Newbie question: 18S handlebar width?

Information relating to the Matchless G80 or AJS Model 18 500cc Heavyweight.
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Newbie question: 18S handlebar width?

Postby G12atlast » Sat Dec 29, 2018 12:03 pm

Hi all,

I'm accustoming myself to my lovely new toy, a '55 AJS 18S😁 The bars seem narrow to me, compared to other Brit singles I've owned. I wonder if anyone knows the width they should be - I suspect mine have been cut down.

And, another issue I'm having is that the rear spindle doesn't appear to sit square in the swinging arm. When I adjust the chain tension and use the string method to line up the wheels the spindle/spacers show that everything is not square. When I tighten it up, even with a clamp holding the r/h side tight against the adjuster, it immediately slips back a few mm leaving a gap between adjuster and spindle. I can't imagine it left the factory like that, but I can't see an obvious problem either. Again, I wondered if something isn't right, either me or the bike?

Many thanks for your help and Happy New Year!

Simon

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Re: Newbie question: 18S handlebar width?

Postby Rob Harknett » Sat Dec 29, 2018 12:19 pm

Maybe I have been doing wrong for decades but here goes. If I need to adjust the rear chain I first check the primary chain is OK. as if I have to do it later it will also mean the rear chain would also need re- adjusting. Assuming the primary chain is OK, when it comes to the rear, I always set the adjusters equal both sides. If the frame is a bit bent so the wheels don't line up. Trying to make wheels line up using the rear chain adjusters won't straighten the frame. I don't use clamps. The wheel will pull up against the adjusters when run, if there is a gap left. So check rear chain adjustment again after a short run in case that happens.

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Re: Newbie question: 18S handlebar width?

Postby G12atlast » Sat Dec 29, 2018 12:41 pm

With you there, Rob. Tbh, I haven't looked at the primary yet, I was just keen to get it out for a spin and see what it was like. The answer is, surprisingly powerful and with a great exhaust note!

I noticed the spindle was about a quarter of an inch rearward of the adjuster on the rh side. My further investigation discovered what I've posted above. Looks like I may have a bent frame, maybe.

I think I can probably live with that: the string shows it's not too far out and handling is neutral. It wouldn't be the first Brit I've had with a bent frame: my first A50 handled beautifully - then I stripped it and spotted just how bent it was!!

Onwards and upwards, eh?

Simon

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Re: Newbie question: 18S handlebar width?

Postby Rob Harknett » Sat Dec 29, 2018 1:49 pm

Our bikes are getting old, so even elongated fitting holes would allow the frame to twist a bit. Putting the bike up on the centre stand etc.So fair wear and tear will cause some alignment problems. If the spindle was not up against the adjuster it will eventually pull up against it when ridden. So that really needs to be looked at again. So the spindle is up against the adjuster. I assume you did loosen the wheel AND the brake anchor bolt. As you mentioned using a clamp, maybe you forgot to loosen the brake anchor bolt also long shoulder chrome nut than tightens the drum etc. onto the LH frame fork, stopping the wheel moving easily back and forth to adjust the chain? Don't forget to re tighten the anchor bolt and re adjust the brake rod, which adjusting the chain will effect.

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