AJS Stormer - 500cc Prototype

Information on the Stormer 2-stroke machines
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AJS Stormer - 500cc Prototype

Postby Cjay59 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:48 pm

Spriddler, you may enjoy see this, and yes it's the 500cc single two-stroker,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUD4zfhg450

I can't believe one is still out there....

AJS 500cc Prototype.jpg


If you want to know more about this machine, visit this site,

https://ajsstormer.wordpress.com/2017/0 ... blog-post/
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Re: AJS Stormer - 500cc Prototype

Postby SPRIDDLER » Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:05 am

Thanks Cliff. I wasn't aware of that. I never took much notice of the other bikes in those days. The technicalities of the latest 'out of our league' machines weren't of great interest to most of us.
Not sure how much of it is derived from the Starmaker though. Certainly the barrel and head could be but it has a left hand k/s and gear lever. It certainly looks to be a very lightweight machine, fine for dry sandy and fast courses like Pirbright which were more like speedway events where it was essential to be away quick and in the leading pack to avoid riding more or less blind in a cloud of dust hiding ruts and fallen riders.
Maintenance and tuning were a necessary and tedious bind rather than an interest. Even the Starmaker's performance was beyond my skills or nerve since with its instant response and a quick-action twistgrip any flexing of the wrist over bumps or ruts left me hanging on rather than riding it.
We weekend privateers were very much a separate group of impecunious pals, competing against each other and helping each other in the paddock, sharing transport etc. It's not that the top riders were aloof in any way (most I only recognised from behind or from their riding colours) but I guess we were somewhat overawed by their trappings of sponsorship; they wouldn't go wandering around the paddock looking to blag a spark plug or throttle cable.
Those days seem like a different world and rather hazy to recall, but it was more than 50 years ago :o
I poke badgers with spoons.

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Re: AJS Stormer - 500cc Prototype

Postby Cjay59 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:34 pm

Sound like you had the best deal, and your comments I think are spot on, this is what Ken Heanes said after his test ride in 1972,

"It almost has the characteristics of a four-stroke; it’s certainly got the pulling power. As far as riding it goes, the gear lever and brake were on the wrong side for me, but I soon got accustomed to it…. after one or two “moments”…. rushing around the gravel pit I did change gear with the brake lever once or twice. Anyway, we ran it in the gravel pit in which Vic practices, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I found it very good on choppy ripply sand and on very bumpy going with cross gullies the back end was exceptionally good. If I’ve got any point of criticism it’s that I found the front end too heavy, I felt that the steering could be improved. It seemed very heavy on cornering and wanted to hold on to the ground. Vic Eastwood of course, rides a motorcycle differently to me, and it may well suit him. He said I wasn’t the first to criticize this though, and he was thinking about doing something to the forks. That was about the only thing I could criticize it for. Over hard ruts it’s really good. It doesn’t jump about, it’s dead straight, and the more you power it on, the straighter it goes, which is one thing I like about a bike."

I would still prefer the BSA four-stroke, but that is purely a personal thing. I would say that in mud the four-stroke is still the better bike, but on a grassy circuit, as we have in the Southern Centre, I would say the AJS would be unbeatable."

I had seen a frame for one on eBay for sale and thought that must be the only part left, then I found this article in Classic Dirt Bike,

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A ... 6KctXSsIYQ

try this link, look for the Press Reader photo and follow the link to the photo's page, good little article with some great pictures. Or try this link,

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source= ... 4913530368

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Re: AJS Stormer - 500cc Prototype

Postby SPRIDDLER » Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:10 pm

I don't do F/B but an interesting article in the Dirt Bike link. What luck to find a frame on Ebay and a stash of spares at Villiers. I wonder what scarce stuff Les at Russell Motors has, so he told me, in a warehouse of spares unseen since he and his Dad cleared skip-loads of parts from the factory when it closed. Mind you, Les does like to stretch a yarn or two and never hesitates to tell many a customer how lucky they are that he is letting them have his last one no matter what they're buying. :roll:
I think Ken's right that certain bikes suit a certain rider's riding style. Being Sussex based I mostly rode the Southern Circuit and the courses were fast, rather like grass track racing, although I never tried that. Many riders were easily recognisable purely by their riding stance. I was occasionally in heats with Vic Eastwood and other notables and in his kit he appeared to me (from behind) to look and ride like a gorilla. One of my pals always made me chuckle as he had a very upright stance and from behind with elbows stuck out and shiny chrome levers poking out from his gloves like a knife and fork he seemed to be at a dining table having Sunday lunch. Another pal who was very slim, Mike Peach I think, always wore a huge pink (?) anorak over his ACU jersey which seemed to act like a kite or bat wings as he leaned well forward gliding over ruts and bumps.
I'm rambling........ :roll:
I poke badgers with spoons.

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Re: AJS Stormer - 500cc Prototype

Postby Cjay59 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:53 pm

I found this Stormer up for sale, and it looks like it has a tank from the 500cc!!!

AJS-Stormer-Motorcycle.jpg
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