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11th December 2007


Maudes Trophy Re-enactment Run
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In the chilly autumn of 2007, the Ariel Owners' Motor Cycle Club re-lived the marque's Maudes Trophy wins of 1927 and 1928, and Reg Eyre was there...

The idea for re-creating the Ariel factory Maude's Trophy wins of 1927 and 1928 was mooted by Len Ore, the Ariel Club's vice-president, several months ago. Who was going to miss this event if you owned a 'black Ariel' of suitable vintage? I have owned my 1928 side-valve model B Ariel for 37 years and so I put my name down as soon as I was able.

The idea was to base the event on Banbury, as per the original event, and follow the 1920s route with minor changes to avoid trunk roads and dual carriageways, for the two days when most riders could take part. The arrival of machines on the Saturday morning for the two days was most impressive.

Some Ariels and their owners, lined up randomly yesterday... 1929 Ariel Model F

To hear machines arriving in the centre of Banbury was exquisite. They lined up randomly with machines made from 1926 to 1930, all the engine sizes of 250, 500, 550 and 557cc. We had side-valves, over-head valves with single and twin exhausts, and models ranging from B to G. They arrived alone, in pairs and in small groups over a half hour period and made ready for a 10am start. This was probably the best part of the week-end for me since we were meeting old friends and making new ones within the brotherhood of Ariels.

There were no formal announcements or instructions and riders chose their mates to set off in small groups. I started with the two other companions who had stayed in the B&B the night before and noted that I felt that I was riding a couple of miles an hour faster than the Model B preferred.

Even so, with the number of road works and traffic lights we seemed to hang on with the Model C and Markus Nikot's Model B. Markus had already put in 550 miles travelling on his side-valve from Frankfurt in Germany to take part in this 260 mile event, and he still had another 550 miles to go when the rest of us were taking a relaxing bath. Is he a modern day hero?

RC's Dave Minton arrived at the start but wasn't able to take part as planned on a vintage Ariel, because the machine he'd been promised developed mechanical problems. So instead Dave accompanied the riders on his Laverda for a while.

Many riders changed their riding companions after a lunch stop and Markus left our company to join the 'open the throttle wider' group. The route took us down Crickley Hill to then come straight back up to the top using Birdlip Hill which was used from the early days until the 1930s as a test hill. I know the hill is tarmaced today and this means it really has lost its formidable reputation. Our vintage Ariels galloped up it.

Ariel Stuff on eBay.co.uk

Gary Baker, the route planning man, had then got us travelling up and down the minor roads between Birdlip and Cirencester, which was a pleasant change from charging along major roads and where the engines and gearboxes could be tested. We then worked our back along the back roads to Bibury, then Chipping Norton to Banbury taking in the beautiful views from the tops of the hills for which the motorcycle factories used the area to test their products.

On Saturday evening, the riders gathered together for a meal where brief speeches were made to thank various people for their part in organising the event. This included a toast to Val Page, the designer who worked for Ariel and developed the engines and frames that we were using today. Len pointed out that the 30 riders covering the two days mileage of 260 miles were, at 7800 miles, only 2200 miles short of the 1928 total. My guess is that our average speed was nearer to 40mph than the 20mph required by the observing ACU supervisors.

Tink, tink, tink...

The Sunday run was the reverse of the previous day's route and I noticed many riders chose to ride on their own rather than travelling in small groups. On returning to Banbury there was no formal gathering so riders dispersed and made their ways home - some of them riding back to Kent, Lancashire, Cambridgeshire and even Scotland. The only incident over the whole weekend was nothing more serious than a puncture!

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2007 Maudes Re-enactment Run Participants

  • Pat Robotham 1929 model F
  • Lew Wallwork - 1930 model F
  • Roland Robinson - 1929 model LF
  • Gary Baker - 1927 model G
  • Markus Nikot - 1928 model B
  • Lester Grant - 1930 model F
  • Len Ore - 1928 model E
  • Leslie Ore - 1926 model C
  • Peter Kent - 1929 model B
  • Reg Eyre - 1928 model B
  • Paul Marsden - 1929 model B
  • Dave Owen - 1927 model C
  • Mike Macdonald - 1928 model E
  • Derek Harding - 1928 model D
  • Merv Kendall - 1928 model VF
  • Pat Turley - 1929 model F
  • Mike Taylour - 1927 model D
  • Brian Andrews - 1928 model E
  • John Buck - 1926 model C
  • Michael Buck - 1926 model C
  • Alan Bailey - 1928 model E
  • John Mitchell - 1927 model E
  • Wali Taylor - 1929 model E
  • David Moffat - 1927 model C
  • Roy Plowman - 1928 model C

  • Vintage Stuff on eBay.co.uk

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