Opinions sought

Information relating to the Matchless G12 or AJS Model 31 650cc twin
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mattward
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Opinions sought

Post by mattward »

Hello everyone,
My next project is an ex Transport Department of Wellington, New Zealand 1962 AJS 31. I have attached a couple of pics, firstly what I started with, another true basket case... and secondly what looks like a picture of the same type bike in its testing phase at time of purchase.

I am pondering on whether to restore my beast to the colours of the second picture eg white tank and side covers, or go with one of the traditional colours for that marque black tank and side covers... I am leaning toward black as it does look very nice from what I have found online, also this bike will be a keeper as it should happily do the speed limit here, which is some type of piece of mind with the terrible drivers we have here, and my other two not be able. Any way I would really appreciate any opinions, or views...

Many Thanks in advance,
Matt
1994699502.jpg
TC AJS_o.jpg
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ajscomboman
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Re: Opinions sought

Post by ajscomboman »

Quite frankly I personally would tidy it up, treat the rust and then lacquer the finish. It's a 62 model which has taken years to get it's current patina. There's so many nice fresh restored models out there already. Original patina machines are few and far between.
Reynard24
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Re: Opinions sought

Post by Reynard24 »

Having just bought a 1963 G12 in appalling cosmetic condition I hesitate to agree with Rob simply because all my other bikes are much smarter and even though the engine is oiltight (unbelievable, I know!) it rankles with me. As the bike is new to me, and I have found a couple of bodges, I have compromised and decided to ride it “as is” for a year to see if anything untoward happens and then decide if I will restore it cosmetically.
You will need to rebuild the wheels so, to me, new wheels on an otherwise scabby bike looks wrong and therefore I would go the whole hog and restore it completely.
1962 gives you the option to go all black or blue with white mudguards or you can go for the Departmental colours you mentioned. Personally, I would go for the either of the latter two as they are a bit more interesting, particularly the Transport Department.
Incidentally, the second of your photos shows a later bike from 1964 with Norton forks and wheels, pear shaped tool box and oil tank and thinner seat.
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ajscomboman
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Re: Opinions sought

Post by ajscomboman »

Reynard24 wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 10:54 am Having just bought a 1963 G12 in appalling cosmetic condition I hesitate to agree with Rob simply because all my other bikes are much smarter and even though the engine is oiltight (unbelievable, I know!) it rankles with me. As the bike is new to me, and I have found a couple of bodges, I have compromised and decided to ride it “as is” for a year to see if anything untoward happens and then decide if I will restore it cosmetically.
You will need to rebuild the wheels so, to me, new wheels on an otherwise scabby bike looks wrong and therefore I would go the whole hog and restore it completely.
1962 gives you the option to go all black or blue with white mudguards or you can go for the Departmental colours you mentioned. Personally, I would go for the either of the latter two as they are a bit more interesting, particularly the Transport Department.
Incidentally, the second of your photos shows a later bike from 1964 with Norton forks and wheels, pear shaped tool box and oil tank and thinner seat.
Mechanically I'd go through it with a fine tooth comb, cosmetically though, I'd leave it as patina.
Trsg80
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Re: Opinions sought

Post by Trsg80 »

I would agree with a few others and leave as is condition wise and just sort it out mechanically. Nothing nicer in my mind than looking at an original bike even if it has a few battle scares.
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Duncan
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Post by Duncan »

Personal choice really, as you are keeping what would make you smile every time you walk into the garage and want to pat the tank?
dodger
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Re: Opinions sought

Post by dodger »

Restore it to its former glory, polish it to an inch of its life, these bikes were never meant to be scruffy, rusty, dirty etc. Patina is just another name for quick and easy, no effort needed.
SPRIDDLER
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Post by SPRIDDLER »

Duncan wrote: Fri Feb 16, 2024 8:25 pm Personal choice really, as you are keeping what would make you smile every time you walk into the garage and want to pat the tank?
Quite so, Duncan.

"Seek not what you can do for your bike, but what it can do for you".
'There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which taken at the flood............'
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mattward
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Re: Opinions sought

Post by mattward »

Thank you all for your kind words. I think that I will do a restoration, as I have had to buy so many parts already without even beginning. Unfortunately what you see was not really patina, but primer to prevent further rusting further... Not too cool.
As Duncan said, I think patting a lovely smooth running shiner that I can creste patina on would be lovely. The colour still not confirmed yet, but so much to do before required, no hurry at this stage. I did toy with the idea of deep canary yellow, but shes not a hot rod... :rofl: :rofl:
I'll post a completed darlnng in time.
Cheers Matt
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