Is QH gearing "better" for a Black Ariel?

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cmfalco
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Is QH gearing "better" for a Black Ariel?

Postby cmfalco » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:44 pm

Page 30 of the December 'Cheval de Fer' contains an ad for "Q-Type Gearbox Conversion" that states: "It is recognized that the high-ratio gears for the Q-type gearbox make for greater riding pleasure – especially the overhead valve models." My 1928 overhead valve Model C has a QL gearbox so I would be very interested in comments by people with riding experience with a QH vs. a QL.

According to the Burman manual the increments in internal ratios are the following:

____Low-to-Mid ___ Mid-High ___ Low-High
QH __ 1.37 ________ 1.48 _______ 2.02
QL __ 1.73 ________ 1.61 _______ 2.79

I assume the "greater riding pleasure" is due to the QH having closer spacing between the ratios. However, if the sprockets are chosen to have the same overall gearing in "High" (i.e. the same engine rpm at a given road speed) it means "Low" will have a higher ratio with the QH. Is this irrelevant in practice, i.e. does it not force too much slipping of the clutch to get going, or too fast of a speed when the engine is at idle speed in "Low"?

My interest is in how the two gearboxes would compare for use in the upcoming 4000-mile Cannonball Rally, which will involve riding across the Great Plains as well as the Rocky Mountains of the U.S.

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Re: Is QH gearing "better" for a Black Ariel?

Postby Ian.Taylor » Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:09 am

I'm thinking about it but won't be until after a few months in the New year.
My 31 VF has the QDL box. First gear is Ok , 2nd ok but you need to rev the poor motor to about 35-40 mph when you shift into 3rd as the rpm drops dramatically but the ol girl pulls it fine. Yes you can shift into 3rd at a lower speed and it will pull it but I hate loosing momentum when riding.
The issue I have is at times when I really need 2nd gear but the motor revs too high & 3rd to low.
It appears the QDH ratio just might be OK although I have never and will never ride a "G" model that had the QDH box.
According to my 31 handbook the ratios are as stated.QDL with 23t engine sprocket
1st 13.0
2nd 7.6
3rd 4.75
QDH with 23 T
1st 9.4
2nd 6.9
3rd 4.75

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Re: Is QH gearing "better" for a Black Ariel?

Postby chris.vredenbregt » Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:56 am

I have a QDH gearbox on my model G and it has a long 1st and goes easy up to 3th without a dip but I don't know the difference with other bikes as I never have driven one. Pitty you don't live here otherwhise you could have a go to compare
black ariel model G special 1930 500 OHV

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Re: Is QH gearing "better" for a Black Ariel?

Postby john.mitchell » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:36 am

I did 3 Iridsh National rallie (about 120 miles per day) two up on a 1927 model E. with a QDH box. It was ideal and that is a pretty hilly rally
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Re: Is QH gearing "better" for a Black Ariel?

Postby marcus whatling » Fri Dec 15, 2017 3:58 pm

Going up faster hills in 3rd gear with the low ratio there is a long drop down to second gear(you need to slow down a lot) .With High ratio it,s not such a drop . Should be able to run a 24t Primary .

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Re: Is QH gearing "better" for a Black Ariel?

Postby Ian.Taylor » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:05 pm

chris.vredenbregt wrote:I have a QDH gearbox on my model G and it has a long 1st and goes easy up to 3th without a dip but I don't know the difference with other bikes as I never have driven one. Pitty you don't live here otherwhise you could have a go to compare


Chris
The gap between 2nd & 3rd is pretty big but I like "goes easy up to 3rd without a dip" comment

I have no complaints on top gear just the Gap going there.
Might just be a worth while investment.

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Re: Is QH gearing "better" for a Black Ariel?

Postby cmfalco » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:07 pm

Ian.Taylor wrote:... the QDL box. ... you need to rev the poor motor to about 35-40 mph when you shift into 3rd as the rpm drops dramatically but the ol girl pulls it fine.
This is exactly what I'm worried about with my QL. I had intended to get experience with the bike before tearing into it for a complete rebuild but after only a couple of miles on the local road it found itself on the lift being disassembled.

chris.vredenbregt wrote:I have a QDH ... it has a long 1st and goes easy up to 3th without a dip...
I infer from what you wrote that the "long 1st" isn't so long that it's objectionable. The 2.018 difference in gearing between low and high falls halfway between the 1.754 of the (infamous) Gold Star RRT2 and the 2.343 of the SCT. The former is quite a problem around town because it requires too much clutch slipping to get moving when the overall gearing is set for the highway (albeit, set for a bit higher top speed than the Ariel), while the latter is quite nice around town as well as on the highway. The reason for my question was to find if the QH's spread of ratios meant in practice it behaved more like the RRT2 or like the SCT.

It sounds like the QH really does result in "greater riding pleasure" like the ad says. That said, I have the largest, 23T, engine sprocket and a 22T sprocket that I will broach with the required splines to replace the 19T gearbox sprocket so my 1st will be at least ~15% "longer" than yours.

john.mitchell wrote:I did 3 Iridsh National rallie (about 120 miles per day) two up on a 1927 model E. with a QDH box. It was ideal and that is a pretty hilly rally
I've missed only a couple of Irish Nationals since 2000 -- unfortunately, I'll miss the next one because of the timing of the Cannonball -- so I know those hills and roads well. Although not the Rockies, the roads up the Conor and Healy Passes are about as steep as we should encounter so yours is a very useful comparison, especially knowing you did it two-up. Thank you.

Thanks again for the responses. It looks like my bank account is about to be drained of £400 (plus shipping).

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Re: Is QH gearing "better" for a Black Ariel?

Postby Ian.Taylor » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:12 pm

marcus whatling wrote:Going up faster hills in 3rd gear with the low ratio there is a long drop down to second gear(you need to slow down a lot) .With High ratio it,s not such a drop . Should be able to run a 24t Primary .


Good to hear Marcus
Most hills here the ol VF climbs pretty good if I get a good run at it. speed does drop but it thumps it's way up.
On steeper hills that's where I need to change down,as you state , you do indeed need to slow down a lot to shift into 2nd.

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Re: Is QH gearing "better" for a Black Ariel?

Postby Ian.Taylor » Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:39 pm

Just a thought. If changing from a low ratio to a High ratio will that affect your speedometer reading?

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Re: Is QH gearing "better" for a Black Ariel?

Postby cmfalco » Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:00 pm

Ian.Taylor wrote:Just a thought. If changing from a low ratio to a High ratio will that affect your speedometer reading?
The QL and QH don't have speedometer drives, while the later QDL and QDH do. Since I don't have a drive from the gearbox I've added a sprocket and 90-deg. speedometer angle drive from the rear wheel that I'll use to operate an 80 mph Chronometric. Val Page designed the Black Ariel, and a decade later the BSA Gold Star, so although the S433/1/L speedometer from a 1952 'Road Model' Gold Star is age-inappropriate, it's designer-appropriate. I have a particular affinity for Gold Stars which is what dictated this choice of speedometers.


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