Ariel Colt – 200cc – 1957


The Ariel Colt 200cc, produced in 1957, is an interesting model from Ariel Motorcycles, a company renowned for its innovative and reliable motorcycles. Here’s a comprehensive look at the specifications, manufacturer design, legacy, and interesting facts about the Ariel Colt 200cc:


  • Engine: 197cc, single-cylinder, four-stroke, overhead valve (OHV)
  • Bore and Stroke: 63mm x 64mm
  • Compression Ratio: Approximately 7.5:1
  • Power Output: Around 10 horsepower
  • Transmission: Four-speed gearbox with chain final drive
  • Top Speed: Approximately 55-60 mph (88-96 km/h)
  • Frame: Steel tubular frame
  • Suspension:
    • Front: Telescopic forks
    • Rear: Swingarm with dual shock absorbers
  • Brakes:
    • Front: Drum brake
    • Rear: Drum brake
  • Fuel Capacity: 2.25 gallons (10.2 liters)
  • Weight: Around 260 pounds (118 kg)

Manufacturer Design:

  • Designer: Ariel Motorcycles, which was under the ownership of BSA at the time, developed the Colt as an entry-level motorcycle for new riders and those looking for an economical commuter bike.
  • Aesthetic: The Ariel Colt features a classic 1950s British motorcycle design, characterized by a sleek and simple appearance, with a teardrop fuel tank, chrome accents, and minimalistic bodywork.
  • Purpose: Designed to be affordable and user-friendly, the Colt was aimed at younger riders and those needing reliable transportation for daily commuting.
  • Build Quality: Known for its solid build and reliable performance, the Colt was constructed with durable materials and featured a straightforward, easy-to-maintain design.


  • Market Position: The Colt played a crucial role in Ariel’s lineup, providing an accessible entry point for new riders and helping to broaden the brand’s market appeal.
  • Economic Impact: During the 1950s, motorcycles like the Colt were essential in providing affordable transportation in the UK and other parts of the world, especially during times of economic recovery.
  • Cultural Significance: The Ariel Colt contributed to the popularity of lightweight, economical motorcycles in the mid-20th century, influencing subsequent designs in the industry.

Interesting and Important Facts:

  • Economic Solution: The Colt was marketed as an economical solution for personal transportation, reflecting the post-war era’s focus on affordability and practicality.
  • Influence of BSA: Under the ownership of BSA, Ariel benefitted from shared engineering and design innovations, which helped improve the Colt’s performance and reliability.
  • Popularity Among Youth: The Colt was particularly popular among younger riders and beginners due to its manageable size, ease of use, and affordability.
  • Collector’s Item: Today, the Ariel Colt is a cherished collector’s item, valued for its historical significance and classic British motorcycle design.
  • Engineering Simplicity: The Colt’s OHV engine was designed for simplicity and reliability, making it an easy bike to maintain and repair, which added to its appeal.


The Ariel Colt 200cc from 1957 is a noteworthy motorcycle that exemplifies the practical and reliable engineering of mid-20th-century British motorcycles. Its role as an affordable and user-friendly option made it popular among a wide range of riders, especially beginners and commuters. The Colt’s classic design, solid build quality, and historical significance continue to make it a beloved model among vintage motorcycle enthusiasts and collectors. Whether admired for its engineering simplicity or its contribution to the accessibility of motorcycling, the Ariel Colt remains an important part of Ariel Motorcycles’ legacy.


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