AJS & Matchless Owners Club

East Suffolk Section

Peter N’s 1959 AJS model16

DSC05094This machine, with its long stroke engine and 12 volt coil and alternator electrics, was one of the last made with a single down tube frame.  It was purchased in Northampton in 2002 for £1500 but with bills showing work carried out amounting to £1200.  It seemed a good buy!  Unfortunately, after only 100+ miles, the big end broke!  Stripping down revealed that a one-piece big end had been installed where a two-piece should have been, with no adjustment for the different design.  This had prevented correct tightening up and the over-stressed crank pin had snapped close to the flywheel.
A complete overhaul and rebuild of the engine followed, with assistance from fellow club members.  Front and rear road wheels were also overhauled, with new and expensive bearings, and front wheel braking was transformed by brake drum skimming to correct ovality (a frequent problem with old motorcycle wheels).
A new carburettor was purchased from the club spares scheme and indicators fitted to cope with modern traffic (but removed when the photo was taken).  In spite of some non-original bits here and there, it is now a joy to ride and has covered a further 11,000 miles, putting a big smile on its owner’s face.DSC05092