Ariel Motorcycles to Make a Return?

06/05/2014 @ 3:08 am, by Jensen Beeler6 COMMENTS


When it comes to historic British motorcycle brands, Ariel ranks as one of the top marquees in the business. Currently lending its name to the insane street-legal go-kart that is the Ariel Atom, which Jeremy Clarkson helped make famous with his big mouth..literally, Ariel boss Simon Saunders has tipped, in a press release about the latest Atom iteration, that the company’s next effort will be of the two-wheeled variety.

Caught testing by the lenses of MCN, the British moto-publication says that the new Ariel will be based around the 1,237cc V4 engine found on the Honda VFR1200F, and have a single-sided swingarm, along with a unconventional front-end — possibly of a girder or Hossack design.

“We’re just about to launch an all new Ariel motorcycle and we want our bikes and customers to be as safe as they possibly can be as well, so this message is important to us,” said Saunders after talking about the time and place to explore the speeds provide by the Ariel Atom. “There’s always one certain loser in a motorcycle collision and that’s the motorcyclist.”

This news is just one of many historic brands that have found their way back into the modern spotlight, as Matchless is also tipped to be making a revival. Add these two British brands to the already recently resurrected Bultaco, Horex, Indian, Saroléa, and Voxan motorcycle companies.

With Ariel’s motorcycle prototype looking like a muscular power cruiser, it will be interesting to see how the machine stacks up to the company’s Atom automobile, which carries some mighty shoes to fill in the extreme transportation category.

Hopefully the Ariel motorcycle design brings something new to the table, and does the historic brand some justice. The motorcycle economy may be slow to recover, but you wouldn’t know it with all the iconic names coming out of the woodwork. Interesting.

Source: ArielMCN

  • Gutterslob

    Characterful British chassis plus reliable Japanese motor. Quite looking forward to this one, even though I probably won’t be able to afford it.

  • JoeD

    Honda power? I suppose all of the unsold VFRs will be re-cycled, eh?

  • TD

    Power cruiser? Ugh, really? How disappointing, especially from the company whose cars are a modern embodiment of Pure Minimalist Performance. Even most modern motorcycles could take a lesson from the Atom; everything that makes you go fast, and NOTHING that doesn’t.

    Something along the lines of a naked Britten would be more like it…

  • Andrew

    While I agree that Honda engine is likely to be better and more reliable than anything they could come up with themselves, I think that Ariel bike should have Ariel engine. And if developing one is too difficult or too expensive for them… just let it be. Resurrecting famous brand with such half-assed attempt just doesn’t do it justice.

  • scottdc

    Disappointed that it’s a ‘power cruiser’. Was really stoked for the Lotus offering when the rumor mill started. I was thinking it would be a light-weight performance bike with a focus on handling, like their cars, but it ended up being that weird cruiser thing. Got my hopes up again for Ariel but it sounds like they are taking the same path… Meh.

  • Jaybond

    How about the Brits come out with something that we can call a proper superbike? While I’m not opposing to those cruiser/adventure/naked type of bikes, the superbike class is just missing British manufacturers. Up to now , we only have the Triumph 675R in the Supersport class. And with the arrival of Superstock/EVO-like & cheaper WSBK championship next year, the time is right for the British manufacturers to consider producing superbikes..