2014 Shannons Melbourne Spring Classic Auction

1948 AJS M16 'Saddle Tank' 350cc Motorcycle


Passed In


Engine Single-cylinder, 348cc
Gearbox 4-speed manual
Colour Black & Gold
Trim Black


This lot is no longer available

When Associated Motor Cycles Ltd resumed civilian motorcycle production post-war, the AJS range was rationalised down to just two closely related models, both derived from the military Matchless G3/L. Based on pre-war design with a foot-change Burman four-speed gearbox, drum brakes, patented Teledraulic forks and a rigid rear frame, the 350cc Model 16 and 500cc Model 18 were both introduced in June 1945. The air-cooled single, fed by an Amal Type 6 carburettor, developed 16 horsepower at 5,600 rpm, enough to push the rider along at speeds approaching 80 mph. Simple, affordable and easy to work on, the Model 16 became the mainstay of AJS production through the 1950s, and was regarded as a working man's motorcycle. An updated Model 16M carrying a new dual seat was offered from 1953, while AJS's own gearbox replaced the Burman unit in 1956. Other improvements included the option of sprung rear suspension via hydraulically dampened spring units from 1949 and the switch from a generator to an alternator of 1957. AJS also offered a trials version, the 16MC, with a stronger welded duplex frame and improved ground clearance.