If you’re looking for anonymity, this is not the bike for you, says Hugo Wilson in Bike magazine. While out driving the bike on a test, everywhere Wilson stopped would see people whipping out their smartphones and asking, What the hell is that? The answer is, it’s the Ariel Ace, and it “looks like nothing else” on the road.
It’s engaging and good fun to drive too, with a “belter” of an engine that sounds great and provides “massive wallop” out of the corners. Does the Ace actually work as a motorbike? Wilson is not sure: the petrol tank is tiny, the suspension is harsh and it feels somewhat strange to drive. But for all that, it’s “very good fun”, “really impressive” and will introduce you to a lot of interesting people.
It is “exhilarating” to ride, agrees Roland Brown in The Daily Telegraph, and the handling is “sure-footed and stable”. The big V4 engine is “ideal for the task,combining Honda sophistication” with “storming performance”. The acceleration is “thrilling and controllable”, and it’s a fine bike whether you’re doing some gentle cruising or attacking B-roads. Ariel has already won itself a “mighty reputation” with its eye-catching Atom car. With the Ace, it looks set to “bring one of Britain’s long-lost bike marques back to life”.
It’s the best bike Honda never made, says Michael Neeves in Motorcycle News. The engine gives you a “Honda V4 soundtrack to die for”, the build quality is “superb” and the performance “scintillating”. It’s an “animal”, says Steve Farrell on visordown.com. The Ace is not a sportsbike and may disappoint those who were expecting one. But it is something different. “Something special. Something to draw a crowd.” Ariel is expecting to make six custom-built bikes per month.
Price: £19,997-£34,000, depending on specifications
Engine: 1,237cc, 16-value, V4
Power: 160bhp at 11,000rpm
Torque: 83 lb ft at 9,250rpm
Top speed: 155mph