AJS Motorcycles

AJS S5 1931 349cc Sidevalve

AJS announced their ten model 1931 range during September. Apparently the company was weathering the financial storm triggered by the 1929 Wall Street crash reasonably well; however, the reality was that AJS had made a loss of £89,201.0s.0d in the financial year up to August 1930 and the sales of the current machines were not as good as had been hoped for.

The government had introduced a special reduced Road Fund Tax of £1.10s.0d for motorcycles weighing less than 224lbs in an attempt to stimulate sales and aid the hard pressed motorcycle industry. AJS responded with three models designed to fall into the new concessionary tax band. Two were over head valve models, the 2.48hp SA12 twin port developed from the existing S12 model costing £40.0s.0d, the 3.49 hp SB6 "Big Port" at 45.0s.0d . The third was the pretty little SA5 side valve model which weighed in at 221 lbs when fitted with a Maglita lighting set.

Unfortunately, despite the introduction of these models together with lower specification versions of the S8 and S4 the economic situation did not improve for the firm and the company went into liquidation on the 2nd October 1931.

This beautiful example of the 349cc side valve single was restored to "pristine condition" during 1993 by Steve Tonkin and has subsequently seen little use. It is described as being in excellent condition in all respects and is offered with the original handbook, its A J Stevens test and examination record, old buff log book, its original insurance policy, original guarantee dated the 18th July 1931 and correspondence from AJS, S.Smith and Sons and the RAC all dated 1931.

Image and description kindly supplied by H&H Classic Auctions