Ariel go nuts
Brit bike firm take wraps off 200bhp super-naked
Ariel have taken their Ace to a whole new level with a lig-ghter, more powerful version. The firm sold 50 of the original machines and are now making just 10 new Ace Rs.
Ariel say the knowledge they have gained from the Ace has helped them push the boundaries for the Ace R.
“Well we’re a funny bunch here really,” says Ariel Director Tom Siebert. “We don’t produce things because we think we can sell them, or to exploit a gap in the market. We just do it because we like it. What we found with the Ace was that people were very keen to accessorise it, so we wondered if we could bring all those parts together.”
At the core of the Ace R is a tuned version of the Honda V4 fitted to the Ace. Ariel have raised the power to 201bhp from 170bhp and torque to 105ftlb from 72ftlb. To do this Ariel developed new camshafts, increased the compression, reworked the cylinder head, lightened the internals and modified the timing. Despite all of this, Ariel claim the engine will remain as reliable as ever. The R is also fitted with a Translogic Quickshifter, as used by various World Superbike and Motogp teams, to give full-power shifting through the gearbox.
The Ace R frame is machined from a solid billet of aluminium, like the standard Ace, but Ariel say the new frame has been “lightened and optimised” while maintaining its rigidity. New eccentric headstock bearings give a steeper headstock angle of 21.4 degrees to sharpen up the steering, although Ariel say it can be adjusted if a customer prefers.
Carbon, carbon everywhere
All the bodywork, and the fuel tank, on the Ace R is carbon fibre, which Ariel say saves 65% of the weight over the standard Ace bodywork. The beautiful gold anodised levers and foot controls are also new, and the footrests will be available in three heights – low, mid and high.
Gone are the alloy wheels of the Ace, replaced with five-spoke carbon-fibre wheels from BST, which Ariel claim are 50% lighter than the standard alloys. Stopping is taken care of by a pair of six-piston Nissins at the front and a two-piston caliper at the rear. ABS and traction control come as standard.
Ariel says all these weight savings and power increases add up to a top speed of 185mph and an impressive 0-60mph time of 2.7 seconds. The Ace R will go into production in Somerset early in the new year and the first bikes will be delivered in spring. And the price? Well there’s no easy way of saying it, so we’ll just say it. Prices start from £59,994.
And what about a mid-priced model to sit between the two, with the powerful engine but without the carbon? “Well to be honest the engine is most of the cost – it’s not the carbon,” says Siebert. “Also the truth is, most people would just prefer going for the expensive model. We’ve sold three already.”
So there you have it, best get saving those pennies.