Designed by Val Page and his team, the Ariel Leader, and its sports derivative, the Arrow, sought to combine the virtues of speed and agility with those of cleanliness and convenience. Launched in 1958 and powered by an all-new 247cc air-cooled two-stroke twin with unit gearbox, the Leader also broke with British tradition in its frame and suspension design, employing a stiff, fabricated-steel beam instead of tubes, and a trailing-link front fork. Detachable panels enclosing the engine and most of the rear wheel extended forwards to meet leg shields and screen, and the rear chain was fully enclosed. Announced late in 1959, the Arrow dispensed with the Leader's enclosure panels and weather protection while remaining mechanically virtually identical. A highly promising design capable of further development, the Leader/Arrow deserved better than to be prematurely axed by BSA in 1965, thus allowing the Japanese to exploit the growing market for 250 two-stroke twins without serious competition.
An older restoration that has deteriorated over time, this Ariel Leader was acquired by the vendor from Robertsbridge Classic Motorcycles in 1997 and last taxed for the road in 2000, since when it has been kept in dry storage. Light re-commissioning and the usual safety checks will be required prior to further use. Offered with V5/V5C documents and the 1997 purchase receipt.