Classic bikes: A different twin… – Motorcycle news, reviews & riding…

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Classic bikes: A different

Although the AJS twins lacked the of the other British twins of the we reckon they were bikes.

When it comes to British four-… twins BSA and Norton tend to grab the But there is worthy opposition other British manufacturers, in the AJS/Matchless AMC Twins. The AMC twins a reputation as solid and stodgy but that doesn’t do them

Unlike the more fancied triumvirate the AMC twins were highly strung and provided owners years of reliable, if riding. These were that would last 110,000km before a major a rare feature for 1950s

All British manufacturers were to follow the parallel-twin example of Speed Twin but AMC decided to do it Its designer Phil Walker an engine with separate cylinder heads on individual barrels. To provide more for the 360-degree crank a centre bearing supplemented the outer rollers.

Walker’s idea was to minimize flex and vibration but it wasn’t successful; the AMC twin soon a reputation for severe vibration at rpm. But if you were used to singles and parallel twins, was just par for the course.

As with the twin the valves were by two gear-driven camshafts and pushrods. and electrics were standard for the the former by Amal and the latter with Lucas’ (known to as ‘The Prince of Darkness’) dynamo and magneto. The four-speed was separate and the primary drive enclosed in AMC’s distinctive arrangement.

Well nigh unsealable, contained 250ml of oil to ensure running of the engine shock

One of the AMC twins’ most annoying was that copious amounts of would emerge if the crankcase failed. Also the clutch slip if the primary case was Fortunately this was a rare because the chaincase leaked an AMC twin always left a signature oil stain wherever it was

AMC also departed from by eschewing the popular plunger end and incorporating twin shock and a swingarm. With most of the parts shared with the AMC “heavyweight” singles, the handling was good. Even the distinctive shock absorbers worked enough, as the 500 was quite light at 179kg.

The brakes were also the single but for 1954, as pictured, the brake was full width.

The AMC appeared in 1948 with capacity, and was offered as an AJS Model 20 or identical Matchless G9. Originally for only to the US, the 66 x 72.8mm engine enough power to propel the 20 to nearly 150km/h.

While the AMC were overshadowed by the more twins from Triumph, BSA and AMC owners learned to appreciate machines’ superior build-quality and In nearly every respect the AMC embody a near-perfect combination of the sought by many classic enthusiasts.

Many thanks to Allen and Smith of the Australian Motorcycle Haigslea, Queensland for the use of the AJS Model 20

Five Matchless things AMC Twins

AJS was founded in Wolverhampton the First World War by Albert Stevens and his brothers. It was named Albert because he was the only with three initials.

In Matchless acquired AJS motorcycles. It AMC (Associated Motorcycles Ltd.) in

Although most AMC twins produced as AJS and nearly identical the racing 500 twin was only as the G45 Matchless.

The 500cc Model 20 AJS and G9 Matchless made until 1961. A 600 30/G11 appeared in 1956 and a 650 31/G12 in 1959. Production of all ended in 1966.

AMC acquired in 1953, and by 1963 all motorcycle was at Plumstead in London. The company went into receivership 1966, and became Norton From 1967 only survived as the G15 with a Norton


The AJS and Owners Club is one of the largest and organised in the classic world. also provide a full parts service

An interesting as to why AMC twins are unappreciated can be found .

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To on this article click Published. Friday, 15 October

AJS Model 30 650
AJS Model 30 650
AJS Model 30 650

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