Ariel Motorcycles was a British motorcycle manufacturer based in Birmingham that was part of the Ariel marque and was a pioneer in British motorcycle design. It was sold to BSA in 1944, and by 1970, the Ariel name was no longer in use. Ariel designers Val Page and Edward were influential.

In 1870, the company was founded, and the name ‘Ariel’ was first used on bicycles. A wire-spoked wheel with a lightweight metal frame was introduced by James Starley and William Hillman. By 1872, they had split up, and James continued to race his bicycles, winning numerous races and setting speed records. He eventually started a firm with his sons, and in the late 1880s, Ariel Cycles was bought out.

The Ariel name was revived in the early 1890s, and a few cycles were produced when it was registered as a trademark. Dunlop, the only mass-producer of pneumatic bicycle tires, resumed bicycle production in 1896 at this point. There was a lot of disagreement among bicycle makers because bicycles are such a popular source of transportation.

Ariel was taken over by Cycle Components Manufacturing in 1897, and it was relocated to the Dale Road facilities. In 1898, the first motorized Ariel was introduced, albeit as a tricycle. The first Ariel motorbike, powered by a Minerva 211cc engine, was introduced in 1901. Ariel’s machine range expanded to include both big and medium capacity units.

During WWI, Ariel provided motorcycles to the war effort, mostly for dispatching and home-front activities. Ariel produced automobiles between 1901 and 1916, and in 1925, it hired Val Page, a new designer from JAP. Val Page’s design was used to create the Ariel singles line, which began in late 1925. He began working on the magneto drive in 1927.

The regular 499cc E model has a twin-port head and dimensions of 81.8 x 95mm. The Model F was the luxurious variant, while the Model G was the special edition, with polished engine interiors. The smallest motorcycles had dimensions of 65 x 75mm, giving them a displacement of 249cc, with only the Model LB having a side-valve engine and the rest being OHV. The LF is the luxurious variant, while the LG is the sports type.

The tendency shifted to inclined engines in 1931, with the exception of Edward Turner’s Ariel Square Four (or Squariel), which was a very amazing machine. Ariel won the Maudes Trophy in 1932, but despite its accomplishment, it ran into financial difficulties. With his family’s involvement dating back to the Victorian era, Jack Sangster made a deliberate effort to re-establish the business.

The Four was redesigned in 1937, and the new Four, known as the 4G, was introduced. Model 4F was the moniker given to the 599cc variant. Ariel provided motorcycles to the war effort during WWII. The Ariel motorcycle manufacturer was taken up by BSA in 1944, and the name was eventually dropped.

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