1961 Ariel Leader
The Ariel Leader was a British motorcycle produced by Ariel between 1958 and 1965.
A radical design, the Leader was fully enclosed with an integral windscreen and was the first British motorcycle to have optional flashing indicators.
Ariel could not compete against Japanese imports and the last Ariel Leader was produced when the company closed in 1965
Designed by Val Page and Bernard Knight, The Ariel Leader featured a 250 cc two stroke engine which is suspended from a monocoque backbone fabricated from 20-gauge pressed steel panels.
The fuel tank was hidden inside this structure and accessed by lifting the hinged dual seat. A dummy petrol tank was used for storage and was large enough to fit a spare crash helmet.
It has fully enclosed bodywork.
As well as a full body, the standard Leader features included a headlight trimmer, an extendable lifting handle for easy centre stand use, and a permanent windscreen mounting.
Factory listed options included: integrated-design hard-luggage panniers, the first flashing indicators on a British motorcycle, a dash-mounted parking light, windscreen top-extension (adjustable on the move), a rear rack and a clock aperture built into a ‘dashboard’ (closed-off by an Ariel badge when not fitted).
Launched in mid-1958, the Leader claimed to offer the comfort of a scooter with the performance of a motorcycle. At first it sold well, and it won the “Motor Cycle News” Motorcycle of the Year award in 1959 Ariel backed up the launch with a long list of options (unusual at the time), therefore few of the 22,000 Ariel Leaders produced were the same.
Colour schemes were also a break with tradition, and included Oriental Blue or Cherry Red with Admiral Gray accents.
Our leader is a 1961 model. It has had restoration in the past and we have just bought a set of original indicators that will be fitted prior to sale.
It starts on the button and is in very good condition.