AJS TRIALS MACHINE
TIt was on this day that British motorcycle manufacturer AJS announced it was to add the Villiers powered trials machine to its model range. With the Spanish Armada of machines from Bultaco, Montesa and Ossa changing the buying trend of the general public, the company decided the time was right to fight this with its new model. o develop a new machine you obviously need good riders to assist and for AJS this was no problem as they had the talented Davies brothers from Gloucester, Tony and Malcolm. Malcolm was contracted to the company for his motocross career but was also a very competent trials rider. The new machine was presented to the press who had known of the machine’s existence but never actually witnessed it in action. The motor would be the tried and tested 246cc Villiers single cylinder air-cooled Mk 37A unit. AJS had modified the cylinder barrel port sizes and shapes during manufacture of the machine. The frame concept was similar to the ‘Works’ motocross machines which featured a tapered large diameter top tube with rear wheel adjustment carried out at the swinging arm pivot point, which also employed sealed for life polyurethane bearings. Though based on the motocross frame the trials one was scaled down in many areas which included a single front down tube and a shorter swinging arm giving it an overall wheelbase of fifty one inches with nine and half inchesof ground clearance. Other major components included metal profile front forks with forged light aluminium yokes and British manufactured wheel hubs. Pressed aluminium mudguards were fitted and a large capacity Purolator paper element air filter system. The colour scheme was quite impressive with an orange glass-fibre fuel tank complimented by a silver grey finish frame. It was announced that the machine would go on sale through selected sporting dealers in kit form priced at £228.10. Its first competition appearance would be at the end of August in the Manx Two Day trial with Malcolm Davies on board. What’s interesting is that on the same day the Villiers Company announced it would transfer the manufacture of current and other designs under development to AJS Motor Cycles division. The Mk 37A motor would be exclusively for AJS machines starting with the new trials model.