Personality change over the years?

Information relating to the Matchless G80 or AJS Model 18 500cc Heavyweight.
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Personality change over the years?

Postby Jdraper » Sat Jun 22, 2019 6:42 am

I have had my AJS since 1976 (remember that summer?) and it is an 18S with a '52 motor and a '55 singular personality. A few years ago, I realised that the frame number did not match the one on the log book - potential big problem with the DVLA. Long story short, they accepted that the frame number had been changed in error, because the number in their database was the part number cast into the frame, not an actual frame number, stamped in. All numbers are now correct for the bike in the V5. The frame, however, is one from a twin, because it has the lug for the head steady near the head stock. The log book, right back to the buff one I have, just says it is an AJS 500cc, not the model or number of cylinders. Is it possible that the bike started out as a twin (shock horror)? Or is it more likely that the bike had a prang and had the frame section swapped? Or is it even possible it had a twin frame out of the factory if they were a bit short of the right frame for a single.

The bike was in a bad way when I got it....

Jeremy

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Re: Personality change over the years?

Postby clive » Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:09 am

Any amount of issues could have occured when the old green log books were in issue. I have two log books with different ages for one of my bikes both for the same registration number but with different frame numbers.
"Or is it even possible it had a twin frame out of the factory if they were a bit short of the right frame for a single."
This will be easily answered by applying for the £10 certificate of authenticity from the dating officer which should be able to tell you what engine was fitted to your frame when it left the factory who tested it and what dealer it was sent to. All from the factory records.
clive
if it ain't broke don't fix

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Re: Personality change over the years?

Postby dave16mct » Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:19 am

I also bought my first Ajay in 1976. It was an 18S, 1955 in the logbook. It had a G3LS bottom end with 500 top end. Burman box and tin chaincases. The frame was a duplex for a single (headsteady lug not tapped). No numbers matched! There was a list of 4 or 5 other engines in the green logbook all crossed out. The '55 engine plates had been made to fit by bolting bits of later plates on. they were bent to fit! It was all painted Hammerite blue. I fitted a 1960 AJS 650 engine, AMC box, twin dynamo, mag and alloy chaincases, all bought from Bolton Autojumble. It was still registered as a 1955 18S. Eventually I sold it and the buyer exported it to Australia. So bike had quite a history!
I also know someone who has had an AJS twin since the early 70's. He has the green logbook and it started life as a G9.
Dave.

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Re: Personality change over the years?

Postby Jdraper » Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:38 am

A quick check on the dating service confirms that the front frame, at least, started life as a '55 500 twin, but if that is indeed the 'original' variety that was registered in '55 remains a mystery. DVLA could supply no more info than I had in my possession as they went digital and all old records prior to this date are minimal. The documents I have just state a black AJS 500cc motorcycle..

Is this a common issue? In all other respects I have now made it a reasonably correct '55 single, after its days as a chopper with ape hangers and a king/queen seat in the '70s. :lol:

Perhaps I should source a twin motor... :)

Jeremy
PS just looked closely at the old green log book and it says it was black and green. The current V5 just says black. Were they ever black & green?

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