Before the name Ariel was synonymous with the Honda-powered Ariel Atom trackday car, the brand was affixed to vehicles of the two-wheeled variety. After producing great bikes like the Ariel Square Four, the now defunct Ariel Motorcycle company was folded into BSA, which in a roundabout fashion gave birth to the current Triumph brand. Building on that vein, we get word that the makers of the Ariel Atom want to get into the two-wheeled biz, and are planning to launch a new Ariel motorcycle by the end of this year.
Though there may not be any exact ties between the current past Ariel marques beyond their names, the idea of another motorcycle maker entering the treacherous and rarely lucrative motorcycle industry fray is nonetheless exciting to us here at A&R; and since we’re big fans of the Ariel Atom car project, we can only just barely contain our excitment on the idea of a similar movement done on two wheels as the one we’ve seen already on four.
Like its trackday-car brethren, the Ariel motorcycle will feature a Honda power plant at its core with a custom chassis built around it. Each bike will be built to order, with handlebars, footpegs, and other specifications built to tailor the individual rider’s tastes. Expected to be shown publicly at the end of this year (the company is cautious about being ready by the EICMA show in Milan), Ariel motorcycles will go officially on sale in 2012, with pricing to be in the £20,000 range.
From the sketches shown so far, it looks like the first new Ariel design will be a street-naked, or something closer to the Ducati Diavel that straddles that segment and the power cruiser market (though we imagine with enough money, the company will build you whatever damn motorcycle your want). The idea of a naked motorcycle is at least fitting though, since the Ariel Atom is probably the closest a car can get to being a naked automobile and still be drivable.
With each motorcycle set to come out of the British factory to be fully-customizable, Ariel’s founder Simon Saunders predicts that each of the 100-200 motorcycles built each year will be different from the next, which promises to make some interesting eye-candy from the British brand.