Ariel 1924 2 ½ HP “Lightweight “ 249 cc Blackburne side valve single frame# 1588 engine # 1908
Components Ltd., the Ariel parent company, had been involved in producing motorized vehicles since 1898.
For the 1910 season a radical change occurred in the motorcycle range.
All previous models were discontinued and were replaced by 3 ½ HP machines that would remain in production for the next 15 years: the T-head White & Poppe engine, in which the inlet and exhaust valves were placed an extraordinarily 4 ½ inches apart.
Because of this the new machines soon gained the nickname of “ the Ariels with valves a-mile-apart”.
The new models proved very popular with motorcycle enthusiasts and in 1911 Components Ltd. bought the patents rights of the engine and started producing the power unit itself, at the same time increasing the bore to enlarge the swept volume from 482cc to 498 cc. In 1914 a three-speed countershaft gearbox was added and a 670 cc V-twin was also added to the range.
In the early twenties more and more models were cataloged: in 1923 the customer could choose from 9 different models, ranging from a 249 sv single to a M.A.G. engine 994 cc sidecar hauler. Because of the soaring post-war inflation motorcycle manufacturers faced hard times and Ariel decided to concentrate on a narrower production: for 1924 6 models were catalogued and in 1925 there were only 4 models left, a 249 cc lightweight in two versions with Blackburne engine and the 498 cc White & Poppe engine models, a Touring version and a Sports version.
It would be the last year for the now outdated design: 1926 would bring the new models from Val Page which would help the company to the forefront again.
Ariels from the early to mid-twenties are not often seen.
This 90 kilo-lightweight is an interesting and practical vintage machine with its outside flywheel and low build.
It recently turned up in a barn and it seems it was last ridden in the nineteen sixties.
It is fitted with 60×88 mm longstroke Blackburne engine, B&B carburettor and Sturmey Archer 3-speed gearbox.