Dating your motorcycleOne of the most common questions I get asked by owners of classic AJS and Matchless motorcycles via this website is how to go about dating their machine. The answer is to refer back to the original factory records and to do that you will need to get in touch with the ‘AJS and Matchless Owner’s Club (AMOC for short) in the UK.
The original factory records contain a lot of information about the bike including all the basic details such as frame, engine and gearboxes numbers, the exact model of the bike and when it was manufactured.
The factory records also contain lots of additional information which may be of interest to the current owner. These are detailed in a separate letter which the Club supplies alongside the dating certificate. It can include information such as who the bike was originally supplied to, who performed the factory test ride and other such interesting pieces of information regarding your bike’s early history.
The Owner’s Club have managed to save and conserve these records which they now make available for searches by the motorcycle’s current owner, even if they aren’t actually a member of the owners club. Obviously it takes time to search through all the records to find the details of your bike so there is a charge – £8.50 for Owner’s Club members and £20.00 for non-members. Further information can be found by clicking teh following link to the Owner’s Club website:
An example of a dating certificate is shown at the top of this page (click to view a larger version).
Online frame dating service
The majority of the original factory records are still in paper form, but increasingly the club is working to get these into an electronic database to make searching much easier. There is now an online frame dating service available which allows you to search the database for the fare number of your AJS or Matchless motorcycle.
If your frame number is found, you then have the option to pay a small fee (only £5 via PayPal) to gain immediate access to the basic information about your frame as it left the factory. This includes the year of manufacture, the make (i.e. AJS or Matchless) and model of the bike that the frame was originally part of. The information is not quite as in-depth as the full machine dating service offered by the Owner’s Club by post, but you do get access to the information instantly.
You can get in touch with the Owner’s Club dating office by post (at the address shown below) or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Machine dating Officer
AJS & Matchless O.C. Ltd
Unit 3 Robinson Way
Telford Way Industrial Estate
Reclaiming your bike’s original registration number
Many bikes may have lost their original UK age-related registration number of the years. In some cases, where it has not already been re-issued to another vehicle, it may be possible to reclaim the original registration number by applying to the DVLA. Documentary evidence that the number plate was originally issued to your motorcycle will be needed such as the original log book or old tax discs.
The Owner’s Club dating service can also help with this procedure and provide the required inspection of the motorcycle. For more information, please refer to the dating service page on the Owner’s Club website.