1914 AJS logo.
AJS was the name used for cars and motorcycles made by the Wolverhampton, England company A. J. Stevens & Co. Ltd, from 1909 to 1931, by then holding 117 motorcycle world records, and after the firm was sold the name continued to be used by Matchless, Associated Motorcycles and Norton-Villiers on four-stroke motorcycles till 1969, and since the names resale in 1974, on light weight, two stroke scramblers and today on small capacity roadsters and cruisers.
Joe Stevens, father of Harry, George, Jack, and Joe Stevens, first built an internal combustion engine in 1897, although his engines did not enter production until after 1900. His first engines, of 125 cc, were sold as proprietary engines to other manufacturers. In 1905 the Stevens built a JAP V-twin engined motorcycle, with leading-link front forks and a swinging fork at the rear. This was done at the father's Stevens Screw Company, where the family were all employed.
A new company, A J Stevens & Co (AJS), was founded in 1909 to manufacture motorcycles and the first model appeared in 1911, a two-speed 292 cc side-valve. One was entered by AJS in the 1911 Isle of Man TT races and A J Stevens came 15th in the Junior TT.
Albert John Stevens had his name on the company, but it was really a family company, with, in 1926 for example, Harry Stevens as Engineer, George Stevens as Chief Salesman, Joe Stevens junior as Production Engineer and Albert John ("Jack") Stevens in charge of the design office.
By 1914 the AJS motorcycle had grown to 350 cc, with four-speed gears and chain final drive. AJS won first, second, third, fourth and sixth place in the Junior 1914 Isle of Man TT race that year. Internal expanding brakes and chain primary drive were introduced in 1920. AJS went on to win the Junior again in 1920, 1921 and 1922, and won the 1921 500 cc Senior TT on 350 cc OHV machines. An 800 cc V-twin was also produced.
On 3 November 1916 the Ministry of Munitions prohibited the production of non-military motorcycles, but in early 1917 the Ministry received an order from Russia for military vehicles, and AJS was given a contract to produce part of the order. This kept AJS busy until Ministry of Munitions restrictions were lifted in January 1919.
In 1920 Cyril Williams won the first post war Isle of Man Junior TT on an AJS. AJS took the first four places in the 1921 Isle of Man TT, and Howard R Davies won the Senior on a 350 cc AJS. This was the first time a 350 had won the 500 cc Senior TT race. In 1922 Manxman Tom Sheard won the Junior on an AJS, with G Grinton, also on an AJS, taking second.
In 1928, AJS introduced two new chain driven overhead camshaft racing models, the 349 cc K7 and the 498 cc K10. In 1929 there were again two machines with an overhead cam, this time the 349 cc M7 and the 498 cc M10. Wal Handley came second in the 1929 Junior TT for AJS. The following year Jimmy Guthrie won the 1930 Lightweight TT on a 250 cc AJS.
In 1931 the AJS S3 was released, a 496 cc transverse V-twin tourer with shaft primary drive and alloy cylinder heads. It had been expensive to develop and was slow to sell. Even though they held 117 world records, the AJS company was now in financial trouble.
AJS Motorcycles Ltd. Today.
AJS Motorcycles Ltd. is headed by Nick Brown (Eldest son of Fluff Brown). It is now an enthusiastically run family business. Since 2002 AJS have had a range of 124cc to 300cc road bikes in trail, roadster and custom cruiser styles. Their main market is Learner Legal 125's. Bikes are sold through a UK dealer network. Over the years the AJS company produced many fine motorcycle models and has lead the way in technology and motorcycle production. Today AJS continue their ethos with a range of small and medium sized motorcycles which are designed to be eye catching, fun, economical and exceptional good value.
AJS Motorcycles Ltd. also sell Stormer/Villiers Starmaker spares and Classic Competition Accessories.
Much of the material on this website is copyrighted. Original articles appearing herein are subject to copyright. Please don't copy stuff from the site without asking; it may belong to someone! Any trademarks appearing on this site are the sole property of the registered owners. No endorsement by trademark owners is to be construed. The products, brand names, characters, related slogans and indicia are or may by claimed as trademarks of their respective owners. Every effort has been made whenever possible to credit the sources. The use of such material falls under the Fair Use provisions of intellectual property laws.