Page 1 of 6

VH 500

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:50 pm
by Jay.Watson
Collected the latest addition to our little fleet yesterday - a lovely drive into the Welsh valleys in the sunshine, unfortunately it had to be collected in my pick up as there are a few jobs to do...

Here's how it looks after a quick clean and a bit of a spoodle...


The photo's do flatter it somewhat but it's basically all there bar a drive chain, speedo' cable, centrestand,a few bits of wiring and some other minor bits and bobs. Had it running earlier and other than initially blowing a bit of oil out of the breather all went well - sounded gorgeous.

I'll keep you all informed of progress.

Re: VH 500

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:57 pm
by Steven.Carter
54 is arguable one of the best years for the VH. Looks very nice


Re: VH 500

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:20 am
by adrie.degraaff
As far as I can see, a very original 1955 with a VHA head.

Re: VH 500

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:14 pm
by Steven.Carter
adrie.degraaff wrote:As far as I can see, a very original 1955 with a VHA head.

opps As Ken Bruce would say on popmaster ONE YEAR OUT :D

Re: VH 500

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:10 pm
by adrie.degraaff
There is a 1955 head on ebay.

Re: VH 500

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:34 pm
by nevhunter
There's always a lot of people trying to get a head. I was told to be alert but nobody needs lerts. Nev

Re: VH 500

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:52 am
by Jay.Watson
What the world really needs is more "round tooits" so we can all have one... there's a lot I'm going to achieve when I get one :D

So I take it my 'bike has the wrong head on it? Does it make a lot of difference?

Does anyone know of a good book/manual/handbook that I can look out for so I can learn a bit more about these? I've seen a few on the 'net but without examining them don't know which are worth having. This is a bit of an unknown quantity to me, I've had BSA, Triumph and Enfield before now but never an Ariel.

I've had a bit more of a play with it and have learned a little more. I think it was rebuilt/tarted up back in the late '80s classic boom when anything worth saving was dragged out for a quick profit, lots of thick paint and some new bits but really not too bad. It was also registered 1989 so probably had its no. sold off at some point. The guy I bought it from had it sat in his garage since 2001.
I've also given it an oil change. No nasty bits or even sludge in the old oil or in the sump/strainer but the new stuff is returning to the tank with a bit more gusto now. Shall run it for a bit and change it again. Cleaned the carb' and fuel filter and was surprised at how little rubbish there was in that as well. Fired it up afterwards and it ran lovely until the headlamp fell out and shattered on the garage floor!
Looks like the dynamo that came with it has been rebuilt at some point, plenty of juice - so just a matter of wiring it in... then it appears to be little more than a drive chain, speedo' cable, regulator, get the brakes working and a bit of fine tuning. After that I'll run it as is for a bit and then decide what to do with it as regards paint etc.

As for "Looks very nice", thanks, it's not quite so clever in the flesh but is passable for now.

Right, end of coffee break - back out to the garage...

Re: VH 500

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:55 am
by adrie.degraaff
I am not sure yet becouse the is no otherside photo, if the sparkplug has an angle forward than it's VHA, if not than the head is original.

What is against a VHA head?; the in and out ports have more angle so your filterrubber won't fit, and a standard exhaustpipe won't fit, also headbolts and studs are shorter becouse the head is lower.

Re: VH 500

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:55 pm
by brenton.roy
Hi Jay, welcome to our forum.
Re books - you have some choices, although none of them are brilliant.
There's Nicholson - Modern Motorcycle Mechanics and a couple of Ariel only texts - Pitman and Waller.
Nicholson can be a bit expensive, but the other two aren't too bad.
All have the same basic info. I like the Waller book.
You'll may also need a factory parts book.
Don't expect a proper workshop type manual - there isn't one.

Draganfly motorcycles in the UK are the main dealer - and they produce a catalogue called "list 14" - maybe 15 now? - anyway it's free from their website and has a fair bit of detail.

The AOMCC has a big electronic library, which includes Waller, owners guide and info on Amal / Burman etc..
Not free, but cheaper than the books above, and far more comprehensive.

Re: VH 500

Posted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:31 am
by Simon.Gardiner
Wrong head? My '55/'56 VH/NH/Huntmaster has wrong everything including 12v electrics, a stainless steel battery holder and sundry other plastic parts.

But I do like it :D