1954 AJS E95

Rare racer

| September/October 2010

  • ajs 4
    Engine hidden under huge gas tank.
    Photo by Neale Bayly
  • ajs 1
    One of four built, this super-rare 1954 AJS E95 won the first-ever award for motorcycles at last year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
    Photo by Neale Bayly
  • ajs 2
    Chuck Huneycutt (with E95 engine) has the best job in the world — and he knows it!
    Photo by Neale Bayly
  • ajs 3
    AMC “Jampot” shocks were a weak link.
    Photo by Neale Bayly
  • ajs 8
    It seems almost cruel that a bike this beautiful should have been so unsuccessful.
    Photo by Neale Bayly
  • ajs 9
    The Barber team with the E95. From left: Lee Clark, Chuck Huneycutt, Jeff Ray, Dennis McCarthy and Brian Slark.
    Photo by Neale Bayly
  • ajs 7
    Frame plate shows E95 no. 3.
    Photo by Neale Bayly
  • ajs 6
    Cam towers dominate engine.
    Photo by Neale Bayly
  • ajs 5

    Photo by Neale Bayly
  • ajs 10

    Photo by Neale Bayly

  • ajs 4
  • ajs 1
  • ajs 2
  • ajs 3
  • ajs 8
  • ajs 9
  • ajs 7
  • ajs 6
  • ajs 5
  • ajs 10

1954 AJS E95
Engine:
498cc air-cooled DOHC parallel twin with cylinders at 45 degrees, 68mm x 68.5mm bore and stroke, 9:1 compression ratio, 54hp @ 7,800rpm (est.)
Top speed: 143mph (Isle of Man, 1964)
Carburetion: Two 1-1/8-inch Amal GP
Transmission: 4-speed, right foot shift, chain final drive
Electrics: Lucas magneto ignition
Frame/wheelbase: Dual-downtube steel cradle/56.5in (1,435mm)
Suspension: AMC Teledraulic telescopic forks front, dual AMC Jampot shocks rear
Brakes: 8in (203mm) TLS drum front, 8in (203mm) SLS drum rear
Tires: 3 x 19in front, 3.50 x 19in rear
Weight (dry): 335lb (152kg)
Seat height: 28in (711mm)
Fuel capacity: 6.5gal (19ltr)

To understand the importance of this 1954 AJS motorcycle, you have to go back more than 60 years, to the closing days of World War II and the pent up energy within the British motorcycle industry to go racing again.

While the industry had kept busy manufacturing whatever machinery the War Department deemed necessary to defeat Hitler’s Germany, building motorcycles was at the core of companies like AJS. With fond memories of the commerce and competition of pre-war days, AJS was ready to get back to what it did best.

AJS E95 beginnings

A few years before WWII, AJS developed a water-cooled, supercharged, double-overhead-cam 500cc racing V4.



A technological tour de force, it was extremely complex, and also quite unreliable. Although it failed to perform as well as hoped, it did set a record 100.01mph average lap time at the 1939 Ulster GP, a first on a road circuit.

The V4’s only other significant performance came seven years later, when Jock West rode it to victory in the 1946 Belgian GP. A few months later FIM, the international race governing body, banned supercharging, and at a stroke the V4 became just another old race bike. The FIM ban also affected plans for a new AJS engine already in the works.



The sound and the fury: celebrate the machines that changed the world!

Motorcycle Classics JulAug 16Motorcycle Classics is America's premier magazine for collectors and enthusiasts, dreamers and restorers, newcomers and life long motorheads who love the sound and the beauty of classic bikes. Every issue  delivers exciting and evocative articles and photographs of the most brilliant, unusual and popular motorcycles ever made!

Save Even More Money with our RALLY-RATE plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our RALLY-RATE automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $4.95 and get 6 issues of Motorcycle Classics for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $29.95 for a one year subscription!




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds