AJW Motorcycles :: History
Chapter 18

AJW Motorcycles Ltd

In December 1974 Jack and Alexander Ball (in spite of their many disagreements) formed a new company A.J.W. MOTORCYCLES LTD.   Alex, Jack’s son, was the main share-holder. They also added five new directors to the board, one being Mr Luigi Peripoli of Vicenza, Italy, manufacturer of most of the machines sold by A.J.W.

By 1976 A.J.W. with Alex now in control, had moved to Andover, Hants where they had a small factory, but their administration and depot was at Crowvale Depot, Stone Close, Horton Road, West Drayton, Middlesex.

Jack Ball stayed in Wimborne, Dorset, becoming A.J.W Technical and Design Director.  Now, with different premises and directors new models were added to their range.

The following are extracts from A.J.W. sales brochures.

The Collie

The Collie

If you need to deliver small parcels, run a carrier service, deliver groceries, newspapers, documents, spares and what ever else, then why not use a Collie?

It is a moped, so if your van drivers can ride a bike, a van driving licence will do, and there is no need for a motorcycle driving licence as a moped licence can be held from the age of 16.

The Collie can carry up to 190 Ibs and does anywhere between 100 to 180 mpg with its Minarelli 50cc engine.

The Pointer

The Pointer

The Pointer has a step through frame, made from large section steel tube and heavy duty telescopic front forks and rear swinging arm.

The Minarelli V1 50cc engine has automatic return choke and automatic clutch running in an oil bath, the engine horizontally disposed and fan cooled.

Other Features, speedometer, anti theft lock, large carrier, tool box, full matching chain guards, deep section mudguards, engine shield, electric horn.

Finish Stove enamelled in blue or green metallic, with stainless steel mudguards and trim.

The Wolf Cub

The Wolf Cub

The frame being of tubular duplex loop cradle, incorporating 5/8th gallon fuel tank, with telescopic front forks and rear cantilever swinging arm with central suspension unit.

Engine Minarelli P4 50cc 2-stroke, with 4-speed foot-change gearbox. Del’Orto carburettor, Ducatti Ignition with 28 watt lighting generator.

Wheels high strength rims with 115 mm diameter brakes Dunlop tyres 2.5inx18in front and  3 inx16in rear.

Tank Integral with frame, capacity 5/8th of a gallon with reserve.

Controls Sporting handlebars, ball ended levers and quick action twist grip, Venhill Cables.

Lights Wipac 24/24 watts  headlamp, 6 watts tail light.

Other features Quick removal seat with toolbox underneath, fitted with proper foot-rests, (and also pedals to conform to current Moped regulations).

Finish Green or red frame, stainless steel mudguards and headlamp.

The Whippet

The Whippet

The Whippet has the same high standards of line and appearance and road holding and steering that are offered by the A.J.W. Greyhound.  Those qualities are combined with an economy of purchase price to give a good ride to work and general purpose moped with proper motorcycle characteristics.  It is an ideal first machine for younger riders, or for anyone wanting an economical multi-gear machine.

The Whippet is powered by the very reliable and economical Minarelli P3 2-stroke engine with a simple to operate 3 speed handlebar gear-change. The brakes are 118mm diameter on 17in wheels with Pirelli road clinging tyres. The specification includes a 2-gallon tank, two toolboxes, a long seat and a host of other features.

Performance The top speed will be just over 40mph and the fuel consumption should be around 160mph or more.

Finish Black frame, with polished stainless steel mudguards, with tank and toolbox in Italian racing crimson.

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

A.J.W. Motorcycles, who first introduced Minarelli engines to the UK, proudly present the Greyhound the latest in a long line of A.J.W. Motorcycles and mopeds.  Although technically a moped, the Greyhound is designed as a real light weight sports motorcycle.

The duplex cradle frame has a low centre of gravity and correct weight distribution which combined with additional steering head bracing, gives a true A.J.W. road holding and steering that well above average.

The Minarelli P6 2-stroke 6-speed engine fitted to the Greyhound is a version specifically manufactured for A.J.W.  It has its own special porting arrangement and tuned exhaust system to give 50 mph plus and 140mpg combined with the traditional Minarelli qualities of reliability and economy. The Greyhound has 118mm diameter brakes on 17in wheels with road clinging Pirelli tyres, folding footrests, 25 watt head lamp, stop light and fast back saddle for safety.  You sit in the Greyhound not on it.

The svelte lines of the 2-gallon crimson tank are set off by polished stainless steel mudguards.  There are two toolboxes.

Performance  Overall average fuel consumption, motoring briskly approximately 110mpg on 25 to 1 normal grades, normal motoring approximately 140/150 mpg.  Top speed on level (averaged both ways) between electronic eyes, just over 50 mph. Maximum speeds in excess of 55 mph, on the open road 20 miles in the half hour.  Hill climbing in 4th gear 35 mph up 1 in 10 gradients.

Finish  Black frame, polished stainless steel mudguards, tank and tool boxes in crimson Italian racing red, or orange/bronze.

The Harrier Scrambler

The Harrier Scrambler

The Harrier Scrambler, with A.J.W. specified tubular duplex cradle frame.  Suspension, Mazzochi telescopic front forks and Mazzochi 5 position rear units.

Minarelli P6 engine 50cc or 80cc CR 2-stroke (Scrambling version of the Minarelli P6 competition engine with ‘Compact System’ head and barrel).

Ducatti Electronic Ignition, Dell Orto 22/24 mm carburettor. Minarelli Exhaust system.

Wheels Moto Cross section high strength rims, heavy duty cast aluminium hubs with 126mm diameter brakes, Pirelli Scrambling Tyres, 2.50/2.75” x 21” front, 3.00” x 18” rear.

Tank Steel 2-gallon capacity with dual outlets.

Controls  Wide Moto Cross handlebars with cross brace, alloy ball-ended levers and quick action twist grip.

Other Features High or low level exhaust routing according to order. Plastic mudguards. Protection covers for control levers. Number plate carriers.

Finish Silver frame, black swinging arm, black seat, matt black handlebars and exhaust, Red or Yellow tank.

Extras available Larger front brake, alternative gearbox ratios, engine sprockets from 9 to 15 tooth, rear sprockets from 26 to 64 tooth.  Rev counter, alternative jets, and full range of spares.


The following information was taken from an A.J.W. sales brochure for add on parts for Minarelli competition engines and Performance kits.

MINARELLI P6 50 CR & 80 CR TWO-Stroke Competition Engines.

These engine units are available in Road Racing, Scrambles and Trials versions. The purpose for which the engine is required must be specified when ordering, as there are differences in gear ratios, exhaust systems etc, according to use.

Minarelli EngineAll engines are supplied complete with exhaust system, gear change lever, carburettor and electronic ignition system. Scrambling and Trials versions are supplied with a folding kick-starter.

Ignition System Ducatti Electronic Flywheel Unit complete with sealed Tranducer Unit and wiring (System also has a separate output 6v, 18w for lights).

Carburettor  DELL ORTO 19mm/22mm depending upon size of engine and use.

Head & Cylinder, COMPACT SYSTEM in light alloy with special cast iron liner, Ring Flat Top piston with top L Ring and bottom Square ring.


These performance kits are ideally suited for scrambling and short distance 50cc Club Racing.  They can either be used on Competition engines, or for inexpensive, but very effective uprating of standard engines.  A kit consists of cylinder head, barrel, piston (complete) exhaust system, carburettor studs, nuts, washers and gaskets. The carburettor is not supplied as part of the kit, but A.J.W. can supply suitable carburettors as a separate spares item.

These tuning kits can just be fitted on to existing Minarelli P3 P4 and P6 engine units and this will give a very considerable increase in power.  However for the best results, the engine crankcases should be split, and all the transfer passages between the crankcases and the cylinder should be correctly mated to give maximum transfer gas flow.  It is possible to still further increase performance by final polishing of the induction passages and ports.

Technical Specification

Cylinder Head Light Alloy, with radial fins for maximum heat dispersion, special combustion chamber shape for high gas turbulence.

Cylinder Barrel  Light Alloy, with special cast iron liner, High efficiency inlet and exhaust porting, with 3 transfer ports.

Piston  2 Ring flat top piston with L Top ring and special transfer port window.

Compression Ratio   13/1

Output   (with 22mm Carburettor) HP (Din) 9.8 @ 10,800 RPM, 9.0 @ 12,000 rpm.

Exhaust System  Special Simonini design to give maximum power output at both high and low RPM.

Kits are available for the following engines.

  • Type A Minarelli P3, P4, P6, and P6/4-3, 4 and 6 speeds, with 6mm cylinder studs.
  • Type B Minarelli P6 and P6/4, with 7mm cylinder studs.

When ordering it is absolutely essential to specify which type of kit is required. (A Type ‘A’ kit will not fit a ‘B’ engine with 7mm studs, or vice versa)

Extras for Minarelli engines available to order. Competition oil seals, Competition straight cut primary gears, Dell Orto Carburettors and alternative jets, Ducatti Electronic Ignition Systems, Alternative pairs of gears and engine sprockets, silencers for exhaust systems and a full range of normal spares.

The Wolfhound

The Wolfhound

This range of A.J.W. motor cycles was manufactured in Andover to British specification using Italian engines, and the road-going range is the 80cc Wolfhound.  The machine’s unit is a Minarelli 79.6cc, two-stroke, single-cylinder engine which produces a respectable 9 ½ bhp.  Not very much you may think but, coupled to a six-speed gearbox, in a bike weighing 140Ibs, it makes for a very brisk performance. In fact, the performance does take quite a lot of getting used to, and the small power band can catch out an unsuspecting rider, he may find himself doing ‘wheelies’ up the road without warning.

One disappointing feature of the bike is the gearbox.  Naturally, for a small machine with a top speed of just over 60 mph, even six ratios seem too few at times, but, a more serious criticism is that, when using all of the performance, and therefore making quick changes with the left-foot pedal, it is quite easy to find false neutrals.

Handling on the road is quite good for a street scrambler, although we did not get a chance to try it in wet weather. Off the highways, the little chine feels quite at home, its good ground clearance making light work of dirt-track riding.  As with most scramble motor cycles, the Wolfhound has drum brakes front and rear and, without being sensational, the stopping power is adequate.

Unfortunately, when compared to other street scramblers, the A.J.W. comes off quite badly in terms of ‘standard equipment’, even though its performance is ahead of most rivals.  Things like mirrors and indicators, which are taken for granted on Japanese rivals, are conspicuous only by their absence on the Anglo-Italian bike.  One nice touch, however, is a neat zip-up pouch on the two-gallon fuel tank.

Brief Specification.

Wolfhound EngineEngine  air cooled single-cylinder two-stroke. 48mm (1.89inch) borex44mm (1.73inch) stroke=80cc (4.9cu in) Maximum power (Din) 9.5 bhp at 13,000 rpm. Aluminium-alloy cylinder barrel and head. Compression ratio 10:1.2 main bearing. 3 ports, no valves. One Dellorto SHB1919D carburettor. Kick start.

Transmission Multi-plate clutch running in oil bath. Six-speed gearbox with foot change-ratios: 1st 15.22, 2nd 10.61, 3rd 7.75, 4th 6.4, 5th 5.81, 6th 5.3. chain drive to rear wheel.

Suspension  Front telescopic front forks with coil-springs and dampers, rear trailing arms with concentric coil-spring damper units.

Brakes   Drums front and rear.

Wheels   Special-section rims, 19in front and 17in rear, with cast-aluminium hubs.

Tyres   Front 2.50/2.75 x 19, rear 3.00 x 17.

Weight   140 Ib (64kg)

Tank capacity   2 gallons (10 litres) petroil with reserve tap.

Seating   Single saddle, no pillion.

Performance   Maximum speed 63mph. Fuel consumption 100mpg.

The Wolfhound would have been one of the last machines from A.J.W. Motorcycles Ltd.

Now, in spite of Alex running the company for the last year and Jack being Technical and Design Director, their company was about to disintegrate.  Two of the other directors would go on to create yet another Company.

I am told that only twenty Wolfhounds were ever made.  (Editor)