked bike, the Ace doesn’t have to hide from the competition. The Honda V4 takes on the central role under the airy frame bridge. As with the VFR, a single-sided swing arm guides the rear wheel.

Four-cylinder V-engine, 1237 cm³, 127 kW (173 PS) at 10 000 rpm, 129 Nm at 8750 rpm, light alloy bridge frame, front wheel guidance as required, double disc brake at the front with Nissin six-piston calipers , disc brake at the rear, Ø 320/276 mm, ABS, variable seat height, Ohlins spring elements, tank capacity between 14.1 and 21.3 liters, price from around 25,000 euros.

Driving report Ariel Ace


As a power cruiser in the Diavel style. Then the trapeze fork with its beautiful aluminum milled parts makes a decisive contribution to the extroverted appearance, as does the reduced rear frame and the minimalist light unit.

Alan Cathcart was the first journalist in the world to drive the early prototype of the new Ace as part of the Ariel development program and at the traditional Goodwood Festival of Speed. Here are the first impressions.

The Ace prototype, from which these driving impressions originate, carries the optional Ariel trapeze fork made of milled aluminum parts instead of the standard telescopic fork. Thanks to a specially developed Ohlins TTX damper, the trapeze fork offers improved handling, feedback and responsiveness. The main advantage of the trapezoidal construction is the reduced friction due to the multiple ball bearing suspension. It was not without reason that John Britten chose a similar construction for his race bike, and so it is no wonder that the Ace feels very similar when riding. Here, too, you have the feeling of holding the front wheel in your hands, the feedback from the front hand is so crystal clear. Even when braking hard, the harness fork works off waves and bumps without a trace of chattering. And while you’re pounding over potholes, you can watch the upper trailing arms ironing them out. Very convincing!

The rear suspension of the prototype, which, like all Ace, uses the Honda Pro-Link swingarm of the VFR 1200, worked less trustworthy. However, the Ohlins TTX36 damper specially adapted for the Ace was not yet available, the Showa damper of the VFR was still installed instead. However, because the Ace is about 40 kilograms lighter, the spring rate was much too high. This resulted in heavy chattering and even lifting of the rear wheel under extreme conditions. The Ohlins damper should fix this, however. The good grip of the Dunlop D2108 also revealed footpegs that touched down early, but they can also be adjusted in many ways for sporting use.

The handling of the Ace turned out to be much more playful and agile than the prototype’s long 1563 millimeter wheelbase would suggest. This is partly due to the steering geometry and partly to the cleverly centralized masses. As far as the engine is concerned, it can be said that the power unit of the VFR 1200 is made for such a bike. The 173 hp have an easy game with the slim Ace and turn the British newcomer into a comfortable gentlemen’s express. Another highlight of the Ace with a top speed of 265 km / h is the Nissin six-piston radial brake system with Race ABS. It anchors excellently, just without the front dipping significantly. Just enough of this is allowed to give the driver a feeling of deceleration – unlike with a Bimota Tesi with axle steering.

In contrast to Triumph and Norton, the resurrected British competitors, Ariel is returning to the market with a completely radical, modern high-performance bike. A motorcycle whose visual presence is underpinned by its dynamic capabilities. Just like the Atom and typically Ariel.

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