It's been almost 50 years since the Ariel Motor Company name disappeared. Once known for building amazing British motorcycles, sadly, when the industry took a major hit the company went bankrupt. They returned to motoring headlines after building the car-motorcycle hybrid, the Aerial Atom. Perhaps one of the most desired cars on the road, with it's exoskeleton, open-wheel light-weight platform. The Atom has no windshield or doors and many states and countries consider it a motorcycle from a legal standpoint (which is why you need a helmet to operate one). So Ariel figured, why not ditch a few wheels and get back to two-wheeled performance?
This past weekend at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed, Ariel returned to the motorcycle market with the Ariel Ace. Built using a billet-aluminum frame, that resembles the exoskeleton chassis of the Atom, it uses a Honda 1237cc V4. Original Ariel bikes featured advanced four-cylinder engines for their time, so for the 2015 bike, the Honda V4 was an easy choice. Pushing out 173hp and 95 ft. lbs of torque, the bike will hopefully perform as awesome as the Atom.
Ariel makes a big deal about the customizable options offered for the Ace. They plan on making small production runs that range from 100 to 150 orders each year, starting with the 2015 production year. They say each bike will be custom ordered with options that vary from front suspension type to metal finishes. Adjustable foot rests and seats along with different handle bars, tank, exhaust and body work will be available, making it a motorcycle to fit many riders.
Ariel claims you can vary from, "low riding cruiser, through street and naked machines, to super sport bikes the Ace will be built to owners' specific requirements and desires," but so far it looks like it's a naked bike with adjustabliliy for different size riders. If they're going to build a cruiser, than they'll need to change more than the tank and handlebars. The factory will still offer a ton of modifications and upgrades, even after an Ace is purchased. We're anxious to see all of the available options.
The top photo features two different front-end options, Ariel's custom front suspension on the left and the inverted-fork design on the right.