An Ariel 500 belt drive three-wheeler, 1914. Two couples sit on the bike. The man at the back scowls at the camera while the other three smile.The company was founded by James Starley and William Hillman in 1870 to make bicycles and the first patented tensioned wire-spoke wheel. Ariel first made a powered tricycle in 1898 using a de Dion engine. They made their first motorized two-wheeler in 1901, powered by Kerry engines, selling them in 1902. The company closed in 1970.