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.

‚ÄčAriel 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.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      SquareFour
      • 6 Months Ago
      As the owner of a Mark II Square Four, I ought to be tickled by this announcement, but the news they're using an existing Honda V-4 tempers my enthusiasm a bit. A huge part of the mystique of the original Ariel was due to their oddball nature. A square four engine is not only unique as all hell in configuration (essentially two parallel twins set back to back), but unique in sound, performance and experience as well. Even the more conventional single-cylinder Red Hunter had its own set of quirks that set it apart from the competition. The Honda motor will definitely make for a reliable bike, but it won't make it special. Still, I appreciate they've found a 4 cylinder to use, and I wish 'em luck.
        Narom
        • 6 Months Ago
        @SquareFour
        I doubt they've got the ability to make their own. But it would be interesting if they could though. You could quite easily have a bike engine powered Atom. Two birds one stone.
          Max Wagner
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Narom
          As someone who has both driven an Atom as well as owned a Square Four in the past, that vehicle you described would literally be the best vehicle in the world. Period. The lightweight but still (barely) street legal chassis of the Atom coupled with the unique sound and experience of a square four..........oh my.
          Narom
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Narom
          Exactly. I've driven a Mini with the Type R Engine, and another one with a Z Cars kit Rear Engine from a bike and its like night and day. Much fun to be had.
        Max Wagner
        • 6 Months Ago
        @SquareFour
        I could not agree more with what you said.
      Scurvy Wafers
      • 6 Months Ago
      with a Honda motor? really? how pointless. you could build one of these in your garage for 1/4 of the price just going to swap meets; I guess WC Fields was right: THERES A SUCKER BORN EVERY MINUTE
      rsholland
      • 6 Months Ago
      Interesting, as I had no idea that the Ariel Atom's roots date back to the Ariel Square motorcycle.
        Narom
        • 6 Months Ago
        @rsholland
        It wasn't. Not that autoblog would do some basic fact checks, but the new company is only using the name. They are not connected in any other way what so ever.
          Max Wagner
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Narom
          One of the many reasons I post more at Jalopnik than on Autoblog. At least the people there do some basic fact checking before jumping to conclusions.
        Max Wagner
        • 6 Months Ago
        @rsholland
        They aren't. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariel_Motor_Company
      Max Wagner
      • 6 Months Ago
      As a former owner of a Square Four, I can assure you that the Ariel Motor Company which makes the Atom has NOTHING to do with Ariel Motorcycles. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariel_Motor_Company It seems as if commenters are getting the two confused and are drawing a false lijk between the two similarly named companies.
        Brodz
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Max Wagner
        The commenters are being mislead due to no fault of their own from incorrect assumptions posed by the article.
          Narom
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Brodz
          Indeed. But lord knows why Autoblog made the assumption when the source makes no mention of the link between the two what so ever.
      thedriveatfive
      • 6 Months Ago
      Its a cool idea but until they make more then a concept it might as well be vaporware
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