The motorcycle industry’s current quiet news period gives Clutch and Chrome time to look back at some interesting two-wheeled news that may’ve been missed in recent months. One such example is a limited edition from an already low-volume motorcycle producer, famous brand name not withstanding.
Producing its first motorcycle in 1902, Ariel Motorcycles was considered one of the leading innovators in British motorcycling. Like other famous British brands, it was bought and sold over its colorful history with production stopping in 1970. The name was revived, initially in 1991 by Simon Saunders under the corporate name of Solocrest Ltd. and becoming the Ariel Motor Company Ltd in 1999. Ariel Motor Company is one of the UK's smallest automotive companies, with just 19 employees, producing up to 100 cars per year as well as a limited number of Ace motorcycle models.
‘Every Ace, tailor made and individually built by one technician from start to finish,’ explains the manufacturer’s website noting the hand built motorcycles can be tailored to a riders preference. Just what is considered as low-volume production can be seen in the 50 Ace motorcycles fact produced since its launch in 2014.
The new limited edition was announced at the NEC Motorcycle Live show in England late in 2016, promising carbon bodywork, black pearl frame and gold anodizing, the Ace R is a Limited Edition of which only 10 units will be made and sold worldwide.
Powered by a Honda 1237cc V4 engine, Ariel has worked with Mark ‘Brains’ Woodage of MJW Specialists to push the powerhouse to 201BHP and 143 nm of torque, delivering outstanding performance throughout the rev range. Woodage currently works in MotoGP as the Technical Director for the Honda SIC Moto3 Racing Team and has built motorcycles for domestic and world championships since 1990. He has gained three British championships, six Isle of Man TT wins and numerous International race wins as well as finishing runner up in the World Supersport Championship twice.
Production of the Ace R will take place at Ariel's facility in Somerset, UK, with the first motorcycles expected to start shipping in the second quarter of 2017. Only 10 numbered examples will ever be made, starting at US$62,500 and for those paying attention, the price is almost double the average cost of a standard Ace.
“Every Ace is unique to its owner, but we wanted to make a truly special bike that built on knowledge gained from other Ariel Limited Editions such as the Atom V8 and Mugen,” said principal Tom Siebert. “After 17 years slowly building Ariel to where it is today we understand low volume vehicles, as well as the customers that buy them, and we know that the extra performance plus our usual scrupulous attention to detail on this special motorcycle will be very appealing.”