Manufacturing motorcycles since 1902, Ariel created several memorable models
in its heyday before ceasing operations in 1967. The brand was revived in 1999 as
Ariel Motor Company, and initiated its second life with the Atom sports car.
Ariel unveiled plans to build 10 very special versions of the only motorcycle it produces. Powered by Honda’s V-four engine from the VFR1200F, the Ace gets a posh
R-variant with even more exclusive equipment and a substantial power boost.
Making the Ace R unique are strictly carbon fiber bodywork and wheels, Öhlins
suspension with the front specifically resprung, and ample gold anodizing. The
in-house built aluminum frame has undergone a weight-shaving process and was
hand-anodized in black pearl finish. The modified 1200cc, V-four engine output
increased from 173 to 201 hp, with the torque also climbing from 96.6 to 105.5
lb.-ft., increasing top speed from 165 to 185 mph. The R is also expected to be
significantly lighter than the standard model. Production will take place at
Ariel’s facility in Somerset, United Kingdom, with the first bikes expected to
ship in the second quarter of 2017. The 10 numbered examples are priced at
a hefty $62,500—near double the price of the standard Ace.
NORTON V4 RR
ARIEL ACE R
Historic brand Norton continues its revival with the
release of its new superbike, one wrapped in carbon
fiber and built around an all-new 1200cc Norton V4
engine, with a v-angle of 72 degrees.
Chain-driven cams keep it vertically compact,
while titanium inlet valves reduce weight to perform
better at high revs. It’s fully ride-by-wire, enabling
Euro4 compliance, multi-mode throttle mappings,
and an interface with a six-axis Bosch IMU that delivers traction control, wheelie control, launch control
and cruise control. The V4 possesses a reported
200-plus horsepower and a meaty, 95 ft-lbs of torque,
which gives this 395-pounder rocket-like thrust.
The chassis features an adjustable swingarm pivot
and steering rake angle, allowing hair-splitting chassis
dynamics adjustments. The top-shelf Ohlins NIX30
forks and a bespoke TTXGP shock are also adjustable.
There are no mirrors, as a rear facing camera provides
a full-color 7-inch image on the HD electronic dash.
The triple clamps are machined billet, a highly tech-
nical design that frankly looks as hot as what you’d
find on a lot of custom showbikes. The pincushion
stitching on the seat is gorgeous, and every piece of
bodywork is carbon fiber, including the tank itself,
which Norton claims is the first kevlar-reinforced
carbon tank on a production bike.
For $34,795, you get a full datalogging system to
record lap times, lean angles, speed and telemetry
data from the accelerometers. Ignition is keyless, and
there’s a standard up/down auto-blip quickshifter.