I recently bought my first Ariel, a 1958 HT5, so I thought the best thing is to join the Club, which I have now done today. The bike seems to be pretty original, a bit tatty but was running although not very well and not easy to start. I want to check the bike out and do what needs to be done over the Winter so I can use it next year. I started checking obvious things like chains - both totally shot. I found the clutch centre nut was just finger tight, sprocket lockwasher not turned over and other stuff like that. Strangely, all sprockets look good and clutch plates show no sign of wear at all. Anyway, I thought I better take the head off and have a look. Valves look very good and guides look new but there are signs of the exhaust valve either sticking or not been ground in properly.
Piston (+0,020) is clean (the photo shows it as the head came off) and there is no wear at all in the bore, it measures exactly what it should and there is no wear 'step' but what do you make of the black deposits all over the the bore ? See photos. I have not taken the barrel off.
The other thing is - is there some sort of locking device on the front brake plate that I cannot see ? I can't get it off by standing on the rim and pulling the plate and I don't want to unnecessarily force it.
Any suggestions for the best place for spares and any ideas for wheel rims and tyres. I will be using the bike more as a rough trail bike and very low key novice trials - no serious trials and I want to keep it largely in original trim.