1958 AJS Model 16 (350cc) and sidecar for sale. Runs well but shabby.
Price: £2 500 ≈ $3138 ≈ €2918
Item location: Milton Keynes, UK
Seller notes: “Runs well, but still on solo gearing.”
1958 AJS Model 16 (350cc) and sidecar for sale. I bought this bike a couple of months ago to try and get my disabled wife out to a few bike shows and events this year, but after being out in it twice, she still can't get in or out of it easily and really doesn't enjoy the experience, so I have decided to sell it and stick to my solos for now. She has tried several different sidecars for size and access, but if she enjoyed being in the "chair", I was going to build a custom sidecar for over winter, so this outfit was a cheap and easy way to try it out for her. We will probably look to get a classic car instead now.
The bike belonged to a friend of mine, but his health issues means he can't kick it over easily any more, so I swapped another (electric start) bike for it. He had owned the bike for three years, but it hadn't been run for some time, so I got it home and gave it a good check over. With a charged battery and a cleaned carb, it fired up readily, and sounds really nice. The next day I rode it to a local bike show, and it rode very well. A bit slow after my Vincent, but it cruised happily at 50mph and handled and braked well.
The AJS is rather shabby, which I rather like. The rims are rusty, as are a lot of fittings, but the paintwork and frame are in quite presentable condition. The charging circuit is working, as are all the electrics. No choke slide is fitted inside to the carb, but the cable and lever are still there. The engine starts easily after a good tickle, even without the de-compressor and ticks over nicely. The gears and clutch all work as expected, as does the suspension and brakes. The tyres are older fitting, but not perished or worn.
The sidecar is a Russian IZH, which I bought in poor condition. After getting it couriered here, the body turned out to be rotten as a pear, so has had a whole new floor made for it and welded in. It's not pretty, but as said earlier, was just to try out with my wife. The chassis and swing arm were blasted by a local firm, as was the (very comfy) seat frame, which has been professionally recovered by an upholster I know (Camden Upholstery, near Buckingham - unapologetic plug!). Fortunately, the chair was for correct UK left-fitting, so didn't require any modifications to fit. Everything was sprayed with aerosol primer and black, then reassembled with a good used tyre I had in my shed. The underside of the body was painted with underseal, and the top with black Smoothrite, simply because that is what I had in my shed. It is not pretty, but solid! A sidecar wheel brake hub is fitted, but with no internals.
Originally, the sidecar front slid forward for access, but I removed the mechanism and put a hinge on the front. The front deck is now retained when riding with a strap, but the original mechanism is here to return to normal if wanted. There is no screen or tonneau with the chair, but these are available from Latvia (I think) at reasonable prices (certainly compared to similar items from Watsonian/Squire). Basically, the sidecar is a good base to do up, but is sold as a restoration project. The pictures make the bike and sidecar look a lot better than they are.
The whole sidecar can be removed easily by undoing the four bolts and one bullet connector (for the sidelight) that connect it, leaving just the unobtrusive fittings on the bike. Getting it all to line up to go back on afterwards might be a bit more fiddly though, but the settings should have remained the same.
As an outfit with two large adults on it, it is painfully slow, as the bike is still on solo gearing. Fourth gear is an over-drive and 35mp is a comfortable cruising speed. It handles pretty well, although the sidecar damper is softly sprung and under-damped (replacements are available cheaply from Latvia too).
Not a lot more to say really. The start price is £2,500. No trades or deals considered, as I have other bikes to ride. Viewing is recommended, but no test rides offered without a big cash deposit, and proof of your licence and insurance cover, for obvious legal reasons. The outfit will need to be collected from my home address in Milton Keynes (post code MK13). Direct bank transfer payment is OK, but cash is preferred. I can work with your courier if required, but bare in mind that the outfit is too wide to go in most vans (overall width is just over 5 feet, although the sidecar can be removed easily, as mentioned earlier). Thanks for looking.
Any monies raised over what it owes me will be donated to the Alzheimer's Society, my supported charity.