1929 1000cc AJS Record Attempt
This imposing v-twin was built at the Wolverhampton
AJS Factory in 1929 with the aim of raising
the motorcycle world speed record to 150mph.
Its alcohol-fuelled 990cc power plant has cylinders
at a 50-degree angle and chain driven overhead
camshafts of this type seen on the company's
single cylinder racers.
After a try-out by AJS works rider George Rowley
on the Wolverhampton to Bridgenorth road, the
feisty twin was run-in at up to 130mph by records
rider Oliver Baldwin at the Brooklands track.
In August 1930, Baldwin entered the AJS in a
records meeting at Arpjon south of Paris, but
suffered piston failure. BMW then hoisted the
target record to 137.58mph and financial difficulties
prevented AJS from responding.
During 1931, the Collier Brothers took over
AJS. The v-twin was taken to their Matchless
factory in London where it was fitted with a
supercharger and bronze blown AJS on Southport
Sands in Lancashire in May 1933. A crowd of
20,000 looked on but Wright only managed 136mph
in an attempt delayed by the late arrival of
international timekeepers. A few months later,
he wound the AJS up to a creditable 145mph in
Hungary butfell short of the 151.77mph set by
BMW in the previous year.
The machine passed into private hands and was
shipped to Tasmania in 1939, where local rider
Reg Munroe took an Australina record on it at
119.9mph. In the Eighties, the AJS returned
to the UK and was restored by Geoffrey St John.
He surmised that unsufficient fuel tank venting
had caused starvation that prevented the v-twin
from realising its true potential.
Engine - 990cc (79 x 101mm) air-cooled overhead
camshaft v-twin, supercharged. Amal carburettor,
Transmission - Chain primary drive, dry multi-plate
clutch, three-speed Sturmey Archer gearbox,
chain final drive
Chassis - Tubular cradle frame, girder fork
front suspension, drum rear brake
Wheels - 23in
Power - 75bhp
Top Speed - 145mph