Ariel Owners’ Club celebrates 65 happy years

Richard Thomasson describes the evolution of the Ariel Owners’ Motor Cycle Club, which was formed at London’s Ace Cafe in 1951 and is still going strong.

At a time when Ariel was busily producing its distinctive range of four-stroke motorcycles at its long-established home in Selly Oak, Birmingham, the Ariel Owners’ Motor Cycle Club was established at a meeting at the Ace Cafe London on Saturday, November 24, 1951.

  Caption This lusty 1930-31 557cc side valve Ariel SB, with its gorgeous aluminium sidecar, was pictured at an Ariel Club rally in the 1980s.

This lusty 1930-31 557cc side valve Ariel SB, with its gorgeous aluminium sidecar, was pictured at an Ariel Club rally in the 1980s.

The club quickly became recognised, for despite not having the sporting credentials of perhaps Norton or Triumph, the bikes acquitted themselves well in everyday life either hauling family sidecars or modified to more sporting configurations, perhaps with engines tuned by a certain
Mr Hartley.

The factory sponsored club events such as the long distance run from London to Edinburgh, starting at Marble Arch at 6am on a Saturday and finishing back at Marble Arch 6am the next day!

The 1960s heralded one last blast for the factory, with the tremendously successful Leader and Arrow two-stoke models. By the mid-1960s though, production had ceased, arguably handing the learner market for 250cc two-stroke twins to the Japanese manufacturers on a plate.

Read more in November’s issue of OBM

 

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