This light blue Ariel KHA was a shoe in for Engle Motors Best British Motorcycle at the Heart of America Motorcycle Enthusiasts show and rally in 2013. Not only is is a spectacular restoration, it is incredibly rare, and you’re forgiven if you have never heard of the model, let alone seen one before.
Clymer Girl and the crew didn’t have to go far to attend the HoAME show and rally, as it was just up the road at the Kansas City Airline History Museum in the Downtown Airport. The show was packed with classic vintage and antique motorcycles representing the best of British, German, Japanese, Italian, and American manufacturers. Some of the brands on display were Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, BMW, Harley-Davidson, Triumph, BSA, Norton, Indian, Cushman, Vespa, Laverda, Lambretta, Ducati, Matchless, Zundapp, Moto Guzzi, and more. There was everything from 100% perfect restorations, to well worn bikes daily riders, to full-on customized cafe racers, choppers, bobbers, dirt bikes, road racers – any type or style of motorcycle you could image. As part of the museum’s permanent exhibits, there were also vintage propeller driven passenger planes, including a Douglas DC-3, a Martin 404, and, the pride of their collection, a 1958 Lockheed Super Constellation.
Approximately 450 KHA models were manufactured and most were sent to Ariel’s 39 export markets. The Ariel KH had already been in production for several years when the uprated KHA was introduced. The “A” models were made with an all-alloy engine and their own engine and frame numbers, and only for the 1953 season. An even smaller number were made in Coronation Blue. The color was chosen to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth on June 2, 1953. In 1954 the cylinders revered back to iron, while the head was still cast from aluminum, and the frame was upgraded from a plunger rear suspension to a swingarm.