AJS & Matchless Owners Club

East Suffolk Section

Dave C’s 1960 AJS Model 16

Ireland 001My bike is on the right, with the screen.  No it’s not red, it’s not a Matchless and it’s definitely not a CSR!!!!!!!  (This machine has had regular use in all weathers and in a variety of countries).
I ride a 1960 Model 16 AJS.  It was purchased from Andy Tiernan in February of 2000.  Why an AMC machine, well in the dim and distant past when I was about 20 , I remember the bike of a friend , it had really thick padding on the seat or at least it looked so .  I can’t remember what the tank badge said but it was mid fifties AMC. Having ridden other bikes, I decided that on my return to motorcycling I would need something with a bit of comfort,  hence my choice of bike.

I joined the local section and on my first evening run found the first of my problems, no lights and then no spark,  due to a lack of battery. So that winter I invested in the magic of 12 volts; oh to be able to see and annoy on-coming car drivers with a bright light.

The next year I decided to enter my first Ipswich to Felixstowe road run. During this time (a year by now) I had to constantly adjust my clutch, even with (local section member) Mick Dykes’ help we couldn’t work out the problem until one day I looked into the primary chaincase to see the whole clutch moving – no spring washer behind the nut!   Having taken the Friday off work to get the bike ready, I got every thing back together with the new spring washer only to find that when I adjusted the clutch, the stud in the middle of the pressure plate stripped the thread!  A trip to Pat Seager in Ipswich, a quick helicoil and the bike had a properly adjusted clutch for the first time in my use.

So, I embarked on the life that is the local section!!:

  • the main jet of my carburettor falling off on the way to Finchingfield, but another section member,Robert Self, found all the bits including the fibre washer (it’s wired on now, the jet that is)
  • using the chain link that had been on my leather jacket since I was 20 to repair Andy’s chain
  • picking up  Jim’s tools when his toolbox cover fell off
  • using an ear plug to seal a bolt hole on Albert’s CSR …and we won’t mention Richard.(spark plugs , money , more money)

The bike has had a cosmetic restoration :- powder coating the black bits and other parts being replaced in stainless steel .  It has had a car type oil filter added; front brake light switch; crash bars and a handlebar fairing; carrier; top box and, as it is used all year round, indicators. It also has modern tyres – Avon AM26 Roadriders.  I have also had the carburettor resleeved and had to replace a cylinder head when a valve seat moved, and replaced a broken piston ring.  For rallies it has a set of panniers fitted.

It’s not original but it does what I want.

It is now the bike in the section that has attended the most club rallies.
At this time, (June 2010) it has been to:-
3 Internationals – Holland, Germany and Ireland (on the back of Maurice’s truck admittedly)
3 Alternatives – Burnham, Piltdown and Lincolnshire
8 Jampots – Preston, Gillingham in Dorset, Hampshire, Brentwood (ridden). Hull, Wantisden (ridden), Cornwall, Kimbolton (ridden),

This year I hope to attend, in addition to the International, the Jampot and alternative, next year the Jampot and alternative and the following year all 3 (if there is a Jampot).

The AMC alternator /coil 350’s are reckoned to be the best bike for day to day riding, they start easily. If set up properly they even stop well, and will go all day averaging over 60 miles per gallon.   We have at least 5 in the section, the most original being the Matchless now owned by Maurice and originally ridden by Mick Barritt, if you are thinking of returning to classic motorcycling this is the ideal bike to buy.