If you're a parent, the name Ariel might conjure up one of the Disney princesses, but auto enthusiasts know it as a hardcore, boutique British sports car maker. Before being revived to make the skeletal Atom, the business was also a British motorcycle company best known for its four-cylinder bikes. Now, the modern iteration is looking to the past with plans to unveil its own cycle at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed from June 26-29.
Given Ariel's cars, you might expect an absolutely minimalist motorcycle weighing practically nothing. However, according to its boss speaking to Visor Down, there's no point in trying to build another racer; that market is sewn up. Instead, it's developing a performance cruiser with a more tailored design approach. Buyers can select a variety of different components to adapt the cycle to their style. It shouldn't be lacking for too much speed though; power comes from the 1,237cc V4 engine from the Honda VFR1200F with around 170 horsepower on tap, and it also offers the VFR's six-speed, dual-clutch gearbox as an option.
Ariel admitted that bike on display at Goodwood would just be a test mule and didn't say when the production version would be ready. It seems this idea has been a long time coming, though – we reported in 2011 that the company was working on a bespoke motorcycle with multiple design options around a Honda engine. Pricing at the time was rumored to sit around 20,000 pounds.