ITS PERFORMANCE and agility have been likened to a motorcycle and now an Ariel Atom has been recruited by Somerset and Avon police to help educate motorcyclists, and reduce the number of bike accidents in the region.
Holder of various car performance records, the Atom has also beaten superbikes in track races. The model the police will be using, called the Atom PL1, is based on the latest Atom 3.5R. It has a supercharged Honda engine developing 350bhp and can accelerate from 0-60mph in a supercar-crushing 2.5sec.
It is being used by Somerset and Avon police, and Tri Force Specialist Operations, a borderless police support team, as part of the Safer Rider campaign. The idea is to send a cautionary message to motorcyclists as well as raise awareness of them, especially in the summer months when their numbers grow and accidents involving them increase.
Andy Parsons, a roads policing sergeant with Tri Force, said: “Modern motorcycles are capable of extraordinary performance, with supercar levels of acceleration, braking and cornering. Unfortunately, with this level of performance comes an increased risk of death or serious injury as a result of inexperience, lack of training and rider error.”
The statistics are chilling. Motorcyclists make up just 1% of road traffic but account for nearly 20% of all road user deaths. A motorcyclist is around 35 times more likely to be killed in a road traffic collision than someone in a car.
The police want the Atom PL1 to make a big impact on bikers. To this end, it is fitted with Avon and Somerset livery, aerodynamic Hella pursuit lights and emergency equipment.
“I hope the use of the Ariel Atom PL1 will have a positive impact on road safety. To be safer, rider and machine need to work in harmony. When this happens it feels immediately right. When it doesn’t, things go wrong.”
The Safer Ride campaign is being launched at Haynes Motor Museum, Sparkford in Somerset on Sunday June 8.