AJW Motorcycles :: History
Chapter 9


A.J.W. started the year with a range of three models.  The Red Fox and Flying Fox were both fitted with the 499cc Python engine and the Flying Vixen fitted with the 499cc Ulster engine.  Some machines would have been fitted with J.A.P. engines the year progressed.

In May  MOTOR CYCLING  road tested  the Flying Vixen and reported:

A.J.W.  ‘FLYING VIXEN’  High Performance and Good Looks at a Low Price.

The ideal sports model for today is not a very cheap type of machine. It represents certainly astonishing value for money, but its price is not low by comparison with that of other motorcycles of a different type.  The buyer has to pay more for his hotstuff 500 than he need for a smaller machine or a slower machine.  Obviously, therefore, a real sports man’s mount at a minimum figure is a distinctly attractive proposition. It was to fill that particular corner of the market that the present range of A.J.W. motorcycles was evolved.

The A.J.W. company has behind it a lengthy experience of motor cycle making. The concern first gained notice as builders of big twins and fairly expensive ones at that. Their experiments have been numerous, and the knowledge that they have gained has led them to concentrate on the fast 500 field. As a sport’s mount the A.J.W. is emphatically the real thing.  It is a genuinely fast motor performing as such and equipped as such. It is not merely a very ordinary motorcycle faked up to look snappy.  That is the essential point in connection with the make.

A Good Performer

There are three machines in the 1934 A.J.W. range, the basic design being the same and the differences lying only in equipment.  Of these the leader is the Flying Vixen which is sold inclusive of full electrical equipment at £55.

The engine of this model is the 499cc ‘Ulster’ Python with four valves and semi-radial bronze head.  The foot-operated gearbox has four speeds.  The frame, for which 11/2in. diameter tubes are used, incorporates the A.J.W. forged lower rear member, while the forks are the Druid T T pattern.  An interesting detail is the rain deflector on the top of the tank, and it is a highly practical one. The lines of the model are extremely attractive and the finish good. Indeed it is one of those motor cycles that causes a crowd to collect whenever it is parked.

The Flying Vixen that Motor Cycling has been testing lately, was in our hands sufficiently long for us to put it to a wide variety of uses.  Besides some long main road runs, it was employed for exploring the wilder parts of Exmoor, while it served as transport for reporting more then one trial. It was, therefore, possible to form an opinion of its capabilities for most classes of work.

On taking the machine over at the works at Exeter the brand new engine was found to be a somewhat reluctant starter. That fact once again brought out the value of a decompressor (as is standardised on the Python) with an engine of this type, but after about a day with the model the difficulty entirely vanished. As it left us, we should in fact call it an easy starter.

As regards performance, facilities for accurate timing were lacking, but the speedometer showed a maximum of 86 on two or three occasions. The figure in third gear (5.4-1) appeared to be over 70. Acceleration was extremely good, while the model would maintain very high averages, thanks to its power and ease of handling.

The model was fitted with high level exhaust pipes, 2 inches in diameter, containing Burgess mufflers. The appearance was certainly attractive, in fact the arrangement could not be improved upon from the point of view of neatness.  Incidentally, rather to our surprise, the apparently ‘straight through’ system did not lead to questioning by police. On the machine that we tried the silencing could not, frankly, be called satisfactory.  A similar machine with standard pipes, was quite reasonably quiet when we heard it running.

Flying Vixen

Flying Vixen

The foot change on the Python box operated as a foot change should. We had no fault to find with the brakes and the clutch was beyond reproach.

Over loose surfaces of the kind favoured for sporting trials, the A.J.W. handled very well indeed. It seemed equally at home either over rocks or in the mud. From the trials point of view the steering was excellent.

For main roadwork, the model could be relied upon for really fast averages and its acceleration and the capabilities of the brakes made it ideal for quick work on twisty roads, a fact of which we took advantage more than once.

Vixen 1934 StandsOnce again the A.J.W. Flying Vixen is genuinely the goods and its price is no less definitely low. The world distribution of the make is in the hands of Pride and Clarke, Ltd. of 158 Stockwell Road, London SW9.

The Flying Vixen has two central prop stands. Thus enabling both wheels to be held clear of the ground when necessary. The front stand clips up when not in use and the rear stand is controlled by a spring.


Vixen 1934 TopThe picture of the Flying Vixen (right) shows some of its unusual features such as the 7in stepped head lamp rim and Amal tidy type handlebar controls. (This was the last year that these were fitted on A.J.W.s). It also had Amal dip and horn ring switches (this was the only model in the range that used this type of switch) and, of course, the rain deflector. The tank rubbers were still plain (A.J.W. not imprinted on them).  The tank panels would now be light blue.  Red was an option.  The handlebar throttle control was of straight pull design as was the advance and retard control on the left hand side.

It also had plated wheel rims and Druid forks of the enclosed central spring pattern.

This is probably the reporter of the Motor Cycling article who stated that the A.J.W. Flying Vixen cornered delightfully and held the road like the proverbial leech.

Ultra-rapid acceleration, a four-speed gearbox and good brakes all added to its charms.

The record book states that there were one hundred and thirty four machines built in 1934.

Only three Flying Foxes and two Red Foxes are known to have survived from 1934.

Changes since 1933

  • Blue tank panels red now an option.
  • Tank knee rubbers change.
  • J.A.P. engines now being fitted.
  • Albion gear box now fitted.