As a heads-up for the, optimistically, two people who might be interested, below is the draft Preface for a Black Ariel "shop manual
" that I should have ready to publish on Amazon as print-on-demand within a few weeks. Replacing the thumbnails with high-resolution images, as well as formatting, are time-consuming tasks that aren't quite done and, although I thought I had finished editing the book several times already, I'm still finding more text to deal with as I replace the images. The completed book with over 500 images should be approximately 300 pages. Anyway, although the book is essentially
done now, realistically, it probably won't be completely
done for several more weeks.
Most of the information in the book is available for free in the approximately 3500 posts that constitute my rebuilding thread on Britbike. However, finding specific information on a given topic in such a thread can be quite difficult since it easily could be in several posts separated by months, if not years. Because of this, I re-organized the material in those chronological posts into sections by topic (crankshaft, valve guides, gearbox, etc.). Obviously, there aren't enough people in the world interested in rebuilding 1928 Ariels that I could hope to recover even a trivial hourly pay rate for the time this has required. I'll count myself lucky if it earns enough to pay for just the copyright fee and Kindle's production cost.
------- Draft --------The Ariel Chronicles
Charles M. FalcoPreface
This book resulted from thoroughly documenting the complete rebuild of a 1928 Ariel Model C down to the last nut and bolt to prepare it for the 3500-mile trans-U.S. Motorcycle Cannonball event, as well as when the engine and gearbox were re-rebuilt after subjecting it to the stress of that event, which was more than the factory had in mind when it was designed nearly a century ago. This total restoration required milling, latheing, boring, reaming, honing, pressing, pulling, TIGing, torching, brazing, soldering, wiring, grinding, cutting, magnetizing, Magnafluxing®, oscilloscoping, milli- and megaohm-metering, precision measuring, painting, and probably a few other '-ings', all of which are detailed in the book.
Although the title says this book is a chronicle ("a detailed record in chronological order"), and although it was originally in that form, here the author has reorganized that information into what he believes to be the most complete and detailed shop manual
available for rebuilding a 1928 Ariel Model C. The contents originated as detailed notes, written in first person, and are in a mixture of past and present tense. While it took considerable time to get this book into its present form, calling it "Chronicles" saved the author from the additional editing effort that would have been required to call it a "manual
The author's original restoration didn't proceed in the linear order of the Table of Contents, and some steps were done when he originally rebuilt the machine, and then redone several years later when he re-rebuilt the engine and gearbox after the Cannonball. Reorganizing the material into the present topical order required a significant amount of cutting and pasting, with inevitable issues that would have required additional editing time to locate and correct. However, hopefully, the reader will find that the usefulness of the information in this book outweighs the defects in editing. One other important note is that several approaches the author tried along the way didn't work out, but he felt it was useful to leave that information in the book to keep someone else from wasting their time trying those same approaches. As a result, it is important to read each section in its entirety before using it as a guide for a given task. However, in the end it is the reader's responsibility to decide what material in this book to use, and what to ignore.
While this book shows the tools and techniques that were used, how to properly use certain tools and perform some tasks is difficult to convey with words and static images, and is best done by in-person training at the side of someone knowledgeable. Although that's typically not possible for most people, an accurate
video done by a knowledgeable person often can be an acceptable substitute. Unfortunately, the problem with videos is twofold: not all relevant subjects are covered by YouTube® videos, and a significant fraction of the ones that exist are seriously flawed in ways that might not be obvious to someone who doesn't already know how to do whatever it is the video is trying to show.
The author is making this book available, not with the delusion it will make a fortune by hitting the best-seller list, but as a service to anyone in the future who finds themself rebuilding a 1928 Ariel. Actually, a significant amount of the information in the book is relevant for anyone who rebuilds an old motorcycle of any age or brand, although the title should do a good job keeping most people from discovering that fact.About the Author
Professionally, the author is an Emeritus Professor of Optical Sciences and of Physics, is Fellow of four engineering, optics, and physics professional societies, has published more than 275 scientific manuscripts, co-edited two scientific books, has seven U.S. patents, and given over 400 invited talks at conferences, research institutions, and cultural organizations in 33 countries. However, ever since his first ride on the back of a Triumph Thunderbird at age ten he has maintained a keen interest in motorcycles of all kinds. Over the past fifty years he has assembled one of the largest private collections of motorcycle books and literature in existence, contributed articles and columns to 'The Antique Motorcycle', 'Early-Riders Magazine', 'Motorcycle Collector Magazine', and 'Walneck's Classic Cycle Trader', edited 'Motorcycling at the Turn of the Century'
, wrote 'The Gold Star Buyer's Companion
', co-authored 'The Motorcycle: Design, Art, Desire'
, and wrote an essay on the history of motorcycles as well as the Bibliography for the catalog of the record-breaking Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum's 'The Art of the Motorcycle' exhibition. He also was co-curator of that award-winning 1998 exhibition as well as the 2020 'The Motorcycle: Design, Art, Desire' exhibition for the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, Australia. Combining his background and interests, he has assembled for his own use one of the best-equipped motorcycle restoration shops in the country with which he has done extensive work on his twenty motorcycles, including the 1928 Ariel on which he successfully competed in the cross-country Motorcycle Cannonball.