Historic Motorcycle Brands
AJW Motorcycles Ltd was a British motorcycle manufacturer, established in Exeter in 1928. The last AJW motorcycle produced was the 125cc Fox Cub, in 1953, after which AJW began importing Italian two-stroke Wolfhound motorcycles with AJW badges. The company ceased trading in 1981.
AJW 8.30 Standard Anzani
AJW Motorcycles Ltd was founded by Arthur John (Jack) Wheaton and began production in the workshop of the family printing works. He was inspired by Brough Superior machines, but aimed at a more affordable price.
The bikes were powered Initially by 496cc single-cylinder engines from MAG of Switzerland; 996cc V-twins from British Anzani and well-proved, overhead-valve, JAP engines.
1928 Super Four
Launched at the Olympia Show in 1928, the AJW Super Four was a literal show-stopper and step flics were called to control the crowds. It was a race special, fitted with fully enclosed bodywork and was aimed at the Flying Kilometre record.
The Super Four was powered by a supercharged, in-line, four-cylinder Coventry-Climax engine, sleeved back to under the one-litre record requirement. The frame was a narrow, virtual car chassis.
The Super Four had blistering performance, but proved very difficult to steer. It was later fitted with a sidecar, in the interests of greater stability and an unsuccessful attempt was made on that speed record classification.
The project was abandoned and the engine sold to a sports car racer.
1934 AJW Red Fox Racer
The best-known AJW motorcycles were the Grey Fox and the Red Panther, but the company also produced the Silver Fox, Silver Vixen, Flying Vixen, Speed Fox, Red Fox and the Flying Fox, with a Rudge Ulster engine.
Even the pre-1931 996cc AJW Summits were capable of 100mph. This model had a torpedo-shaped fuel tank and duplex tubular loop frame and the engine had twin-port heads and double exhaust pipes down each side. Enthusiast owners included Brooklands racing champions Claude Temple and Joe Wright.
1932 AJW Flying Fox – Martyn Barnwell
AJW motorcycles were well-made but expensive, top-of-the-range machines. Production was limited, so they became fairly exclusive, with just 250 motorcycles produced in the best year.
The company survived the Great Depression of the 1930s but British Anzani didn’t and that powered V-twin was discontinued in 1931.
AJW Two Stroke 328
Three JAP-engined models were produced in 1934 and 1935, but in 1937 the business was sold and production stopped completely for the duration of the Second World War.
After the War AJW changed hands again, but the last AJW motorcycle produced was the 125cc Fox Cub in 1953, after which JAP engines were no longer available.
The 48 cc Fox Cub was sold until 1964, when AJW became an importer of 500 cc and 125 cc Italian two-stroke Wolfhound motorcycles, with AJW branding. The company ceased trading in 1981.