1959 AJS Model 16
Frame no. A80206
Engine no. 37131
In the running for best army motorcycle of WWII has to be the 350cc Matchless G3L by virtue of is light weight compared to Indians and Harleys, and because it was equipped with a bump-eating telescopic fork. So good was the G3L that it remained in service with the British military into the 1960s. In civilian life, parent company AMC turned the Matchless into the AJS Model 16, the only real difference between the two bikes being badges and placement of the magneto behind the cylinder was Matchless, ahead of the cylinder was AJS.
Rugged and reliable, Model 16s gave a good account of themselves in trials competition, winning the prestigious Scottish Six Days Trials three times on the trot in the late 1940s, and adding another four victories in the 1950s. Manufactured toward the end of the bike's production run, the Lattin collection's 1959 example appears to in largely original trim, running conventional shocks rather than the earlier large-bodied "jampots" and equipped with aftermarket "bacon slicers" the alloy cooling rings attached to the front brake hub, an accessory very much in demand today among café-racer riders.