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Ariel W/NG

The Ariel W/NG is a development of the 350cc NG which Hugh Povey rode in the 1938 ISDT. Designed by Val Page the range of Red Hunter machines were well proven and had a good record of speed and reliability. Although the military model tried out for the army was originally rejected by the British it was ordered by the French Army for their forces. After the fall of Dunkirk when an enormous amount of equipment was left behind in France, Ariels were asked to produce as many models as possible. The bike was very popular with British Riders because it had a fair turn of speed and despite the girder forks handled as well if not better than many of the other WD motorcycles of the time.

This machine was one of a batch delivered to Aschurch in May 1944 for intended use by the Royal Navy, hence its all over black finish as opposed to the usual Khaki colour as issued to the Army. By the later stages of the War there was a great shortage of materials such as rubber and aluminium. Hence this model has canvas handlebar grips, timing cover and chaincases in tin and no rubbers on the footrests. It seems that the Navy did not use this particular machine much, and it was transferred to the Air Raid Precaution Service to see the war out in England. Not long after hostilities ceased this bike, along with other similar machines was given to the Army Education Corps in Kenya. It spent most of its life under the blazing African sun before being repatriated to Britain. The bike starts first or second kick, revs easily and will maintain a steady 45-50 mph on B roads. It is in very original condition and has made the journey, albeit in the back of a van, to the Normandy Beaches.

© & Roger Fogg.

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