Matchless/AJS 16,
Lot 204
Property of Yori Kanda,c.1958 AJS 348cc Model 16M Frame no. 016117 Engine no. 50/16M ś 12855
Sold for £747 (US$ 1,214) inc. premium

Lot Details
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Property of Yori Kanda
c.1958 AJS 348cc Model 16M
Frame no. 016117
Engine no. 50/16M ś 12855
Despite the absence of any history the Ajay is presented in competition trim, although a down-swept silencer and non-original dual-seat suggest it wasn't latterly used in trials. While the engine number is circa 1950 the VMCC Machine Register lists the frame for 1956, by when all AMC models had rear suspension. Before the advent of BSA's C15T, AJS and Matchless 350 singles were the staple diet for aspiring off-roaders; reputedly handling better -- and with greater ground clearance -- than BSA's B32. In this instance all the major parts are recognisably AMC, but that the fuel tank sports a pre-war Matchless badge only adds to the cocktail! The condition of this barn-find warhorse is probably best described in canine terminology; i.e. a 'Rescue Bike'...and long overdue for some tlc!

Footnotes

  • The Kanda Collection

    Tokyo-born Yoritatsu (Yori) Kanda, 74, is a highly respected member of motorcycling's international press corps. He originally moved to England in the mid-1970s, settling happily in Sussex from where he began reporting Grands Prix, motorcycle shows, machine and aftermarket press launches; building in the process an extensive knowledge of technical matters, brand histories, race and industry politics, production technologies and so on, subjects about which he has written frequently. As well as contributing to the major Japanese publications he has filed countless articles for important European magazines.

    Tragically in 2007, while attending a bike launch in Italy, he suffered a serious accident. In addition to a fortnight's concussion, his injuries included five fractured vertebrae. Following 18 months in specialist care, Yori returned to his home in Eastbourne but sadly is now resident in a nursing home.

    Among numerous books authored for the Japanese market is his History of Japanese Racing Motorcycles, which included the first ever photographs of 1960s-period racing machines, fully stripped, for enthusiasts to examine and enjoy. Undoubtedly his greatest journalistic coup was persuading Messrs Kawashima, Hasegawa, and Shimizu (senior directors respectively of Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki) to meet together in one room for an on-the-record discussion! Another typical Yori 'scoop' came in September 1967 when he managed a sneak shot of former MZ factory rider Ernst Degner - already notorious for joining Suzuki after defecting from East Germany while leading the World Championship on an MZ – who was secretly testing a 125 Kawasaki at the Fuji circuit. The picture would turn out to be a sensation, as Degner crashed heavily a few laps later, sustaining injuries that ended the German rider's career.

    Like so many journalists, Yori is both collector and hoarder. Seemingly reluctant to dispose of any information issued by a manufacturer, he has amassed over the last 40 years an extraordinary quantity of factory Press Kits ex-BMW, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, etc plus Triumph from 1990 onwards. More importantly though, he has also accumulated one of the most comprehensive and discerning collections of motorcycle books to have been offered on the open market. Given his passion it is no surprise the Kanda Collection includes seven motorcycles - trials, scrambles, racing, classic and street - from five different nations no less. Understandably, Yori has had insufficient time to complete their refurbishment.

Saleroom notices

  • The Frame no. is A42667. The Engine no. is 50/16MS128557. The frame is a 1956 M30 600 Twin rolling chassis (leaving the factory 27.1.56), the engine is a 1950 350cc AJS unit.
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