|I enclose two photographs of two bikes; my first post war 1947 Ajay and my current 1982 Bonny 140 ES. ( I am sure you will notice the rider has changed very little during the intervening years that separate these two bikes.)|
The 350 cc AJS was purchased new, using my demob money from the RAF, for the sum of £139 – 10s Od plus £2 –
10s Od for the speedometer. Spares were hard to come by at that time, taking three months to acquire the essential Flapper Rack. Panniers had to be home-made and ex-army backpacks were used which weren’t exactly waterproof. It was not the thing to wear any headgear, unless it was raining cats and dogs, in which case a flat cap or ski cap was permissable. Motorcycle clothing was only just becoming available at a price.
This is not a moan about the old days but a reflection on how lucky we were, after five years of war, to be able to enjoy
the exciting freedom of the open road, roaming the Yorkshire Dales on a gallant little Ajay which never missed a beat. The
roads were poor, the bike had a rigid frame, but the days were magic, exciting and the motorcycle club life was great.
In later years I was tempted by Edward Turner’s twins, first the 500cc Speed Twin and then onto the 650cc Thunderbirds. The subsequent introduction of Corker helmets, the sidecar for the comfort of the good lady, were I suppose, inevitable and then disaster struck.
A car was necessary for business reasons and for the love of my life ( don’t tell the missus ), my lovely Thunderbird had to go and some of the magic went out of my life, presumably forever.
However, two years ago, through a good friend, I found a local club, namely The British Motorcycle Preservation Society, in
North Wales where I now reside. At our monthly meetings I have met many members keen on their various classic machines and full of humour and friendliness. The old magic flame flickered into life again and once more, after a gap of some forty years I returned to the two-wheeler. But I am well into my seventies, thought to be of sound mind and have not ridden a motorcycle since the fifties. Oh what the hell – let’s have a go. Assisted by my friend, a suitable motorcycle was located, tested, purchased and delivered. The essential helmet and clothing were obtained and the day arrived when, sat astride this throbbing beast, the moment of truth had arrived.
Could I stay on, would I fall off ?
Well, gently out of the drive, carefully through the village, neighbours agog ( the old fool has finally lost it ), out on to the open road, bend after bend cautiously taken, speed gradually increased as my confidence returned and the realisation that
the old skills had not entirely deserted me. I am now on my third classic bike, all Triumph big twins of course, and I take
part in the North Wales classic bike scene, showing the Bonnie, at the various summer events along with other like-minded biking souls equally proud of their particular make and model.
This may be the story of a mad old codger, just turned 78, but the aches and pains of getting out of bed in the morning always miraculously disappear as soon as the Bonnie fires up and I feel ten years younger ( maybe a medical breakthrough here ).
Happy Riding !
P.S if anyone knows if AJS reg- KUB834 is still in existence
please email here.
www.bsaoc.demon.co.uk – BSA Owners Club UK www.noc.co.uk – Norton Owners Club www.tomcc.demon.co.uk – Triumph Owners Club www.velocetteowners.com – Velocette Owners Club www.ajsr5.demon.co.uk – Sunbeam Owners Club www.royalenfield.org.uk – Royal Enfield Owners Club www.conxion.com – Ariel Owners Club www.vjmc.com – Vintage Japanese Owners Club www.francis-barnett.freeserve.co.uk – Francis Barnett Owners Club www.rudge-ndirect.co.uk – Rudge Owners Club www.bmw-club.org.uk –...