ARIEL ACE (2014 - on) Review

At a glance

Power: 170 bhp
Seat height: Low (29.3 in / 745 mm)
Weight: Medium (507 lbs / 230 kg)

Prices

New £20,000
Used N/A

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
5 out of 5 (5/5)

Ariel has more recently been known for producing quirky-looking space-framed Atom sports cars with fearsome power to weight ratios and superbike levels of acceleration. But now they’re back making bikes. The Ace is a modular concept, so you can have any style you want from the cruiser shown here, to a super naked. Build quality is superb, it comes with a Honda V4 soundtrack to die for and has scintillating performance.  It’s the best bike Honda never made. 

Riding the Ace for the first time at Goodwood in 2014, it certainly peaked our interest. This is a really well thought out motorcycle, and for a first release, it’s incredible. Despite being made by a car firm, it was already better than many established production bikes at the time and is still an impressive bike today.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

A six-piece aircraft-grade billet aluminium chassis mimics the Ariel Atom’s, takes 70 hours to fabricate and has an adjustable head angle, from 21.8° to 28.4°. The swingarm/shaft drive is from the VFR1200.  You can choose any front end on your Ariel, from the standard Showa forks, Ohlins forks, to a milled aluminium girder front end like this, fitted with a fully-adjustable Ohlins TTX shock. The Ace is stable at speed and in fast corners, but it’s slower-steering in the tighter stuff. Ride quality is excellent and other than seeing the linkages bobbing up and down by the clocks, you don’t notice the girder front end, which is a compliment to this unusual suspension layout.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
5 out of 5 (5/5)

The Ariel’s 170bhp V4 Honda VFR1200 never got to shine in the donor sports touring bike, but in the Ace it’s electrifying. There’s oceans of torque and mountains of power. You can choose between manual or DCT gearbox.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
5 out of 5 (5/5)

Famed for their obsessive attention to detail in their cars, Ariel has lavished the same level of love and care on the Ace. Everything from the Ariel Atom-aping chassis, girder front end, adjustable rearsets, brackets, fasteners, bodywork, LED lights and seat is right out of Bimota’s book of creating mouth-watering exotica. With Honda power and running gear reliability won’t be a worry.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Like the Ariel Atom the Ace is a low-production, hand-built machine and that comes at a price.

Equipment

5 out of 5 (5/5)

Traction control, ABS, traction control, shaft drive and Nissin radial brakes are all standard, but you can choose any level of spec depending on the size of your wallet.

Specs

Engine size 1237cc
Engine type 16v, V4
Frame type Aluminium trellis
Fuel capacity 14.1 litres
Seat height 745mm
Bike weight 230kg
Front suspension Fully adjustable girder or Showa forks
Rear suspension Fully adjustable rear shock
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs with four-piston radial calipers.
Rear brake 276mm single disc with twin-piston caliper.
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Annual road tax £93
Annual service cost -
New price £20,000
Used price -
Insurance group 17 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term One year

Top speed & performance

Max power 170 bhp
Max torque 95 ft-lb
Top speed 150 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 140 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2015 – Ariel Ace launched

Other versions

Modular concept – customers can choose spec from cruiser style to super naked

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