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#650931 05/01/16 3:19 pm
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Hello all,

I am new to the forum but not new to motorcycles. I have owned American, Japanese, and Czech but I have never owned a British bike. I have an opportunity now to own an old friends 1958 AJS. My friend passed away awhile back and now his sister is interested in selling his bikes. She asked if I would help her and gave me first right of refusal to buy them if I wanted them. I have to come up with fair values on the bikes. The 58 was fully restored about 30 years ago and then freshened up about 5 years ago. The pics posted are about four years old. It has been sitting in an unheated shed for about 2 1/2 years. I haven't seen it since I took the pics. I don't even know what the model is or the size of the engine. Is this a 31 CS 650 twin? I seem to remember my friend saying that the tank may not be correct. I also think that the handlebars are certainly incorrect. I am hoping some experts here can take a look at the photos and let me know if there is anything that doesn't seem right. I am also interested in opinions on value but not sure if it is within forum rules to ask. I also realize that after sitting for a few years it will need to be gone through and certainly will need some clean up. Thanks for any help you may be able to give.

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Welcome Ed,
The AJS shown has quite a lot going on! The left hand side seems to have circa 1954 toolbox and battery box. The RHS oil tank could be '59 onwards as is the fuel tank. The mudguards and tail light are 1960 onwards CSR. The frame is single downtube probably 1958 (which is what the registration would be based on). The engine is a 650, but not CSR, because they had an alternator, whereas this one has dynamo. It does have a magneto as per CSR though and not a distributor which would have been expected with the dynamo.The siamese exhaust is CSR. The handlebars could be correct, just put on the other way round, although I would have expected high bars for an American market bike. The centre stand looks strange, could be modified. The valenced ally rims are nice - are they Dunlops, now quite rare? The headlight and speedo arrangement could be American market only 1954 G9 S, which could have been where a lot of the bits came from.
You might want to post this query on the AJS and Matchless Owners Club forum for more (accurate) information.
Oh, and an AJS would have been blue, Matchless were red.

Rob C

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Wow, Thanks Rob. Seems like it would take quite a bit to get it straightened out. I am not sure where I would start. I really appreciate the info.

Ed C.

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buy that bike now and worry about where to start later.

it's beautiful, and they don't make them anymore.


i'm old enough to remember when patriotism meant not trying to overthrow the government.
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Hey Kevin,

I think the bike is a beauty also. The problem may establishing a value. How do you value something that is not period correct. Do you value the sum of its parts. It may be difficult to find a similar bike that has sold recently.

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what do they want for it?

if its a custom build or a bitsa eventually the question will become, are you willing to buy it for what they think its worth . . .


i'm old enough to remember when patriotism meant not trying to overthrow the government.
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Hi Ed;
I would say that the rolling bike is essentially correct,and it would be a model 31 CS,1958.But the barrel and top end of the engine has been changed for later stuff ,as the 1958, 650cc had only 7 fins on the barrel,this has 8. The heads didn't have diagonal fins just above the barrel and the 58 also had only 6 full fins on the head.The 650 model 31s were only available in North America ,what the factory did was took a 1957 model 30 (600cc) and stroked it and used very short pistons to get 650cc,there is very little info concerning these engines as they were phased out by 59 with the introduction of the alternator crank models .They were available as the 31 CS ,and the 31 Deluxe.I have a 1958 model 31 Deluxe 650 that is unrestored .I've also seen at Barber a 58 CS that was unrestored.What you have is the same except for the notations above and what the guys have said about the fuel tank(I think 1964 650 CSR).The battery attachment and kidney toolbox are correct as is the cast steel foot pegs,the separate cover over the oil tank is correct for 58(this was not installed on the 58 ,G80CS,it had a plain oil tank) ,the tail light ,and alloy fenders are correct ,except the middle stay on the front is usually rivetted over the outside of the fender.To see what they looked like ,go on the web to Jerry Wood auction results for the Barker estate auction in Feb/Mar and they sold a 1958 G12CS unrestored with low mileage for 10 something ,this bike would have been the same except for the paint and timing cover,this is a really good example.Your friend appears to have been after the cafe look ,he certainly achieved it ,it's a real looker.
Hope all this isn't too confusing...lol

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damn, i didn't see that the sister wants you to come up with a price for the machine. that's awkward, isn't it?

listen, i'm going to give you a wild-ass guess and say that if the bike was a bsa, it would be worth at least $5000, if it can be easily returned to the condition in the pictures. i am dropping a number based on a whole lot of ignorance. correct or not, the bike is a beautiful AJS of some sort.

AJS people, please start guessing . . . i know nothing about the machines, and don't know whether this contains the kernel of something rare or not. it looks really good as-is to me, and so i'm thinking $5000 is a rock bottom value.

what do you think?


i'm old enough to remember when patriotism meant not trying to overthrow the government.
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Thanks Johnnie I guess I'm starting to feel a little better about the bike. As for the value and the sister, it is a bit awkward. I originally thought that If I could buy it for fiveK, I couldn't get hurt and it would be fun to have. Karma says I have to do right by his sister. I will go look at it and take some more photos tomorrow. I hope it is not too rough, 2 1/2 years is a long time out in the cold.

Thanks for the info guys. The wealth of knowledge is impressive and really appreciated
Ed

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Did you buy it? I think anyone would be proud to own that machine, I think the restorer made the whole package work beautifully. You could practically build a new Triumph from scratch with catalogue parts; AMC's are a wee bit different. I hope you can give it a good home.

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Still working on the deal. I am getting a Triumph running for her to sell and then we will see about the AJ.

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Hello Ed:

The 58 CS models seem to create a great deal of confusion among the Matchless/AJS community.

The 650cc CS was a USA only export version in 1958 and differed greatly from home models and other export destinations.

From your pictures, the oil tank, tool box and battery carrier all correct for a CS version. The rear fender loop and brace are correct for a CS version. Front fender and braces are correct for a CS.

Also, correctly, the 58 CS would have been a generator and mag equipped machine.


The bike does have the 59 and up (5/16 studs) cylinder and heads as this was a common fix for the problematic '58 fitment.

The rear shocks and rear forks are correct, but in 1958 the AJS had the fork ears and spring covers chromed. The speedo looks incorrect, but I can't see well enough from pictures.

Someone has of course replaced the rims with alloy versions.

As other posters have pointed out, the tank is incorrect (look like a late 60's version due to the badge size). Also, the headlight is incorrect. The bike would have been equipped with a Lucas MU42 with QD plug.

The seat does not look right to me either as I'm thinking it is a later model.

I have original road test article and original magazine ads if you wish to have copies, just PM me.

Regards,

Rick T


1952 Mat G80CS
1953 AJS 18CS
1954 Mat G9B
1954 G80CS
1955 Mat G80CS
1956 AJS 18CS
1957 Mat G80
1957 AJS 30
1958 AJS 18CS
1958 AJS 31CS
1959 Mat G80TCS
1960 Mat G80CS
1961 Mat G12CS
1961 Mat G12
1962 Mat G15/45
1964 Mat G12CSR
1966 Mat G12CSR
1967 Mat G15
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I do not see any triumphs. I should start looking for a 1954 tr 5 instead of all 18 Matchless's and AJS.

Hope house is done Russ

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Hi Russ!

House is pretty much done. Working on landscaping. :-(

TR5's haven't got much attention! Maybe this winter.

Regards,

Rick


1952 Mat G80CS
1953 AJS 18CS
1954 Mat G9B
1954 G80CS
1955 Mat G80CS
1956 AJS 18CS
1957 Mat G80
1957 AJS 30
1958 AJS 18CS
1958 AJS 31CS
1959 Mat G80TCS
1960 Mat G80CS
1961 Mat G12CS
1961 Mat G12
1962 Mat G15/45
1964 Mat G12CSR
1966 Mat G12CSR
1967 Mat G15
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Thank You Rick,

I will be picking up the bike soon. Maybe as soon as tomorrow morning. I will take a few more pics and get them posted ASAP

Cheers,
Ed

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Hello All,

Well we picked up the bike today to see what it will take to get it running. Quite a shame what 4 years in an unheated makeshift shed/barn will do. Here are the pics. Allot of corrosion, rust, peeling and bubbling paint, along with spider webs and grime.

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Hello again all,

Thanks for all the previous replies. Quite helpful so far. I am wondering about a source for the proper fuel tank. The tank in the images above is wrong for the bike according to most everyone and it is in poor condition inside and out. I really don't want to put the time, effort and money into this one. Does anyone know of a source for either a vintage or quality recreation?

Thanks in advance,
Ed

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ED, I have a fully restored, and correct, 1958 AJS 31CS and am happy to provide the following pics if it helps. My father owned a brand new one that he purchased in 1958 so we had plenty of reference photos when completing the restoration. Hope this helps!

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Dan

Last edited by Dan Guzman; 10/13/16 4:47 pm.
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Originally Posted by Ed Costello
I am wondering about a source for the proper fuel tank. The tank in the images above is wrong for the bike according to most everyone and it is in poor condition inside and out.


Chrome tanks make a bike look a million bucks, and it doesn't look too shabby - from a distance anyway, we can't see close up. Even if its not right. And it has enough fuel capacity you'd be able to get from one gas station to the next.

Looks like with a good clean and polish you could ride off into the sunset - undoing all the work the PO did seems a little hasty ? Clean and ride, restore later ?
Just one comment of course...

Have fun, whatever.

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I agree with Rohan

Ed from NJ

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Thanks for the replies guys. Great Bike Dan. Love the seat. I will need a seat as the cats in the barn got to mine. Source? I did find an alloy tank. Needs some work. Also wondering about a Burgess style silencer. Mine is pitted and dented. Cant seem to find one with the triangular tab for the bracket that ties to the passenger peg bracket. Anyone have a source?

Best regards,
Ed

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Ed, my seat was ordered through Randy Baxter in Marne, IA. They order them and custom make the piping to your spec. This one is a little more blue than it should be but I like the way it looks. My Dad bought one of these new in 1958 and the piping should be a much darker blue, almost black. I have had the same problem with the triangular tab and am pretty resigned to having to make one. Good luck,

Dan

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Here is my AJS Pan American in full restored condition. If you need some detailled pictures, let me know!

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That is one beautiful motorcycle ! In my opinion, the AMC twins were much underated .


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Beauty Steven! Thanks for the offer

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