The Classic Motorcycle

What’s in a name?


There are some machine nicknames which ascend to folklore and could almost be official names, except the parent factories never referred to their creations by anything other than the official designatio­n. When a ‘Bonnie’ is mentioned it is Triumph’s twin carburetto­r sporting twin cylinder Bonneville which is being described– be it in 650cc or 750cc form – and Norton fans will refer to their Dominator models as ‘Dommies’. ‘Goldie’ can’t mean anything other than BSA’s sporting single, unless you’re my age and remember the fuss and hoo-hah when Goldie the eagle made a couple of bids for freedom from London Zoo in 1965... But back to motorcycli­ng things – if your motorcycle is a square configurat­ion and made by Ariel then it should be almost illegal not to call it a ‘Squariel.’ This rather obvious nickname was coined by journalist Denis May during the write-up after his test of the prototype Square Four in 1929.

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