Seeking an Ex Army AJS 350 M16 - Hampshire/South

Where is that old bike?
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Re: Seeking an Ex Army AJS 350 M16 - Hampshire/South

Postby ajscomboman » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:09 pm

Rob Harknett wrote:
StewartR wrote:Thanks for all the tips. Spoke to my mum and she thinks there are photos but not sure she'll find them. She did say she remembers Bevis and thinks she may have a contact address somewhere. At the very least I will be aiming to identify the model and, if I can't trace dads, buy an identical one.


Anyway, I have now joined the club and, one way of another, will get my hands on the closest thing I can manage to dads bike, if not the bike itself. In the meantime I have an '88 Armstrong MT500 and '78 Guzzi 1000sp to get sorted.

I'll be back with news, info or photos - may well need more of your help with model identification.
Cheers, Stewart

A photo would at least help ID what the bike was. Which using some guess work, may have been an AJS that got a Matchless G3 engine fitted in it. In the 50's ex WD recon engines were plenty and cheap to buy. I recall when I bent forks in my 37 AJS I got ex WD Matchless forks to replace them. I questioned if they would fit ( only 16 then ) chap said yes and if you want a good as new engine, we have plenty of ex WD Matchless engines. Forks cost me £1 10 shillings and I paid the old boy across the road little to fit them for me. My wage was £1 for 8 hr day then.


Facts, Rob, just stick to the facts and not what you did 50 odd years ago as it dilutes the thread and is totally pointless!

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Re: Seeking an Ex Army AJS 350 M16 - Hampshire/South

Postby Rob Harknett » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:37 am

Welcome to the club Stewart. I note you have edited ex army AJS G3 to ex army AJS M16. This will raise more ???? I am not aware of any WW2 British army contracts for AJS. Your Dads bike was known as AJS G3. Although I am being told to stick to facts, there was nothing fictional about what I wrote about. It was factual history as to how your Dads bike may have become known as an AJS G3. You wrote a great deal about the bikes history. So I am sure you would like to discover more of its history. The bike may have been ex army, perhaps not ex British Army. So do try and find some pictures. Many people are interested in history, of which so many books are written. Like wise there are many stories written about bikes and their use today. Those stories will be recalled in the future. So recall a later time period I have related to. I am sure Rob will have something to tell a future generation of his experiences. Which many that cannot relate to his era, will be fascinated to hear. So keep those memories alive Rob. You are destined to end up like me. With so much to talk about of your own experiences. An era of riding/restoring old bikes. Also making stands etc.
Back to your quest Stewart. Do try and discover more about the bike. Which evolved in a time period I can relate to. A time when it was make do and mend. Money was tight, correct parts not available or not affordable. So an AJS could easily end up as I have suggested, to become known as AJS G3. Even painted with ex army paint.

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Re: Seeking an Ex Army AJS 350 M16 - Hampshire/South

Postby ajscomboman » Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:31 pm

Rob Harknett wrote:Welcome to the club Stewart. I note you have edited ex army AJS G3 to ex army AJS M16. This will raise more ???? I am not aware of any WW2 British army contracts for AJS. Your Dads bike was known as AJS G3. Although I am being told to stick to facts, there was nothing fictional about what I wrote about. It was factual history as to how your Dads bike may have become known as an AJS G3. You wrote a great deal about the bikes history. So I am sure you would like to discover more of its history. The bike may have been ex army, perhaps not ex British Army. So do try and find some pictures. Many people are interested in history, of which so many books are written. Like wise there are many stories written about bikes and their use today. Those stories will be recalled in the future. So recall a later time period I have related to. I am sure Rob will have something to tell a future generation of his experiences. Which many that cannot relate to his era, will be fascinated to hear. So keep those memories alive Rob. You are destined to end up like me. With so much to talk about of your own experiences. An era of riding/restoring old bikes. Also making stands etc.
Back to your quest Stewart. Do try and discover more about the bike. Which evolved in a time period I can relate to. A time when it was make do and mend. Money was tight, correct parts not available or not affordable. So an AJS could easily end up as I have suggested, to become known as AJS G3. Even painted with ex army paint.


Rob some of the comments were indeed factual regarding how changes did come about in a make and do era. However the stories about the old boy over the road and how much it cost and what wages you earnt etc aren't necessary here on the help forum. That said, your experiences like mine should be told but probably reserved for face to face conversation. You have a wealth of knowledge that needs to be shared but kept to the most relevant facts and not watered down by life stories.

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Re: Seeking an Ex Army AJS 350 M16 - Hampshire/South

Postby Rob Harknett » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:59 pm

During the past year I have been invited to give talks to school children Rob. The topic being " What is was like at the school when I attended " Even the teacher and press present could not relate to the era. I had one kid say, my Dad earns over £400 in one week, school dinners then for were very cheap for 5p. So a plug for 25p may sound cheap, unless you knew it was a couple of hours pay. So make do a mend then gets better understood. It was not considered pointless by everyone. I got two requests this morning, one inviting me to spend more time on the VMCC forum another making me a member of an Australian club face book page. In my teens the old boy across the road was like todays internet. Even this topic may had started by Stewart searching the net, then backwards in time to the ask Bevis and mum era. Its the only way we will get a result. Face to face chat is now being replaced by social media like this forum.

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Re: Seeking an Ex Army AJS 350 M16 - Hampshire/South

Postby StewartR » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:18 pm

Hi. Hoping for more info soon. The G3 is almost certainly my mistake. I'm certain the magneto was in front of the pot which says AJS not Matchless from what I've read.

I'll carry on looking for more info but am already seriously thinking of looking for a project - because it will make sense to know my way around them when/if I ever do track my dad's bike down right?

Research has definitely taught me that I very much like the older versions - the ones that have two panels under the sear (oil tank and toolkit?) as opposed do the the single one. And two seats over the dual seat - early 50s by the look of it.

Good job the new house has a double garage and large shed - at this rate I'll need it.

Cheers, Stewart.

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Re: Seeking an Ex Army AJS 350 M16 - Hampshire/South

Postby Rob Harknett » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:33 pm

You may pick up a bike via the club bike sales or adverts Stewart. The Mag. did go to the front for Matchless singles circa 1952. So this does not rule out the AJS may have had a G3 engine fitted. Take a look here, http://www.archives.jampot.dk go to "Promotional " post war sales cats. Look at the pictures to see if you recall anything from what you see. If you manage to find a photo, the experts here will soon point out any Matchless bits the bike may had been fitted with. Perhaps show your mum a few pictures, she may even spot the bike dad had. You will be looking for a circa pre 1957 bike with the separate oil tank and tool box RH side, tool box and battery carrier in view on the near side.

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Re: Seeking an Ex Army AJS 350 M16 - Hampshire/South

Postby SPRIDDLER » Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:06 pm

Welcome, Stewart.
It would help if your Profile indicated where you are located - town or county. There are quite a few shows around the country where you could examine bikes in the flesh (i.e. 'astride an oil puddle') although we're coming to the end of the 'Show' season, or you can go along to a section meeting (by car is absolutely o.k.). You'd be made welcome (especially if you're younger than 75 ;) ) and could maybe have a look at a bike or two.
I poke badgers with spoons.

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Re: Seeking an Ex Army AJS 350 M16 - Hampshire/South

Postby StewartR » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:30 pm

SPRIDDLER wrote:Welcome, Stewart.
It would help if your Profile indicated where you are located - town or county. There are quite a few shows around the country where you could examine bikes in the flesh (i.e. 'astride an oil puddle') although we're coming to the end of the 'Show' season, or you can go along to a section meeting (by car is absolutely o.k.). You'd be made welcome (especially if you're younger than 75 ;) ) and could maybe have a look at a bike or two.


Profile comments noted and acted upon :D

And I'm not far from The Four Horseshoes where the Wet Valley section meets - and it's a brilliant ride to get there if I accidentally double the distance by going via Alton - just the kind of mistake I'm likely to make 🤣

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Re: Seeking an Ex Army AJS 350 M16 - Hampshire/South

Postby SPRIDDLER » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:33 pm

Cuh! Basingstoke. There's lucky. You're in a very active old bike region and also not far from the active Hants section area too. There are several shows throughout the year in your area. The big one at Popham airfield just down the road from you comes immediately to mind.
The Classic Bike show at Ardingly on Oct 28th (IMHO the largest and most interesting old bike show South of the Thames) will feature 80 years of AMC and Sussex and adjacent sections will be there, leading the celebration with the Club stand and displaying as many AMC bikes as we can muster.
There's a bit more info on the event in the Real Classic magazine (generally acknowledged to be the best practical and true to old bike life magazine) here:

https://www.real-classic.co.uk/2018/09/ ... -ardingly/

Later:
East Berks section is running the Club's annual Alternative Rally from 28th to 30 Sept only 30 miles from you and although it's a 'tents only' camping rally you'd be welcome to go along as a day visitor to see many AMC bikes. Most of the bikes will be out for a couple of hours on runs during the day so time your visit accordingly.
Details here:
http://www.amoc-eastberks.co.uk/altrally.php
I poke badgers with spoons.

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Re: Seeking an Ex Army AJS 350 M16 - Hampshire/South

Postby StewartR » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:26 pm

Will definitely try and make the rally, at the site or Ropley in the rideout.

Well I got dad on a chatty day and ...

Definitely a two (rather than dual seat) seat jampot AJS M16. He moaned about the magneto hanging out the front in the rain. Not ex WD. He bought it from a soldier who bought it as a civvy bike in Singapore and shipped it home.

So the type is definitely sorted. Reg and pics being sought for confirmation and hopefully contact with current owner.

And I had the detail wrong on the trip to Jordan. It wasn’t from Libya, he rode it out from the UK and toured Turkey, Syria and Jordan - no mean feat. There was a bike in Libya but it was an unregistered hack he used to ride around the base on.

Looking forward to either tracking his bike down or finding a similar machine. Either way I think I am here for the duration. Thanks to everyone for the welcome, information and advice 👍

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