The idea of riding a vintage motorcycle is to feel connected to one’s past or simply to take a peek into the past. Do all old, outdated and classic motorcycles make a person feel this way? No one can really say. However, there are some (or few) motorcycles that would literally take you back in time, so much so, that by the time you are back, you might have left some part of your heart there.
Meet the Ariel VB 600 from 1933.
Classic girder front suspension, rigid frame and spring seat – vintage, yes, but we have seen these features a bit too often already in many other old bikes. So, what really is special about this particular motorcycle from Ariel? Take a look at the gear lever and you may not find it where it usually is. This motorcycle has got a hand-shifter on the right side of the fuel tank and using it is an experience in itself. It is not just different, it is a totally new way of making a motorcycle work.
There are few other things as well that really sets it apart. It has got an “inspection lamp” which lights when there’s something wrong with the bike’s electronics. It is operated by the battery directly and so it will work even when the motorcycle is not on. And for such an old bike, it also had a clock as an accessory! Few other things like the oil pressure meter can be considered usual stuff.
The engine is a single cylinder 4-stroke 598cc unit having a single side valve. It could produce up to 15.5 BHP of maximum power at 4,400 RPM. Too low and slow for today’s standards, but enough for the 1930s.
Ariel’s Background and its Present
Ariel was established way back in 1870 in Bournbrook, Birmingham, however, they made their first motorcycle in 1902. Before making motorcycles, the company made bicycles. In 1932, Ariel became Ariel Motors. In 1951, Ariel was sold to BSA.
Ariel has made many interesting motorcycles back then one of which is an interesting four-cylinder engine in which the engines were configured in a square – two front and two back – and it was called the four-square engine!
We sincerely thank Mr. Desh Deepak for taking out his time and letting us ride his motorcycle.
The company is said to be defunct in 1970 until it was resurrected as Ariel Motor Company in 1991 and based out of Somerset, England. As of today, it makes light-weight and high-performance cars and a motorcycle named Ace which is powered by a Honda VFR1200 V4 engine.
This is truly a unique vintage motorcycle and something which should be kept for as long as it is possible. It is a perfect example of what is a rare motorcycle. Fortunately, with platforms like OLX, there is a possibility to find these kinds of motorcycles. This one that we rode is quite flawlessly maintained and we are compelled to hand it to Mr Desh Deepak for doing such a remarkable job. He’s an enthusiast and we thank him for his time and letting us ride this truly special motorcycle from Ariel.