Ariel Ace – A Very Expensive Honda from England

06/25/2014 @ 10:46 am, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS


The wait is over to see the return to two-wheels by British marque Ariel, as the firm has debuted its very exclusive Ariel Ace motorcycle. Built around a clever modular design, something we have talked about at length here, the Ace is really more than just one motorcycle, and Ariel plans on making each bike bespoke to its customer’s wishes.

At the center of every machine is the 1,237cc V4 engine from the Honda VFR1200F, which is good for 170hp, with 95 lbs•ft of peak torque. Because the VFR’s engine is being utilized by Ariel, the British brand offers a dual-clutch transmission as one of the Ace’s many available options.

Would-be owners will have to decide a number of other options as well, most importantly what kind front-end suspension they wish to run. Ariel offers a traditional upside down Öhlins fork setup, but to be truly unique on the road, the Ariel Ace has an available custom girder suspension setup with an Öhlins TTX at its core. Rear suspension is supplied by Öhlins as well.

Holding everything together is a beautiful aluminum trellis frame, comprised of six sections that are machined to life from billet. Anodized to fit a customer’s tastes, the modular chassis design also has mounting points for a variety of options and accessories, such as different bodywork, fenders, fuel tanks, handlebars, rearsets, seats, and wheels.

Other trimmings include Nissin six-piston calipers, though Brembo brakes can be added at a customer’s request, with ABS as standard (as is traction control). Those looking for a data-logger can have one installed as well — because you know…track days.

Like its four-wheeled counterpart, this Ariel motorcycle might be the most expensive Honda you will ever come across — it certainly is more than the sum of its parts though. With the Japanese OEM’s dead-reliable engine technology, coupled to Ariel’s refined British tastes, the Ace is very attractive motorcycle to behold.

No word on pricing or availability as of yet, though we imagine Ariel will ship the Ace wherever fine motorcycle connoisseurs reside. With all the options at hand, pegging a cost to the pocketbook isn’t a straight forward affair to begin with on the Ariel Ace. If you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it…and other clichés apply.

















Source: Ariel Motor

  • Doctor Jelly

    Fuel capacity looks like it’s going to be pretty minimual…

    I really like the VFR1200 engine layout with the center 2 pistons on the rear side of the V and the outside 2 in front, but I’m not sure it’s a sporty enough powerplant for what this bike could (should?) be… And that dual clutch sticks out horribly far.

  • Ariel says tank sizes available are 3.7 to 5.6 gallons. Sounds good to me.

  • Shawn

    Sorta of like a British Bimota. I feel ambiguously towards the styling.

  • Potreroduc

    CNC’ed chassis? Are you sure? If so, looks polished or coated.

  • Gutterslob

    Now that’s how you make a trellis frame!! Imposing and substantial.

    Other than that, it fails to excite me all that much, to be frank. Too lardy looking.

  • Wolfbutt

    This should give Ducati & KTM a run for their money… about bloody time, too!

  • Matt

    Now this is a proper street bike. Very cool. It’s kind of reminiscent of the Confederate Wraith and Hellcat.

  • Alex

    @Potreroduc the chassis is CNC’d. Unfortunately Ariel’s site is in Flash so I cannot link to the image, but the website does have a photo of the bare chassis. That being said, it’s obvious that Ariel does not have the funding necessary for casting as the chassis design isn’t taking full advantage of CNC possibilities.

  • kww

    Nice selection of parts bin items tied to a bespoke chassis and wonderful girder fork.
    Who makes the headlight and electronic dashboard?

  • Not sure on the headlight, but it’s an aftermarket option for HD and Zero as well — full LED. The dashboard is the same one off the Ariel Atom.

  • Mitch

    Any trellis that is not clearly welded sections looks cheap to me, even if I know it’s not (frame looks cast instead of cnc).

  • Agent55

    Some of the styling is a little over-bearing (i.e. the funky frame), but for a company that’s basically got no track record for building bikes it’s an impressive-looking debut.

  • The red one looks pretty cool, Good engine if underpowered for its displacement. But I’m not sure I am understand the efficacy of a dual clutch on a motorcycle designed for sport riding, the extra weight particularly. Also shaft drive? Has that even been perfected for motorcycles yet, I’ve never trusted it, too many bad experiences with them, not enough slack in the driveline tends to mean breaking the wheel loose uncontrollably at the slightest over indulgence of throttle. And on a bike with that much torque, no thanks. What’s the weight, it looks like it’s something of a porker.

  • smiler

    Steel trellis – that’s bloody steel girder. Interesting idea though. Seems to be well thought out.

    Let’s hope it is not 100,000 and they sell three a year.

  • Jackoat

    It’s a great concept and the options appear well thought out. I’m not at all sure about that frame though. It’s very ‘stark’, and clearly based on their car chassis. Which doesn’t seem a good starting point. If everything they build has to have that…well. It dominates the bike and falls short of the best trellis type frames which tend to look more elegant. Some people obviously love it.
    The engine seems a great choice. Not sure about weight and handling implications but it should be a torquey motor and could sound lovely with the right exhaust system (Austin?). More road than track day material but it could be a really nice sports/touring machine.
    Now, if your favourite supporter built something like this………as well as that electric thing….

  • “It’s very ‘stark’, and clearly based on their car chassis. Which doesn’t seem a good starting point.”

    I’m not so sure. The Atom has been touted as possibly the best track-day car money can buy, with almost impossibly good handling. (And it can deform Jeremy Clarkson’s face, which is always a plus.) If there’s something Ariel know how to do, it’s build a damned good trellis frame. Given their engineers’ demonstrable understanding of how to get a vehicle through the corners, I’d be surprised and bitterly disappointed were the Ace to not be a very capable motorcycle.

  • Jeram

    The headlight is a ‘day maker’ made by JW Speaker.
    The headlight outer will be a Cnc part from Ariel.

    I’ve got one of these headlights and they are impressive, perfect rectangle shaped light beam output

    They cost a few hundred dollars

  • trbn