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Remembering The Ariel Red Hunter Motorcycle

Ariel Red Hunter Motorcycle

The Ariel Motorcycles are some of the most note-worthy bikes long forgotten and lost in history. Ask anyone about them, and you will probably get an empty stare. The Ariel Motorcycles were bikes from the mid-20th century from the Ariel company, built with quality craftsmanship and innovation. The Ariel Red Hunter is one of this company's best models. Avid riders remember the Hunter Scrambler bike as one of the best, even though it has been off-the-radar for close to 50 years. While among the Red Hunter series, the Square Four was quite popular in the 50s, the Ariel Red Hunter 500 was the real money maker and the backbone of the company. That explains why it's remembered till to date. It was sportier than all the other models. This motorcycle was a real workhorse, great for off-road and long-distance riding. The company designed it well for racing, so it had some very nice features making a better motorcycle to race.

The Ariel Red Hunter motorcycle has a 500 cc single-cylinder engine with a 4-speed foot-shift transmission, allowing you to smoothly get the speed out of it. It's powered by a single-cam four-stroke engine with variable-assist power steering. This bike weighs around 200 pounds and can make 100 horsepower. It has a lovely frame and forks, making the bike handle very well. The builders even had a different clutch lever up in the front just for racing to help control it better on the track. The Ariel Red Hunter 500 came in two colors, red and black, and they were pretty rare, but they were beautiful bikes. It was a popular racing bike in the 1970s and 1980s in England. The company built this bike and plastered the Ariel name all over it and with pride. It had 32-inch wheels on it with alloy rims and steel spokes. It also featured rounded wheels that provided better air resistance while on the road or off-road. It manages dirt, sand, and grass surfaces well and without losing traction. The suspension on the Ariel Red Hunter Scrambler 500 has a mono-shock in the rear and a fork in the front, making it very good for riding off-road. The Ariel Red Hunter 500's engine makes a throaty noise when it runs, which is excellent for any rider. It makes this bike stand out and memorable to those who come across it and get to hear it run. Ask any motorcycle enthusiast and they will refer to the sound the engine makes when it revs up as beautiful. That explains why this bike was a favorite to many back in its day. The bike has a four-speed gearbox with the shifter placed on the right-hand side of the handlebars.

The History of Ariel Red Hunter

The history of the Red Hunter goes back to 1925 when Val Page joined the Ariel company. By 1926, he had become the chief designer, and he came up with the OHV single-cylinder engine used on all the Red Hunter bikes. In 1928, Edward Turner joined the company with a more innovative engine that featured twin cylinders joined together by a standard flywheel. This engine gave the bike a better power-to-weight ratio, making more horsepower than one single-cylinder engine. Val Page left the company in 1932, and Edward Turner took over as the chief designer. He reshaped the company's direction by reducing the number of models the company was releasing and making the models in place more customer-friendly. As such, he pioneered the change from Ariel's black color to a bright red chrome plate panel that had the Ariel name on it. Turner also made some other changes. One of them was to add a slot on the nose of the engine where they put the exhaust on later models.

With the outbreak of World War II in 1939 and Britain's involvement, Ariel decided it would focus more on military production. So in that period, they produced a design for a motorcycle geared toward military use. The military used the bike mainly for dispatch. It had enhancements such as a trials frame that gave the bike a better power-to-weight ratio, making it better for off-road use. When the war ended in 1945, Edward Turner left the company and joined Val Page in Triumph's motorcycle company. In 1945, he developed another excellent engine design that featured a twin-cylinder OHV engine, an overhead camshaft engine layout, and a belt drives to reduce friction. It was his ultimate best work. Ariel saw its potential and released their version adding the bike models they had to four; two single engines and two twin engines.

In 1952, Ariel had a significant setback. The company was losing money, and its models were not doing well in the market. They tried to make more innovative models, such as the VHA Red Hunter with an all-alloy engine. The bike was so rare that it became a collector's favorite. But Ariel did not take off well. So in 1964, the company was sold to BSA, ending the long history of Ariel Motorcycles. Bike enthusiasts will forever remember the Ariel company for its single-engine motorbikes. Their innovations in engine design helped the company grow in popularity and get a good reputation for producing some of the best bikes of the time. Their bikes were well known for their elegance and performance, which helped make them a favorite among riders.


The Ariel Red Hunter 500 was an example of a model considered an icon, partly because of its rarity and sophisticated engineering. But more importantly, it was a true technological marvel for its time. The bike made Ariel one of the first manufacturers to design a motorcycle with a tiny engine that could go fast on either road or off-road. Anyone can identify the Ariel Red Hunter by its distinctive light red paint job and stylish motor. Apart from the Red Hunter 500, the Ariel Red Hunter 350 featured an overhead valve and a single-cylinder two-stroke engine that made it fast. The bike was popular in racing and used as a weekend cruiser. The Ariel Red Hunter bike had to go through many changes and enhancements over the years. But all the rage of motorcycles shared one common trait: reliability, speed, and sophistication, making it the most preferred.

Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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