1940 Ariel 350cc W/NG
Ariel was one of the several British makers
that supplied 400,000 motorcycles to the armed
forces during World War Two. Two-wheelers had
many military roles, from escorting convoys
and carrying despatches to performing reconnaissance
and police duties. One of the lighter and livelier
WW2 machines , the 350cc overhead valve Ariel
was basically the company's pre-war NG model
but fitted with a competition frame to provide
added ground clearance for the rough going that
military machines were likely to encounter.
Twin toolboxes were fitted to the frame, as
were a long prop stand and canvas pannier luggage
bags. Chrome plating is minimal, the handgrips
are made from cheap webbing and a coat of matt
Khaki paint is applied all over. It even covers
the tank badges that Ariel fitted to military
machines early in the war.The number stencilled
on each side of the fuel tank identifies the
machine and its depot. The agile W/NG perfomed
well in arduous front-line duties and more than
47,500 were issued between 1940 and 1944, some
to the Royal Air Force. A number remained is
use in parts of Europe and Scandanavia until
the late fifties. Some 250cc versions were made
for training riders.
Engine - 346cc (72 x 85mm) air-cooled overhead
valve single, 6.5:1 compression ratio, 7/8in
Amal carburettor, magneto ignition.
Transmission - Chain primary drive, wet multi-plate
clutch, four-speed gearbox and chain final drive.
Chassis - Tubular frame, girder fork front
suspension, drum brakes.
Wheels - 19in.
Power - 17bhp @ 5800rpm.
Weight - 376lb (171kg).
Top Speed - 68mph.