Pre-war NH?

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petecranwell
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Pre-war NH?

Postby petecranwell » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:37 pm

Hi all. Being a newcomer to all things Ariel I sought the opinion of you knowledgeable folk on the 'claimed' 1947 NH350 but older looking bike, currently for sale with a dealer in Middlesex. (see for sale/wanted) The opinion was that it was a total 'bitza' with a frame number and registration that has no association with the bike!
Being someone who likes a challenge, I was wondering if it would be feasable to just see it as a collection of parts which should be built into a pre-war frame? I know it would never be correct but, in my opionion, it would be better than it is now!
So, my questions are, Are all of the 'XG' prefixed frames the same? I see that the wartime military bikes have the same prefix but I thought that they had increased ground clearance, being rigid, was this due to a difference in the frame? Does anyone know what the last prewar frame number would be? (to assist in my search) And finally, does anyone have or know of a suitable frame for my hairbrain scheme?
I am seeking a pre-war bike to use in a retro event, please be assured that it would not be for any fraundulant activity or trying to pass it on as genuine? just something that looks the part and would be accepted in a pre 1940 event
I will await peoples views and thoughts.
Thanks, Pete

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Re: Pre-war NH?

Postby will_curry » Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:13 pm

It's a bitsa and I think that's a LOT of money for such a thing. Please bear in mind
that I grew up with £sd and it costs more in petrol to fill their tanks than I paid for
the whole bike for all but two of my Ariels.

Otherwise it does look sort of 'pre-war' and it has a registration - albeit of dubious provenance.

Somewhere in DraganFly's website is a list of frame and engine numbers by year. The WD frames
have both a higher ground clearance and a shorter wheelbase I think. Certainly a 500 engine
is a much tighter fit in a WD frame than a civvy one.

petecranwell
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Re: Pre-war NH?

Postby petecranwell » Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:44 pm

Hi Will.
I've had a look at the Draganfly website and it only seems to list the prefixes not the 1st & last serial numbers in each year range.
The 'XG' prefix is shown as starting in 1938 for civilian bikes and for all of the wartime W/NG bikes.
So, could someone give me an idiots guide to identifying a civilian XG frame from a W/NG one?
Does the owners club have access to the factory records? If I find a pre-war frame, could I find out if it started life as a 350 or 500? Hunter or De-luxe?
As you can tell, this is all very much unknown to me.
Thanks. Pete

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Dave.Barkshire
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Re: Pre-war NH?

Postby Dave.Barkshire » Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:39 pm

The AOMCC has the factory records and the archivist can look things up.

So far as I know the records are in engine order rather than frame order which can make it hard to find a bike by its frame, that's certainly the case for the older factory records. I don't know whether anyone has ever done a reverse index.
1938 Ariel Red Hunter VH1 http://www.barkshire.co.uk/bikes/images/ArielVH_1938
1927 Triumph Model N https://youtu.be/42PexQ4kxUE
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petecranwell
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Re: Pre-war NH?

Postby petecranwell » Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:48 pm

Hi Dave.
I have spent some hours researching the early BSA factory records which are also in Engine number order, it can be a bit of a nightmare as the frame numbers are all over the place, you can spend hours looking for one frame number and finally find it many pages away from others in the same number range!

will_curry
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Re: Pre-war NH?

Postby will_curry » Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:21 pm

Describing the differences between WD and civvy objectively is a challenge. I think it's
been discussed n this forum before But I don't remember where or when but with luck there'll
be a expert along real soon now.

For what it's worth all the WD frames I've come across have had numbers greater than 10,000
and have had a field stand lug - or the remains of one - on the drive side frame rail just behind the
saddle spring mounting lug.

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Re: Pre-war NH?

Postby JohnnyBeckett » Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:31 pm

HI if the numbers do not match just walkaway and leave it you can be opening a can of worms :?: try and get a bike with history and the old cardboard logbook and a new one then you have half a chance of getting a good bike from a long time owner :!:

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Re: Pre-war NH?

Postby will_curry » Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:16 pm

I've just had another look at the ebay photos. The field stand lug is hidden behind the electric
horn to which it is probably fixed.

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Re: Pre-war NH?

Postby admin » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:23 am

I have the "british forces motorcycles" by Madden, which has the contract/frame/engine nos and dates for military machines.
It doesn't give you any specific date for any specific frame number, just when the "contract" for a series was demanded/delivered.

The military XG nos look to start about XG12179 but It's likely partial early war and I know that there are gaps (of frame numbers) later on - it might be that the records are lost or those frame nos weren't used - who knows ?

Engine and frame nos do NOT match, although a range of engine nos is given for the frame nos.
It's believed that engine nos may not have been sequentially placed in frames all the time: it would be dependant on what the production lines were doing. In addition, repairs could mean that an entire engine was replaced during hostilities.
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JohnnyBeckett
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Re: Pre-war NH?

Postby JohnnyBeckett » Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:39 pm

HI i was told that during the war if a bike had a engine problems they just put a new one in and then the numbers don't match wen the bike was built but wen they sell it to the public you will get the numbers that on the bike and use them to get a logbook i have got a few bikes and trucks off the war department that the numbers do not match :!:


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