When Ariel have announced the full specifications of the Ace R and while the performance has shot up dramatically, so has the price. Ariel first announced the Ace two years ago and they have produced 50 to date – the Ace R however will be much more exclusive as only 10 are to be made and sold. Ariel say the knowledge they have gained in the production of the Ace has helped them push the boundaries for the Ace R. Engine
At the core of the Ace R is a tuned version of the Honda V4 engine fitted to the Ace. Working with Mark Woodage of MJW Specialists they have increased the power to 201bhp from 170 and torque to 143nm from 98nm, which Ariel say “delivers outstanding performance throughout the rev range”. To do this Ariel developed new camshafts, increased the compression, reworked the cylinder head, lightened the internals and modified the timing. Despite all this work, and a significant power increase, Ariel claims the engine will remain as reliable as ever. The R is also fitted with a Translogic Quickshifter, as used by various WSB and MotoGP teams, to give full-power shifting through the gearbox. Frame & Suspension
The Ace R frame is machined from a solid billet of aluminum, like the standard Ace, but Ariel say the new frame has been “lightened and optimised” while maintaining its rigidity. New eccentric head-stock bearings give a steeper headstock angle of 21.4 degrees to sharpen up the steering, although Ariel say it can be adjusted if a customer prefers. The Ace R frame has a new pearlescent black finish, although other finishes are available on request. To strip yet more weight, Ariel have used aluminum and titanium fasteners throughout. Suspension on the Ace R is once again courtesy of Ohlins but with unrated springs and unique valving that Ariel say gives more precise handling and a quicker turn in than standard. Bodywork, seat & controls
All the bodywork and the fuel tank on the Ace R is made from carbon fibre, which Ariel say saves 65% of the weight over the standard Ace bodywork. The gold anodised levers and foot controls are also new, and the foot rests will be available in three heights – low, mid and high. Wheels, Brakes & Tyres
Gone are the alloy wheels of the Ace, replaced with five spoke carbon fibre wheels from BST, which Ariel claims are 50% lighter than the standard alloys. The stopping is taken care of by a pair of 6-piston Nissins at the front and a 2-piston caliper at the rear. The Ace R comes with Dunlop Sportmax GP Racer Tyres, and ABS and traction control come as standard. Performance & price
Ariel says all these weight savings and power increases add up to a top speed of 185mph and a 0-60mph time of 2.7 seconds. The Ace R will go into production in Somerset early 2017 and the first bikes will be delivered in spring. And the price? Well there’s no easy way of saying so we'll just say it. Prices start from $49,995 + VAT.