Classic Bike Guide

A pair of Arrows


Bob Abberley’s Ariel Arrow racer makes one wonder how successful the Arrow could have been had the Ariel dept at BSA been allowed to keep developing the two-stroke twin. Bob has “mildly tuned the Arrow fitting Suzuki RG125 pistons and a Mikuni carb”. It’s got a Norton front brake – replacing the Ariel original which was “a little feeble”. The fairing is a Rickman, and the monocoque frame – tank unit are original, with the fake tank top a racing accessory.

It’s a converted Golden Arrow with Ace ‘bars and is road-legal. Those are original Arrow racing silencers and mild rearsets with a reversed gear lever, which gives the Arrow one-down three-up shifting, making it a lot easier for a modern rider to understand.

Alongside Bob’s racer was Jo Shaw’s Arrow. It was previously owned by her dad, who started rebuilding it in 1976. Tragically in 1990 he was killed in a car crash that also injured Jo, and she had to buy the bike back from the estate sale to keep it in the family. It was then loaned to the motorcycle museum at Stanford Hall, until that museum closed and Jo took it back. Cosmetical­ly restored by Jo’s partner, Jeff, the Arrow is now in the care of members of the Ariel Arrow Club, who are going to get it running sweetly again and help register it for the road while Jo passes her bike test and can take it to the tarmac again.

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