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  1. #1
    Super Wammer
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    Classic 1956 Ariel 500cc advice

    Hi all,

    A friend of mine has a (classic) 1956 Ariel 500cc motorcycle and is trying to find out what the exact model is (??), any advice from classic petrol heads would be greatly appreciated. It seems to be in semi-trails trim. It has the letters 'VH' stamped on the outer engine casing etc...








    Thanks in advance!




  2. #2
    shut, now Evolution Audio
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    Surely there are specialist forums for this?

    Nice bike though

  3. #3
    Missing the point florette69's Avatar
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    Exactly, plenty of appropriate specialist sites. Pre65 would be the logical starting point.

  4. #4
    Moderator meninblack's Avatar
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    It's a trials special - it should have a sidecar!!
    A Kino runner for the DDR

  5. #5
    shut, now Evolution Audio
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    Quote Originally Posted by meninblack View Post
    It's a trials special - it should have a sidecar!!
    If I'm not mistaken, there's one just visible in the garage...

    Or it might be a wheely-bin...

  6. #6
    Pac67
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    Quote Originally Posted by macvisual View Post
    Hi all,

    A friend of mine has a (classic) 1956 Ariel 500cc motorcycle and is trying to find out what the exact model is (??), any advice from classic petrol heads would be greatly appreciated. It seems to be in semi-trails trim. It has the letters 'VH' stamped on the outer engine casing etc...








    Thanks in advance!
    Lovely bike. The "VH" stands for "Vertical" large capacity series (1932 onwards) and the "H" was a suffix given to denote the new group of large capacity vertical engined Ariels made from 1932. The original VH is particularly rare and worth more than some of the later variants especially in good nick. A true VH (rather than one which had the outer casings switched!) used a tuned version of the "VG" 4-valve motor. Just to confuse matters, another VH version was launched in 1953 and had the letter "A" added to denote an alloy engine. The bike above looks like one of the later VH "A" models in trials trim, but this was usually denoted as "HT" for "Hunter Trials".

    What often happened was that the VH Red Hunters made between 1932 and 1958 had conversions done to make them look like the competition bikes (tuned models) or the engines were slotted into trials frames (the trials frames of the HT class usually have something like HT5 stamped somewhere on them). True competition models had the letter "C" inserted after the "V" on the engine casings, so a competition alloy engined Hunter model should have "VCA" stamped on it. Later, Ariel designed purpose built Red Hunter Trials machines and I think these had the letters HT stamped on engine casings for the Hunter Trials, and HS for Hunter Scramble. Looking at the pictures, this could simply be a 1950s Red Hunter converted to trials trim.

    I've spent far to many years at the Sallywood pre-65 trials events and helping a mate with his collection with Ariels! Its amazing this info sticks (and worrying!). If your mate wants more information, there's a number of useful resources including the Ariel owners club and this site has some particularly useful information too:

    http://www.draganfly.co.uk/data/pdf/not_all_ariel.p

    Its the one we referred to when sorting out some basket cases to identify what was what.

  7. #7
    shut, now Evolution Audio
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    Haha! That'll teach me to keep my gob shut!

  8. #8
    Cogito, ergo doleo. rabski's Avatar
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    HT-5 was originally the 500cc trials version and HT-3 is the 350cc variant. However, as Paul says, with anything like this, it's likely a mashup of vasious components. The exhauast is definitely not original, and the tank doesn't look right for an HT series.

    Mind you, whatever it is, it's still a thing of beauty!
    I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but Iím not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant.

  9. #9
    Super Wammer
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    wOw, superb replies, appreciated lots!




  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by flake50 View Post
    If it is 500cc then I believe i can beat to Nissan mini car, anyway If I want to make a journey toward hills road then this bike is the best option due to its powerful engine. Anyway all the above participants perform awesome...
    Chumpy, is that you..................?

  11. #11
    shut, now Evolution Audio
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnniebaby View Post
    Chumpy, is that you..................?
    No mate it's a noob wanting to use the classifieds and pushing up his post count with random gibberish instead of paying his subs.

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