Ariel go nuts

Brit bike firm take wraps off 200bhp su­per-naked

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Jor­dan Gib­bons SE­NIOR RE­PORTER

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.”

V4 thun­der

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.

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