The Ariel Square Four or “Squariel” is one of those bikes that always intrigues people whenever you see one for sale online or on display. The first Ariel Square Four was produced in 1931 and were 500cc displacement which enlarged to 997cc by the time they reached their production run in 1958.
This barn find example appears to be the 997cc mark 1 due to the twin pipe configuration, rather than the four pipe configuration and individual cylinders of the mark 2. You’ll need to do some research on the based on the registration and chassis numbers to determine if this was a late batch of mark 1 machines that sold alongside the mark 2 range.
The mark 1 and mark 2 models were very capable motorcycles with speeds approaching 100 mph for riders brave enough on the roads of the time, also putting their trust in period drum brakes and tyres.
This barn find example looks very original apart from partial rewiring and installation of a solid state voltage regulator (a good upgrade in these times!). The “belly slicer” front number plate is also indicative of the period, which were later banned in the UK due to the injuries they could inflict on the rider or pedestrians during an accident.
Restoring your Barn Find Ariel Square Four
It has become a common question for many when looking such an original motorcycle whether to undergo a nut and bolt restoration or sympathetic restoration leaving the ageing and patina in place. I’m a big fan of the latter because it shows the bike as a true survivor and something you don’t mind riding because any further again can only make it more authentic. What are your thoughts?
If you are looking to undertake any kind of restoration you’ll need a good plan of action, either working with a specialist to undertake the work for you, or getting your own hands dirty in your own garage or workshop.
For me there is nothing more satisfying that doing as much of your own restoration work as possible because you really get to know the motorcycle and some of the history and quirks of the machine. This will all translate into a much more emotional experience when you complete the build and ride for the first time, in addition to standing back and admiring your work.
We recently produced an article which provides some tips for organising your garage and useful tools you may want to consider before diving into the restoration. With such a unique bike like the Ariel you should also consider joining an owners club, such as the www.arielownersmcc.co.uk .
They’ll plenty of advice and guidance to save you from potential pitfalls and also establish the history of your motorcycle. Owners clubs usually open up a whole new world of friends and people really enthusiastic about getting another classic machine back on the road.
Let us know if you bid on the Ariel Square Four Mk1 and your plans for using and restoring. It would be great to hear about another classic motorcycle back on the roads and making us all smile! Ride Safe.
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