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1946 AJS Model 18


Immediately following the end of World War II in 1945, every British motorcycle manufacturer rushed to convert from war production back to making civilian products. Millions of British troops were coming home, and they would all need transportation. But economic times were tough in England after the war, and many couldn’t afford a car, so cheap, reliable motorcycles filled the need. While all of the brands had high performance ‘halo’ products that the magazines gushed over, they made most of their money selling basic commuter bikes to the British home market. During the war, AJS’s parent company AMC produced Matchless G3/L military bikes for the British, in both 350 and 500cc. When the war ended, they quickly civilianized the bikes, creating the Matchless G3 and it’s sister bike, the AJS Model 18. While the two brands were styled differently from each other, mechanically they were nearly identical. In fact, the only mechanical difference between the two brands was the the AJS mounted it’s magneto in front of the cylinder, while the Matchless mounted theirs behind.


Engine type


Bore & Stroke

Compression Ratio


Ignition system

Engine output



Seat Height

Dry Weight

Suspension, F/R

Brakes, F/R

Tires, F/R

Fuel capacity

Top speed

Air-cooled OHV single

498cc / 30.0ci

82.3mm X 95mm


Amal 89B

Lucas magneto

25hp @ 5400rpm

4-speed, right-foot shift

57.25″ / 1454mm

31.0″ / 787mm

386 lbs / 175kg

Telescopic forks / 2 shocks

7″ SLS drum / 7″ SLS drum

3.25″ X 19″ Dunlop

3.6 US gal / 13.6L

85 mph