1930 AJS R7 Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. 145 359R
Engine no. 145 359R
Produced in Wolverhampton, England, the first AJS machines were sidevalve-engined lightweights offered with belt-drive transmission or optional all-chain drive with a two-speed countershaft gearbox. This latter feature enabled them to put up a good showing in the Isle of Man TT's new Junior Class for 350cc machines, an event AJS would later dominate with its famous 'Big Port' racers. By the late 1920s the 'Big Port' was nearing the end of its development, and in 1927 AJS's works race bikes appeared with a new overhead-camshaft engine. Instead of the customary shaft and bevel gears, the camshaft was chain driven, its distinctive cast-alloy case extending forwards to the front-mounted magneto. After initial lubrication problems had been sorted out, works rider Jimmy Simpson rode the 350cc version to victory in the Belgian, Swiss, Austrian and European Grands Prix in 1927. A catalogued model from 1928, the 'cammy' AJS was built in 350cc (K7) and 500cc (K10) capacities initially, customer versions being equipped with three-speed gearboxes rather than the works bikes' four-speed units. Both models were extensively improved for 1929, boasting redesigned frames, Webb forks, a stronger crankcase, different camshaft, larger brakes, a four-speed gearbox and the fashionable saddle tank. By the season's end the 350cc model (now designated 'M7') had chalked up victories in the German TT and the Grands Prix of Austria, Ulster and Europe. A 250cc version followed, Jimmy Guthrie winning the Lightweight TT on one in 1930. By this time Freddie Hicks had been hired as AJS's No.1 works rider and his renowned development skills had resulted in further improvements to the factory bikes, which scored 350-class wins at the Dutch TT and the Grands Prix of Germany, Austria, France and Ulster. Sadly, AJS's worsening financial situation curtailed further development, and although cammy S7 and S10 models were listed for 1931, production ceased later that year when the company was taken over by Matchless.
A 1930 model (as indicated by the 'R' frame/engine number suffix) this cammy AJS was previously registered 'KW 9121' in the UK (the registration being issued in Bradford, West Yorkshire) though nothing is known of its early history there. The machine subsequently passed to the Daytona Speedway Museum and in the 1990s was acquired by Team Obsolete, who reconditioned the engine and fitted new tires. It is missing the shift mechanism and instruments, and needs a full cosmetic restoration. Offered with bill of sale.
- Please note the revised estimate is $10,000-$15,000.
Please note that the correct frame and engine numbers for this motorcycle are R145259 and 145259R respectively.