Ariel - HT 5 Hunter Trials
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Ariel D2-492-16-17
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 500
Model : HT 5 Hunter Trials
Production : 1958 - 1958
Category : (Off-Road) Trial


500 HT5 Hunter Trials / Ron Langston – 1958

Gold medal at Garmisch-Partenkirchen

The Ariel Trials, designed and developed by the renowned Sammy Miller in 1952, was the most successful bike in its category, which it totally dominated while four-stroke singles were still kings of the trials scene.

The Heritage of Sammy Miller

The famous "GOV 132" (the license tag of Sammy Miller's machine) was a genuine works motorcycle weighing only 242 lb (due to components made from titanium and other special materials). The production machines which appeared in 1954, in HS Scrambler and HT Trial versions (the equivalent of modern motocross and enduro classes), were very different from this works team machine. The HS and HT had different frames (double or single cradle) and gearboxes. They were based on the same all-aluminum derived from that of the road-going VHA Red Hunter.

Sealed Components

The 350 HT3 and 500 HT5 Trial models didn't gain rear suspension until 1956. They were particularly successful in the sidecar trials championship. Enduro events -especially the International Six Days' Trial (ISDT) - are governed by exceptionally strict rules. A rider is barred from receiving any outside help or from changing those components of his motorcycle which have been sealed (such as the cylinder and head) or marked with indelible red paint. So that the rider can easily repair punctures and lower the tire pressure for maximum grip on soft going, this Ariel has a compressed air bottle clipped to its frame.


Engine: 497cc (82x95mm) single-cylinder four-stroke

Power Rating: 25 hp @ 6000 rpm

Valves: overhead

Fuel System: carburettor

Transmission: Burman 4-speed; final drive by chain

Suspension: telescopic arm (front); swinging fork, hydraulic dampers (rear)

Brakes: drum (front & rear)

Wheels: 2.75x21 inch (front); 4.00x19 inch (rear)

Weight: 289 lb

Looking as though it has just left scrutineering, this Ariel won a gold medal in the 1958 ISDT held at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in Bavaria.

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
  • High resolution scans or original documents presented and signed with my name.

Please contact me at for conditions and copyright.

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François-Marie Dumas

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