RE: Ariel Ace Iron Horse revealed

RE: Ariel Ace Iron Horse revealed

Tuesday 12th November

Ariel Ace Iron Horse revealed

British firm mixes the historic and contemporary in new 172hp V4 model



Ariel is equally famed for the look of its exposed-frame creations in the worlds of two wheels and four, but its latest reveal ups the design significance of the skeletal component more than ever. In case you hadn’t already noticed, the new Ace Iron Horse motorbike has a polished aluminium frame that’s been finished entirely by hand. It comes together with a number of other polished parts to create Ariel’s most visually striking bike, no, product, yet – the work taking some 70 hours to finish.Β 

The Iron Horse gets its name from Ariel’s combination of the historic and modern in this new machine, which is set to make its public debut at this month’s Motorcycle Live show at the NEC Birmingham. The moniker links the Ace to Ariel’s late 1920s boost, when then sales boss Vic Mole used an Ariel motorcycle to ride 10,000 near-continuous miles, and crossed the English Channel on an Ariel bike-powered boat. No joke. He was pivotal in giving Ariel the image of modern engineering and chassis design that it retains today, affirming that its machines could indeed go the distance - and then some.


As such, behind the new shiny parts, the Iron Horse retains the Ace’s proven mechanical setup, albeit with sizeable boosts. It keeps the Ace’s 174hp 1,237cc Honda V4 at its heart, adding Ohlins TTX front dampers with compression and rebound adjustment to enhance its road handling and feel through the handlebars. Things get properly nerdy with the inclusion of eccentric bearings that can adjust the head angle from 21.8 to 28.4 degrees, while rear Ohlins Pro Link suspension and an aluminium swing arm completes the even more exotic setup.

Still, the bike’s standout feature is, of course, its shinier-than-ever CNC machined, hand welded aluminium frame. It’s made of seven individual pieces of aircraft grade aluminium, which the brand believes perfectly illustrates its philosophy of old and new. To get that shine, one poor/lucky (you decide) builder is tasked with completing the entirely hand-based job. Tom Siebert, Ariel bikes manager, says β€œit is a labour of love from start to finish”.


Surrounding the frame is carbon fibre bodywork and a carbon fuel tank sits at its front. To match the carbon’s pattern, the stitching of the hand-trimmed seat runs at the same angle to the tank’s weave. There are polished aluminium handlebars, adjustable footrests, adjustable brake and gear levers and titanium heel guards and mounting brackets. You also get full LED lighting and LCD instrumentation, as well as six-piston front callipers, ABS and traction control. As said, it’s a convincing blend of old and new.

At Β£29,686 it’s admittedly not cheap, but when you consider the craftsmanship and engineering that’s gone into the Iron Horse – not to mention the history it carries – we suspect Ariel won’t have any trouble taking orders once the bike is shown to the public on November 16th.









Search for an Ariel here.

Author
Discussion

Bencolem

Original Poster:

493 posts

187 months

Monday 11th November
quotequote all
1). That’s beautiful, absolutely stunning

2). If you think of 70 hours hand polishing at £100/hr = £7,000 then it actually seems decent value to me

3). I get that people will buy it just to stare at / as art (and I get that I’ve been off bikes for a while) but what would you actually ride it for? A ‘muscle’ bike for show in town? Surely too heavy for track days, surely lacking enough comfort (and lacking in wind protection) to be a tourer?

4). What would you do with all of that head angle adjustment?

EyeHeartSpellin

122 posts

31 months

Monday 11th November
quotequote all
If I had lottery money I would have that mounted on a wall and I feel zero shame in saying it!

V8 FOU

2,656 posts

95 months

Monday 11th November
quotequote all
Fab!
Love the forks - very Vincent Girdraulic.
Top Ohlins suspension and a reliable Honda engine.

Just love it.

lukeyman

463 posts

83 months

Monday 11th November
quotequote all
Impressive machining... but I don't really like it. Not that I'm wealthy enough to be their target audience.

bern

417 posts

168 months

Monday 11th November
quotequote all
Is that frame fabricated or milled? From the typically st quality photos it looks milled.

Either way it's stunning.

Zygot

105 posts

20 months

Monday 11th November
quotequote all
For bank holiday weekends only.
One day to ride it.
Two to clean and polish it.
Amazing looking thing.

simonbamg

472 posts

71 months

Monday 11th November
quotequote all
lukeyman said:
Impressive machining... but I don't really like it. Not that I'm wealthy enough to be their target audience.
same not just the usual PH negativity but i dont really like it either

robemcdonald

4,428 posts

144 months

Monday 11th November
quotequote all
Was it designed by paul teutul jr?

blearyeyedboy

4,946 posts

127 months

Monday 11th November
quotequote all
Forgive my ignorance, but is the fuel tank that bulge underneath the front handlebars?

Is that a good idea? (I'm not an engineer so sunshine qualified may be about to explain why it's all fine!)

unsprung

3,826 posts

72 months

Monday 11th November
quotequote all

PH article said:
sales boss Vic Mole used an Ariel motorcycle to ride 10,000 near-continuous miles
What a colourful name! Like something out of a novel of high-performance derring-do.



Back in the day, it must have felt like utter freedom... glorious:



MarJay

2,082 posts

123 months

Monday 11th November
quotequote all
blearyeyedboy said:
Forgive my ignorance, but is the fuel tank that bulge underneath the front handlebars?

Is that a good idea? (I'm not an engineer so sunshine qualified may be about to explain why it's all fine!)
Why not? Lots of bikes have pulled back bars that go over the fuel tank which sits ordinarily above the engine. Bikes don't have the same safety rules as cars. However, I suspect those plastic panels are just radiator covers. The fuel tank is likely split between the panel directly above the engine and under the seat, as with many 'tourer' type bikes these days.

What the bike looks like (IMO) Is not good. It's not special, it's another variant of their existing bike. I doubt it really justified another press release in all honesty. They are making bikes using a Honda 1200 V4, and charging a lot for it. I don't think even Honda make a bike with that engine now.

As I said about the Aston bike it offers little over a bike you can buy for £15k except exclusivity. Although, at least this will be somewhat cheaper than that ugly Aston thing. And at least they are going somewhere with the girder forks etc.

I want them to be successful, but as others have said I can't really see a market beyond rich collectors, and that's quite sad. When BMW can produce a bike that lays waste to all who survey it for £15k, you need to produce something extra special to make people consider anything else. This sure has the look, but it doesn't quite have the gumption.

Krikkit

16,772 posts

129 months

Monday 11th November
quotequote all
blearyeyedboy said:
Forgive my ignorance, but is the fuel tank that bulge underneath the front handlebars?

Is that a good idea? (I'm not an engineer so sunshine qualified may be about to explain why it's all fine!)
No, the tank runs between the frame rails from just behind the ignition, then runs under the seat. Most bikes do it this way, although with dress panels, as you often have the airbox up there as well.

A good example here:



The airbox, ECU, battery and the top of the fuel tank are all up where the dress panels are that look like an old-school tank, then the tank doesn't finish until the lowest point of the seat above the exhaust.

The bits just behind the forks are ducts to control the airflow around the radiator to make sure it gets good flow, and then push it around your knees.

Edited by Krikkit on Monday 11th November 20:05

blearyeyedboy

4,946 posts

127 months

Tuesday 12th November
quotequote all
Krikkit said:
Helpful stuff
Thanks, every day's a school day! smile
(Not ridden in over 20 years, and it was a knackered old CG then, so thanks for educating this 4 wheel duffer.) smile

S2r

212 posts

26 months

Tuesday 12th November
quotequote all
That looks terrible.

I like good engineering as that has it's own elegance but compare the 'iron horse' (sounds like the name of a bad 1970's chop) to the pictures of their early stuff and the Ducati to a point. They seem to have the bare minimum so that they work whereas the new Ariel appears to be over engineered for the sake of it and quite a bit of "look at me, aren't I clever" willy waving.

Lots in the write up about polishing the frame but nothing about how it actually goes shows what market they're after and presumably this isn't something that'll get ridden much anyway, if at all.

Rumblestripe

1,302 posts

110 months

Tuesday 12th November
quotequote all
Question

How do you keep that polished Aluminium from oxidising? Aluminium oxidises very quickly on contact with air so I presume some sort of barrier coat is applied?

MarJay

2,082 posts

123 months

Tuesday 12th November
quotequote all
This is how to make a premium priced special that people will want to buy. You offer a Supercharged engine from a Kawasaki H2, and you put it in a hub centre steered Tesi chassis:

https://www.motorcyclenews.com/news/new-bikes/2020...

J4CKO

28,608 posts

148 months

Tuesday 12th November
quotequote all
Hmm, "Iron Horse", just got me humming dead or alive by Bon Jovi.

I know that its a Steel Horse in the song but its near enough.

squirdan

623 posts

95 months

Tuesday 12th November
quotequote all
bern said:
Is that frame fabricated or milled? From the typically st quality photos it looks milled.

Either way it's stunning.
The 7 bits are milled from a solid billet I believe

I saw a black anodised one at the factory...very cool

Dakkon

7,763 posts

201 months

Tuesday 12th November
quotequote all
If it is as uncomfortable to sit on as the other Ariel bikes, then no thanks, no matter how impressive it looks. The angular frame digs into your thighs.

archie456

172 posts

170 months

Tuesday 12th November
quotequote all
The wrapped headers say it all.

It's designed to be parked outside a hipster cafe.