Classic Bike Guide
AJS & MATCHLESS
Postwar, the London-based AMC factory in Plumstead was turning out a range of solid and purposeful motorcycles with AJS and Matchless branding. The singles and twins were mechanically identical, with differences limited to branding and trim. AMC was a pioneer in the use of telescopic forks and swingarm rear suspension, and had a broad range of models – from 250cc singles to powerful 750 twins. While it eschewed major technological development on its road models, it did build a series of sophisticated racers, such as the DOHC AJS Porcupine, the 350 AJS 7R and the 500 Matchless G50. AJS and Matchless models are less imbued with cult status than their rivals, and consequently the AJS and Matchless models can be considerably cheaper. A good single from the 1950s can be had for less than £3000 and a 500 or 650 twin for not a great deal more. Cheapest of the lot are the 1960s lightweight singles. The owners’ club is active and friendly, and spares are easy to find, making an AMC four-stroke a solid bet for those starting out in classic ownership.