Ariel once made motorcycles, and they were some kind of motorcycles.
Now prized by collectors for their racing pedigree and rarity, the Ariels of the past are hot commodities on the classic bike market.
Now a boutique automaker, Ariel makes the Atom, a hellaciously fast ‘car,’ which, while it can be classified as a car due to a four-wheel configuration, was powered by a pair of Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle engines joined at the hip in its original incarnation.
The new Atom 3 is moved along by a V8 which generates a whopping 500 bhp, and consider that the car weighs something like 2,000 pounds, provides a stunning power to weight ratio and go-kart handling characteristics.
Back in the day, Ariel Motorcycles was in business from 1902 through 1970. The company was ultimately swallowed up by BSA, and then Triumph.
It appears that the Ariel of today is making plans for a return to its roots and plans are in the works to build a custom motorcycle.
You can bet it will be fast.
The current Ariel Atom has no roof, no doors, no windows, no stereo and no spare tire. It does have incredible handling and speed guaranteed to make your nostrils flare and your cheeks flap in the wind.
According to insiders, the new Ariel custom bike is set to be built around a Honda engine be entirely bespoke in its design and construction. That means the company famous for -down and lightening fast Atom will offer buyers a range of options including their choice of seat positions, pegs locations and custom handlebars.
The company says the bike will be “usable and fun,” but what that means to a manufacturer which built a car without a radio or a roof and capable of 0-60 times of 2.9 seconds and a top speed of 150 mph has to be left to the imagination.
The new Ariel motorcycle, as you may well guess from the price of the Ariel Atom (an Atom 2 will set you back $62,500) is expected to cost somewhere in the general vicinity of $33,000 US, and that’s pretty heady stuff.
The modern-day Ariel will have a long way to go to make their latest entry into the motorcycle market as good as their final bikes. Back in 1953, the four-pipe Ariel Square Four Mk II was beautifully designed and capable of speeds in excess of 100 mph, but sadly, Square Four production ended in 1959 and the Mk II was the last real road bike the company made.
Between 1931 and 1958, Ariel manufactured and sold 15,000 Square Fours through five different model configurations.
Today, a Square Four in any kind of running condition will set you back somewhere around $12,000-$15,000 US, and one in pristine condition with a racing pedigree will go for much, much more…
If you buy one – the new version or a classic – you’re going to need insurance, and that’s where we can help you out. Read this article and this article at Motorcycleinsurance.com to give you a heads up on how you can protect your investment.