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Ariel Classic Motorcycles

Ariel Classic Motorcycles

Ariel. The name was used by Shakespeare in his play The Tempest. He used the name to describe his airy spirit, loosely based upon the Roman messenger of the Gods, Mercury. Just why the Ariel concern should come to adopt the name of a Shakespeare character, is a complex story. More Ariel motorcycle history...

Bike Image Description
1898 Ariel Tricycle 1898 Ariel Tricycle The Ariel Tricycle was a single seater that initially had a 2.25hp De Dion engine mounted behind the rear axle. This however caused a tail heavy vehicle that would topple backwards in certain situations and so the rear frame was extended so that the engine could sit forward of the rear axle. You will notice in this photo that the tricycle has a cylindrical tank behind the seat. This was a form of water cooling that would circulate water around a cast water passage that sat on top of the engine. The vehicles proved to be very popular but eventually lost favour for the inability to carry passengers. This picture was kindly provided by
1908 Ariel 3 hp, 325cc 1908 Ariel 3 hp, 325cc
Ariel 3.5 hp Ariel 3.5 hp
  • Production - 1913
  • Engine - 499cc, single-cylinder side-valve four-stroke
  • Bore and Stroke - 85 x 88 mm
  • Transmission - direct belt drive
  • Top Speed - 55mph
  • This is one of a range of the three and a half horsepower machines first introduced under the Ariel name in 1912 by Components Limited. Featuring the T Head White and Poppe engine made these machines competitive in various Motorcycle Trials as well as the ultimate shop window test for consumers of the day, the Isle of Man TT.

    More Ariel 3 1/2hp information.

    1915 Ariel V-twin, 700cc 1915 Ariel V-twin, 700cc
    1926 Ariel Model D 1926 Ariel Model D
    • cc
    • 500
    • Engine
    • 4st single ohv
    • Starting
    • Kick
    • Gears
    • 3 (hand)
    • Top speed
    • 80mph
    1927 Ariel A, 557cc 1927 Ariel A, 557cc
    1928 Ariel A 5,5HP, 557cc 1928 Ariel A 5,5HP, 557cc
    1929 Ariel 250 Racer 1929 Ariel 250 Racer
    1929 Ariel 249cc Twinport Sports Ariel 249cc Twinport Sports
    1930 Ariel B, 550cc 1930 Ariel B, 550cc
    1931 Ariel SG, 500cc 1931 Ariel SG, 500cc
    1931 Ariel VF31, 500cc 1931 Ariel VF31, 500cc
    1932 Ariel MB32 Ariel MB32
    1933 Ariel Square Four Race, 500cc 1933 Ariel Square Four Race, 500cc

    More Ariel Square Four info..

    Ariel Square Four gallery

    1935 Ariel VH 1935 Ariel VH
    1937 Ariel LG 250 Ariel LG 250 250 twin port Ariel single
    1937 Ariel Red Hunter - Model NH, 350 cc 1937 Ariel Red Hunter
  • Engine - four-stroke single ohv
  • Capacity - 350cc
  • Gears - 4 (foot)
  • Ariel Red Hunter gallery

    1940 Ariel 350cc W/NG 1940 Ariel 350cc W/NG
    1942 Ariel WNG Miltary Motorcycle 350cc OHV 1942 Ariel WNG Miltary Motorcycle 350cc OHV Picture kindly provided by -
    1947 Ariel 500 1947 Ariel 500
    1947 Ariel VB Ariel VB

    1947 Ariel VB 600cc side valve single fitted with a double adult Viceroy Sidecar.

    The sidecar is believed to be a Viceroy as supplied by George Clark Motorcycles, these sidecars were more usually found fitted to the Panther 600/650 models.

    1950 Ariel NG Deluxe 1950 Ariel NG Deluxe 500cc.
    1953 Ariel NH
    Ariel NH

    Ariel singles tend to been a little overshadowed by the likes of Norton, BSA and Velocette, but they offer a serious alternative having produced some excellent competition mounts in the past.

    Image provided by

    1954 Ariel Colt 1954 Ariel Colt


    Ariel Colt gallery

    1954 Ariel Huntmaster 1954 Ariel Huntmaster

    This motorcycle is a hybrid composing of an Ariel 1954 Huntmaster frame, an unknown vintage Ariel 650cc Huntmaster engine coupled to a 4 speed Burman gearbox. You will see from the photos that the front end has Norton Roadholder forks with a Lockheed disc brake, whilst the tank and ‘Goldie’ exhausts are pure BSA, with a Royal Enfield seat.

    Ariel Huntmaster gallery

    1955 Ariel Combination Ariel Combination 600cc.
    1955 Ariel Scrambler Special
    Ariel Scrambler Special

    This machine appears to have had somewhat of a star studded past - the owner advises that this machine has featured in a Rimmel Cosmetics advert with Kate Moss, and that the engine has been worked upon by Ray Petty.

    Image provided by

    1955 Ariel 350cc Ariel 350CC 1955
    1956 Ariel HS Scrambler 1956 Ariel HS Scrambler
    1957 Ariel NH350 1957 Ariel NH350
    1957 Ariel NH 1957 Ariel 350NH  
    1957 Ariel NH Ariel NH Image supplied by
    1957 Ariel Leader 1957 Ariel Leader

    Ariel Leader.

    Ariel Leader gallery

    1958 Ariel HT3, 348cc 1958 Ariel HT3, 348cc
    1958 Ariel Twin Cyclone HC8, 650cc 1958 Ariel Twin Cyclone HC8, 650cc
    1958 Ariel Cyclone Ariel Cyclone  
    1965 Ariel Pixie Ariel Pixie The Pixie was a (doomed) attempt by Ariel to succeed in the small bike market in which Honda was starting to dominate. The engine is a 50cc version of the BSA Beagle engine. The owners handbook claims 3.8 bhp, which is most inpressive for a 50cc four stroke.
    1970 Ariel 3 Tricycle 1970 Ariel 3 Tricycle
    1971 Ariel 3 1971 Ariel 3 In 1970 and now owned by the B.S.A group (since 1944), the Ariel name was used once more for a 50cc 2-stroke moped that was launched. The "Ariel 3" was a 3-wheeler not only different to other mopeds at the time for having 3-wheels but it was also a tilting vehicle. The front half of the moped was hinged and so the vehicle would tilt into corners whilst keeping all 3-wheels on the ground. Production of the Ariel 3 was short and the moped was dropped along with the Ariel name shortly afterwards. This picture was kindly provided by
    Ariel HT Trials
    Ariel HT Trials The HT trials Ariel is a model well remembered by trials enthusiasts due in no small part to the exploits of Sammy Miller and his abilities both to ride and develop his mount in the face of stiff competition from the increasing number of lighter weight machines which coming into their own in the early sixties. It was produced in both 350 and 500 forms and is much sought after today by pre 65 trials enthusiasts.

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