1940 AJS Model 2 A
While modern riders think single-cylinder in association with the marque of the Stevens brothers of Wolverhampton, the AJS concern has long built v-twins of highest quality. The king of luxury motorcycles himself, George Brough, considered AJS engines good enough to power his Brough Superiors from 1934 onwards, and the engine of this Model 2A might look familiar to fans of the Brough SS80 models, because they are one and the same. Often called ‘the poor man’s Brough’, the Model 2 gains its nickname only by price comparison, and certainly not quality of manufacture. In truth, any realistic vintagent will confess the Matchless Model X and AJS Model 2 – virtually the same machine – as superior to the Brough in not-minor qualities like braking and handling. The AJS’s Webb girder forks are capable of transmitting real braking force, exactly why the Brough’s leading-link items were never used for racing, while the Webb was a standard fitment at the TT. The AJS also has a shorter wheelbase, making for lighter, more sure-footed handling when curves tighten up.
The Model 2A is a ‘colonial’ model, intended for Britain’s rustic outbacks – Canada and Australia especially – with wider-section tires, deeper fenders, footboards, a hand-shift, and foot clutch. In this respect, it resembles the American pattern for durability, except the AJS weighs over 100lb less than its counterparts from Milwaukee or Springfield. Thus its performance is more like AJS’ single-cylinder machines than a VL or Chief, being light, agile, and sporting. The 2A managed to combine durability, using a robust engine and gearbox, with refinement, with a very high level of finish, and a lovely exhaust note. In sum, it’s a beautifully balanced machine, which will reward a mature rider with excellent performance and a genteel vibe.
This 1940 AJS Model 2A, # 40/2a 2798 is fully restored, and in exceptional condition. It is also very rare, although due to its kinship with the Brough Superior, mechanical spares are readily available. It is perhaps the finest ‘affordable’ v-twin from Britain, which can still be relied upon for long-distance fun, and pure aesthetic pleasure.