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Old new guy with 1957 AJS


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Being my 1st post here, I should talk about my trials bike. Unfortunately, I may not have one. At least an original factory built example. I have a 1957 AJS 18CS. It doesn't run yet. I have asked all this over on the AJS site. If the Competition Dept at AJS ever built a 500cc Trials. It seems from factory literature (brochure) they weren't offered. I haven't gotten a definite answer yet. I thought I would ask the question here as this is a Trials dedicated site where the AJS site is not as much about Trials. A lot of my searching for Trials info has brought me here. Some of the old timers here may remember, one way or another if a 1957 AJS 18CS was ever factory built in Trials form?

I never started conscientiously collecting motorcycles, but I seldom ever sold any either, so I have a few, but no Trials machines. I would really like this machine to be a Trials example and be my 1st. It looks the part, but I don't know if it was customized or not. I fairly sure it has been the way it is since 1964. I have all the info and some pictures over on the AJS forum. Hopefully this post will reach more people with more ideas on the subject. So far the only mention of a Competition Model 18CS Trials bike is that they were rare. I appreciate any help and interest!


Edited by fullchoke
bring attention to bike
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The short answer is yes. I was moving some books so had a look in my copy of Don Morley"s Classic British Trials bikes and obviously many pages are given over to the AMC machines, mostly concentrating on the works machines. In part three TODAY (which is now out of date) he describes the 1955 to 1958 springers with the roadster and scrambler derived long wheelbase, poor ground clearence frames, are to be avoided at all cost for although such items as the unduly heavy full width wheelhubs can easily be jettisoned, the machines overall dimensions are too great a handicap for today"s competition.

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Thanks for the reply. All of my research has been done online. I remember reading somewhere in my earliest research that not many of the AJS 500cc Trials machines were made. That is the only reference to them I could find. Since the Trials bike wasn't listed in factory brochures as a bike sold to the general public, I've been trying to find out more about the Competition Dept. Of course if a customer bought a Scrambler and wanted to turn it into a Trials bike, that could be done, and it sounds like your book is recommending that not be done. Are you thinking the Competition Dept made some? But they weren't a good option, because of those drawbacks?

The bike I have is definitely a Trials bike. If it was factory made is what I'm trying to determine. I have counted 52 teeth on the rear sprocket. It has had a sprocket of a few teeth less, because it has 2 masterlinks very close together. I find this a bit unusual, because a customer making his own adjustments is unlikely to experiment with only a few links differences to make minor adjustments. The gearbox has M1173 stamped on it. I don't know if the "M" could signify a model or be the serial #. It is stamped like a serial number. I would like to know what that number could mean.

The gas tank is painted red, it looks like a re-paint. The underside has 2 cutouts welded in, which I find a little odd, as other bikes have the panels that run around the backbone stamped out to make clearance requirements, to save time and effort. This tank also has no scrapes or dents, like it was run carefully at slow trials speeds.  

The frame number is stamped vertically, and facing the engine on the frame post under the seat. Which is not a standard location, from what I can find. The number is 7528c. I really appreciate any help, and thoughts, on this bike.

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