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Just got an AJS, Questions:

Just got an AJS, Questions:

Postby jaydee75 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:54 am

59 Model 31, brought the bike home and noticed I don't have a key. Don't see a place for one. PO is deceased, so I can't ask him.
Two knobs on the headlight one looks like ign. How did AJS plan the owner to secure the bike when parked if that's all there is?
Thanks,
Jaydee
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Re: Just got an AJS, Questions:

Postby Triton Thrasher » Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:12 pm

There may have been an optional extra (expense) steering lock.
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Re: Just got an AJS, Questions:

Postby frankdamp » Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:43 pm

Back in the '50's. people were a lot more honest. Motorcycles were not a very popular vehicle type either, particularly 4-stroke singles, as I assume your new acquisition to be. My 1961 Ariel Leader didn't have an ignition switch either, as best I remember. My '53 BSA A7 certainly didn't.
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Re: Just got an AJS, Questions:

Postby grandpaul » Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:20 pm

Don't some of those old main/light switches have a slot in the center for a little key?
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Re: Just got an AJS, Questions:

Postby triumph2 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:41 pm

I checked my factory shop manual (purchased in 1964) and there is mention of ignition and light switches, which are interchangeable though marked differently, but no key.
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Re: Just got an AJS, Questions:

Postby jaydee75 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:30 pm

Thanks everyone. Evidently it doesn't need a key.
Here's a pic of the headlight:
Image

And here the bike:Image


What is this badge?
Image

Jaydee
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Re: Just got an AJS, Questions:

Postby Triton Thrasher » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:44 pm

"Badge" is a tax disc. It showed the owner had paid the tax up to the date on the disc.

As you can see, it's classed as "Historic," at nil £ tax rate, but you still had to get and display the disc, because you had to show your MoT (roadworthiness test) and insurance certificates to get the disc, so it sort of demonstrated that you had been legal that particular day.

It's obsolete now. Cops and automatic cameras can read your number plate and find out whether you're insured and al, that.
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Re: Just got an AJS, Questions:

Postby frankdamp » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:50 pm

So it was in use in England until May 1999, to judge by the tax disc, and it's a 650 twin, which is fairly unusual. Any idea when it was imported to the US? I imported self, wife and two children in 1968!
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Re: Just got an AJS, Questions:

Postby L.A.B. » Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:26 pm

jaydee75 wrote:What is this badge?


If you unscrew the bezel then I think you may find a wad of older tax discs behind that one.
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Re: Just got an AJS, Questions:

Postby BillT » Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:46 pm

The AJS 31 and its sister, the Matchless G12, were produced from 1958 until 1966. I don't think many came to the US after 1962 when the G15 and 33 came out - which where essentially the same bike with the engine enlarged to 750cc.

Only a little over 300 of the 750s were produced with the AMC engine - it was a disaster. The company ended up installing Norton Atlas engines in that chassis from late 1963 until 1968 (with a few rare exceptions), and built about 5000 of these 'hybrids', sold as AJS 33 and 33CSR, Matchless G15mkII, G15CSR and G15CS, and Norton N15CS and Atlas 750SS(Matchless CSR with Norton badging).

That same chassis was used in the Matchless G80 and AJS 18 bikes built at this time, too.
'73 Norton 850 Commando - 3030xx
'69 Norton Ranger 750 - P11/1289xx
'67 Matchless G15CS - G15CS/1235xx
'61 Matchless G80CS - 61/G80CS/41xx
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Re: Just got an AJS, Questions:

Postby mdt-son » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:17 am

BillT wrote:The AJS 31 and its sister, the Matchless G12, were produced from 1958 until 1966. I don't think many came to the US after 1962 when the G15 and 33 came out - which where essentially the same bike with the engine enlarged to 750cc. Only a little over 300 of the 750s were produced with the AMC engine - it was a disaster.


Bill - can you substantiate the assertion that the G15Mk1 was a disaster? I don't think you can - your statement is slander. The nodular iron crankshaft was introduced in 1962 as a result of development work for this engine, making the engine essentially bulletproof from a design point of view. What is true is that all AMC twins suffer of oil starvation to the left side mains - IF and only IF - the owner neglects maintenance. From contemporary and later tests it was reported the G15Mk1 was a strong puller, certainly on par with the T120 Bonneville, and (at least for the second batch w. visual facelift for the 1963 model year) it had pleasing lines too, so it could indeed compete with the Bonneville in the US market as a sportster in the CSR guise.


BillT wrote:The company ended up installing Norton Atlas engines in that chassis from late 1963 until 1968

Well, "ended up" is factually correct, but it wasn't due to G15Mk1 being a failure. As we all know, Norton manufacture and assembly moved to the AMC works in Q1-2 of 1963 as a result of a strict cost-cutting
exercise. Considering the need of reducing operating costs and in view of better sales of Norton bikes in the US (the sales organisation of AMC in the US had been a money-pit with poor results), it was decided to ax the G15Mk1 engine in favour of the Atlas engine. It is a pity this had to be done, because the AMC twin engine is a far more sophisticated design than the Atlas engine, featuring a one-piece crankshaft, central lubrication of mains, a geared camshaft drive, twin camshafts, twin high-capacity oil pumps, short pushrods, and (compared to the Norton) a short stroke, with low wear as a result. True, it would have needed a re-design to enlarge capacity further, but I am sure this could have been accomplished with ease.

Regards,
Knut Sonsteby
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Re: Just got an AJS, Questions:

Postby Triton Thrasher » Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:21 am

mdt-son wrote:
BillT wrote: Only a little over 300 of the 750s were produced with the AMC engine - it was a disaster.


Bill - can you substantiate the assertion that the G15Mk1 was a disaster? I don't think you can - your statement is slander.



I suppose it could be libel, were the engine a person, but not if true!
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Re: Just got an AJS, Questions:

Postby Bernhard » Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:24 am

Triton Thrasher wrote:
mdt-son wrote:
BillT wrote: Only a little over 300 of the 750s were produced with the AMC engine - it was a disaster.


Bill - can you substantiate the assertion that the G15Mk1 was a disaster? I don't think you can - your statement is slander.



I suppose it could be libel, were the engine a person, but not if true!



wellllll, PW himself described the bike ;
"I suppose. Even at that race they had to get officials sweeping a clear line past the pits, the old runway was breaking up. After the BARC (British Automobile Racing Club?) had to find a new home when Goodwood closed, they bought Thruxton and relaid the circuit and improved facilities. The 500 miler went just up the road to Castle Combe for a year, that was the race when AMC entered 3 750 Matchless hybrids, in his book Peter Williams described something like "....a motorcycle so bad that if it was a horse, they would shoot it".

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Re: Just got an AJS, Questions:

Postby mdt-son » Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:15 pm

Triton Thrasher: Slander not towards the engine of course, but towards the professionals designing a basically fine engine. AMC did test their products thoroughly, sometimes day and night, for thousand of miles! There is no evidence of the G15Mk1 being a design failure.

Bernhard: The 750 Matchless hybrids mentioned were G15CSRs (aka G15Mk2), i.e., Norton-engined bikes . G15Mk1 features an AMC engine, and is a completely different bike. To my knowledge the G15Mk1 was never raced in long-distance races. Anyway, there were actually two G15CSR entrants in the 1965 Thruxton 500 mile race. These were unfaired bikes, competing against faired and highly tuned Triumph and BSA 650's. An unven match, I would say.

As for PW's comment, it would be useful to know what his points of criticsm were. I am guessing at the primary drive and the clutch, clearly overstressed by the torque engine and not permitting further tuning measures. Furthermore, the chassis wasn't designed for racing - contemporary tests of the G15CSR mentions slight rear-end weave, which would limit speed on curved tracks.

Regards,
Knut
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