AJW

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AJW or AJW Motorcycles Ltd was a British motorcycle manufacturers, 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 and ceased trading in 1981.

Founded by Arthur John Wheaton, in 1926, using his initials 'AJW', the company began production in the workshop of the family printing works in Friernhay Street Exeter, UK. Initially using 496cc single cylinder engines from MAG of Switzerland and a 996cc V-twin British Anzani engine, as well as more traditional and well proven overhead valve JAP engines. The frames were from Brough Superior. Launched at the Olympia Show in 1928 the AJW Super Four had an Anzani water-cooled engine but was never produced.

The best known AJW motorcycles were the Grey Fox and the Red Panther but they also produced a range of bikes with names including the Silver Fox, Silver Vixen, the Vixen, Flying Vixen, Flying Fox (with a Rudge Ulster engine) and the Speed Fox. 1929 AJW 996cc

AJW motorcycles were expensive 'top of the range' machines but well made and the 996cc AJW Summit was capable of 100mph. With a torpedo-shaped fuel tank and full duplex tubular loop frame, the engine had twin-port heads and double exhaust pipes down each side. Enthusiast owners included Brooklands racing champions such as Claude Temple and Joe Wright.

Production was limited so they became fairly exclusive, with just 250 motorcycles produced in their best year. The company survived the great depression of the 1930's but the Anzani powered V-twin was discontinued in 1931. 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 WW2. After the War it changed hands again, firstly to Jack Ball of Bournemouth and then to a dealer in Wimborne, Dorset. The last AJW motorcycle produced was the 125cc Fox Cub in 1953, after which JAP engines were no longer available. The 48cc 'Fox Cub' was sold until 1964, when AJW became an importer of 500cc and 125cc Italian two stroke Wolfhound motorcycles with AJW branding. The company ceased trading in 1981.

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