Ariel Motorcycles

Ariel Leader

Ariel Leader twin-cylinder, two-stroke 249cc engine. Made from 1958 to 1965.

The Ariel Leader was designed to provide a new level of technical refinement and weather protection by Val Page and first produced in July 1958. Its design had the unusual feature of having its frame welded up 'car style', hiding its engine. In 1959 all other Ariel models including the Square Four were dropped, and the Leader gained acclaim winning Motorcycle of the year, 1959, in 'Motorcycle News'. Nonetheless the aesthetic design did not prove very popular and in 1960 the Arrow was released. The Arrow was almost exactly the same at the Leader but with a 'naked' engine. In the 1960s all British motorcycle and scooter manufactures were finding it difficult to compete with the Japanese imports and in 1965 BSA, Ariel's parent company, decided to stop the production of all Ariel motorcycles."

Source: Science Museum Group CC BY 4.0