The ‘lightweights’ that time forgot

Time was slowly running out for Associated Motor Cycles when it launched its new-style 250cc overhead-valve singles in 1958 – but were the sturdy and neat-looking AJS and Matchless models the best they could have offered? asks Pete Kelly.

The ‘lightweights’ that time forgot
There wasn’t much wrong with the handling, as a Motor Cycle staffman in more appropriate riding gear demonstrates.
By the time Associated Motor Cycles launched its apparently unit-construction 250cc overhead-valve Matchless G2 and AJS 14 models in May 1958, Ducati was already marketing a range of brilliant overhead-camshaft singles in capacities ranging from 100 to 200cc… and 250cc versions wouldn’t be long in coming.

So why would AMC want to plump for a rather overweight and, in some ways imperfect, push-rod design, and then market the new models under the badge-engineered guises of two of the most revered names in British motorcycle history?

Read more in May’s edition of OBM