Ariel Motorcycles – once again made in Britain

ARIEL_ACE_001-640x360Ariel branded motorcycles are officially back on the road to success… and they are being made in Britain!

Those that read our blog regularly will likely know that I am a mad-keen motorcycle fanatic and may recall that last year I bought a brand new Triumph, which I still love BTW. Some of you may also know that I run the worlds largest (and only) forum for Triumph and BSA branded scooters. So, you can imagine my excitement at hearing the news that classic British motorcycle marque, Ariel, has been bought back into production. If that was not exciting enough… they are being made in Somerset!

Back in the 1950 British motorcycles were the best in the world. Renowned for their innovation, reliability and most of all speed! Brands like Norton, BSA, Vincent and Triumph were enjoying the golden age of two wheeled motorised transport. But  by the mid-1960’s it was all over. All but a few British brands still existed,  hit by the burgeoning market for imported Japanese bikes and the same oversights in quality control that killed off British automotive prowess. The 1970’s, 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s have seen an almost total dominance of Japanese branded cycles and today only Triumph remains made in Britain (oh, and Norton – Thanks Tim).

Seeing the Ariel marque  again will undoubtedly stir emotions in any aging rocker  but the new incarnation appears to have very little in common with its roots. While the Triumph range is dominated by retro designs, harking back to its 1950’s glory days, the new Ariel appears to be absolutely modern looking… almost futuristic. A bold move, but in my humble option a very wise one. However, before you run down to your local dealership, Ariel are planning to make just 150 units each year and will have a price tag a little over £20,000.

Would I buy one? In a heart beat. If money were no object a new Ariel motorcycle would definitely be on my Christmas list.

– James

Comments

  1. Great news indeed. Sorry to disagree slightly but I would not say the Triumph range is dominated by retro, there are the speed/street triples, the various Tigers, the Trophy and the IOM TT winning Daytona of course. This is all part of a great British revival with Norton back in Production for the past couple of years. On a small scale there is also CCM, Metisse and I believe soon to be joined by Hesketh also.

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  2. Tim Crawford says:

    James, shame on you! Only Triumph remains made in Britain? Norton are manufacturing bikes (and exporting them!) at Donnington and they had bikes racing at this year’s TT.

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  3. So have they been bought by the lunatics (the wonderful ones) behind the Ariel Atom car.? If so they will I’m sure be incredible bikes…

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    • They sure have, http://www.arielmotor.co.uk/

      As well as the revival in motorcycle manufacturers there are a lot more British made accessories and gear than there used to be, it really is a good news story. Special mention to the survivors as well who have kept things going through thick and thin, a great example being Scott Leathers. http://www.scottleathers.co.uk

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  4. Chris says:

    I wasn’t keen on Aerial motor bikes in the 60s and learnt to ride on an AJS 350 and then onto a Norton Dommie 600 and raced around the cafes !. I wish Aerial all the best on their new bikes though and hope they will be a resounding success.

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  5. Ariel are not making bikes again. Someone has simply bought the name to stick on motorcycles that have never had anything to do with Ariel.

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  6. Roger Brown says:

    I used to have an Aerial Leader. It was years ahead of its time. I rode it all through that winter of 62-63. It never let me down once. Brilliant road holding and it kept me mostly dry, in wet weather. Good memories. I called mine Old Smoky….. Lovely to hear their back. 🙂

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