A 650 twin was eventually added to Ariel’s line-up, using most of a BSA engine to power it. They make for interesting rebuilds
WORDS BY ROB DAVIES PHOTOS BY ROB DAVIES AND DOUG WALKER
A few weeks ago I had the good fortune to be invited along to one of the oldest established motorcycle clubs of our noble land, in Kings Norton Birmingham, where I had the honour to discover the most delightful bunch of biking guys you would ever wish to meet. Most of them were well over 140. But that’s another story.
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The main event of the night was a talk focused on one of the new breed of electric bikes (we all shuddered), the Zero, but we’ll leave that for now. There I met Doug Walker, a slight, gently spoken man who I was informed was their local expert on the Ariel – and I wasn’t to be disappointed.
My usual restoration pieces seem – I try my best – to follow a logical sequence. I knew this process was to go straight out of the window as soon as I visited Doug in his den and he started to unravel – yes that is the word – the story of his bikes.
He has two Huntmasters, one in original condition and one which he calls his ‘special’. Hopefully in a few months’ time we will take an in-depth look at the ‘original’, but that was not for today – the ‘original’ had lost its fuel tank – for now at least. So I focused my attention on the ‘special’ and I hope Ariel connoisseurs will be as intrigued by this bike as I was. And I have to say straight off the bat, Doug trained as a pattern maker in a galaxy far far away, and was reputed by his friends to be able to make anything.
Read more in February’s issue of CBG – out now!Enjoy more Classic Bike Guide reading in the monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.