Archive for the ‘Running Restoration’ Category
Rough and Ready but (Nearly) Always Reliable! I’ve owned my 1953 Mk2 Ariel Square Four for well over a decade now and after a couple of years lying neglected in the garage it’s been bought out of hibernation for what could probably be called it’s third of forth restoration. Actually it won’t really be a restoration this time but more of freshen up and a chance to improve things cosmetically. It stands now looking a little neglected, front tyre missing after a friend who wore his down to the carcass on an epic journey to Scotland appropriated it to allow him to complete the final leg back to Norfolk from my place in Derbyshire. Various other bits have been “borrowed” to keep my ’52 Mk1 on the road but since that rather rudely threw its engine shock absorber assembly out through the chain case last year the ’53 gets its turn in the limelight. Ariel Owners Motorcycle Club. After a couple of weeks of touring we ended up in Sweden and after the rest of the group returned to England I carried on and rode the bike to the North Cape. Foolhardy on a fresh restoration but it made it and by the time I returned home 5 or 6 weeks later the bike had covered over 5000 miles. Not trouble free by any stretch of the imagination the bike featured quite a lot of impromptu mods by the time I returned to the UK.
Handsome as ever but in need of improvement The bike still looks fairly good overall and the paint will clean up nicely. Its brush painted with International Paints Japlac but don’t get any ideas about the usual dull streaky brush finish. This paint will give a fantastic finish with proper preparation and careful application. It flows into a deep glossy finish that can be polished up once dried. The depth of shine defies belief and in my opinion is actually better than many sprayed finishes. Anyway I digress. The bike is not and probably never will be totally original. It of course has one of our alternator conversions fitted but on the less salubrious side of things there is a digital bike speedo in place of the Smiths Chronometric originally fitted. Levers are modern alloy items with a longer throw to lighten the clutch. Cosmetically the indicators look a little of place but most the jarring omission is the missing chrome flash to each side of the tank and wheel rims powder coated silver to keep costs down. I’m not quite ready to splash out on having the tank re-done yet but it would be nice to do something about the wheels…… Draganfly Motorcycles in Suffolk. Brass nipples are to follow but the first job now the rims are here is to strip the old wheels down, paint the hubs and start lacing up. It’s been a few years since I built up wheels from scratch but I’m sure it’ll come flooding back!