Ariel Ace (4)

Ariel has a rich history in motorcycling going back to 1901, and was famous for the Square Four and Hunters, bikes capable of reaching 165 km/h back in the fifties. The name was revived in 1999 as Ariel Motor Company Ltd, manufacturer of the minimalist Honda Civic Type R-powered Atom.

The small-volume success of the Atom allowed Ariel to launch the Ace in 2014, a bespoke motorcycle that could be designed exactly as the customer wished. Working on the same exposed trellis frame concept as the Atom, the frame is milled from solid billets of aluminium, a process requiring 70 hours of machining time.

The frame is further hand-welded and hard anodised, and mated to its Honda-built engine, a 1,237 cc V4 that puts out 173 hp. The gearbox is a six-speed unit that had its origins in the Honda VFR1200, a seriously capable sports-tourer. ABS brakes are standard, as is traction control.

Where the Ace differs from almost any other motorcycle you could buy is the staggering list of options available. There isn’t a single ‘look’ or ‘style’ for the Ace. The owner can specify the bike as a cruiser, a naked bike, a streetfighter, a sports-tourer or a sports bike. The only common items are the frame, engine and gearbox, and the limit is effectively the owner’s imagination.

The options list continues with four different seats and three different fuel tanks. Two fork types are available, a USD telescopic or a girder-style fork, the latter of which is machined and forged out of aluminium.

The owner can then specify adjustable footrests, different handlebars, dampers, wheels, body parts, exhausts, fairings, even different steering head angles. This ensures that no two Ace motorcycles will ever look the same.

Ariel Ace (9)

Manufactured in Ariel’s works in Somerset, UK, 100 to 150 Aces are made each year, following the path set by the Atom. Owners are encouraged to return to the factory for upgrades and modifications, something that is in common with Atom owners who keep their cars and embark on a journey of continuous improvements to their ride.

It is hard to put a price on the Ariel Ace, since no two Aces are alike. It has been reported in the motorcycling press that prices start at £20,000 (RM130,000) and rapidly ascend into the stratosphere.