Camano Island is going to be known for more then just the Barefoot Bandit Colton Harris-Moore after . Offered for sale are some of the best Grand Prix racing Motorcycles known to man, AS ONE LOT. Bikes that readers of both RSBFS and CSBFS have dreamt about owning, and now they can.
The first bike that caught my eye was the AJS 7R that heads up this auction. The 350cc bike was called the Boy Racer, likely because the 350cc class was called the Juniors to the 500cc Seniors. Developed by AJS after the war, the chain driven OHC engine developed 32bhp at 7500 rpm and would push the bike and rider to 120mph on the right track with the right gears. Between 1948 and the end of production in 1963 improvements to the engine were made, and a 3 valve engine was offered in 1951, called the 7R3 adding 8hp and 300rpm.
Part of the history of the British motorcycle industry, companies would combine but kept the marquees separate. This is the case with Associated Motorcycles (AMC) which joined AJS and Matchless. Having more then one Company under one roof allowed the 350cc AJS 7R to grow up and become the 500cc G50.
The Matchless G50 offered for sale in this collection is a 1965 Richmand/Kirby combo. The G50 engine got its 51bhp with the 496cc single overhead cam turning 7200rpm. Don and Derek Richman made frames for many different engines, and were able to sell them because they were good. Kirby appears to be a team that raced during the 1960’s in England. For better or worst, both the Rickman frame and the G50 engine are being reproduced today, using the original designs but with modern technology.
The Norton Manx was another world beater during the 1950’s and 1960’s. Offered in both 350cc and 500cc over head cam engines, the Norton used its famous featherbed frame to dominate GP racing for many years. The bike offered in this auction has the 350cc engine, but also comes with a Dustbin fairing, that was banned by the FIM as a hazard to the rider. With the 348cc you would get 35hp with a top speed of 115mph, (likely naked). Again like the 7R and G50 the engine from Norton went through development over the years, but the basic overhead cam layout stayed the same.
This is a collection of three motorcycle, from three companies (well maybe 1 ½) who went racing in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and won. If you wanted to collect the best examples of the time, these three would be on a very short list. And if you are someone who likes to ride their vintage bikes, these again would put you in a very good position to win in vintage races.