Ariel VH 500 Red Hunter

 

 

 

Make Model

Ariel VH 500 Red Hunter

Year

1932 - 59

Engine

Four stroke, stroke, single cylinder, OHV, 2-valves

Capacity

497 cc / 30.3 cu in
Bore x Stroke 86.4  x 85 mm (after 1936: 81.8 x 95)
Cooling System Air cooled
Compression Ratio 6.0:1 (after 1954: 6.8:1)
Lubrication Dry sump with dual plunger pumps
Oil Capacity 3.4 L / 0.9 US gal
Exhaust High-set dual port exhaust

Induction

Carburetor, large bore down draught Amal

Ignition 

Magnet/flywheel
Battery 6V
Starting Kick start

Max Power

17.9 kW / 24 hp @ 6000 rpm

Transmission 

4-Speed
Final Drive Chain
Frame Semi double cradle

Front Suspension

Grider front forks

Rear Suspension

Rigid, springloaded saddle (after 1954: dual shocks)

Front Brakes

Drum

Rear Brakes

Drum
Wheels Steel, laced wire spokes
Front Rim 3.00 x 20
Rear Rim 3.25 x 19

Dimensions

Length: 2180 mm / 85.8 in

Width:    640 mm / 25.2 in

Dry Weight

190 kg / 418 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

14.8 L / 3.9 US gal
Braking 25 mph / 40 km/h - 0 7.3 m / 24 ft
Acceleration 0 - 60 mph / 97 km/h 10.9 sec
Top Speed 140 km/h / 87 mph
Colours Chrome and red with gold linings

 

 

 

"The finest single-cylinder motorcycle ever built" - "the best ever built single-cylinder motorcycle." So called by Ariel Red Hunter fans.

The spiritual father of the "red hunter" was Val Page, the chief designer at Ariel Works Ltd., unveiled its new sports model for the first time 1932 on the London Motor Show before. First bike was called VH 32 and the machine had a 24-hp single-cylinder engine with an almost square stroke ratio of 86.4 x 85. They had four overhead valves, solenoid and racing carburetor as well, new to Ariel, aand a four-speed transmission. Also new was the high-set dual port exhaust system. Because of the striking red paint that Ariel had quickly gone their nickname "Red Hunter", which was soon taken over by the factory.

 

By the following year, Ariel dispensed with the four-valve design in favour of a two-valve set-up with high or laid down exhaust pipes.. And there was now beside the 500 VH the models NH 350 and LH with 250cc displacement. 1935 was the next major change. Edward Turner changed the engine again with extremely long-stroke: 81 x 95 mm. Each engine had to be run according to Ariel test protocol prior to its installation.  Output now rose to 26 horsepower with a top speed of 90 miles (about 145 km/h) and with additional tuning rose to 160 km/h!

Because Ariel factory did not want to participate in racing, it was up to private riders to set up the machines themselves.