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In our opinion, owning a classic British bike is not just a means of transportation, it’s a way of life. When these beautiful machines from the likes of Norton, BSA, Triumph, AJS, Velocette, Matchless and Royal Enfield they fast became impassioned for their precision engineering, style and performance.

Here at BritBikes we understand the passion and dedication when it comes to classic motorcycles, which is exactly why we formed to help keep these glorious machines not only on the roads but in the homes of those who adore them.

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Happy (and safe) riding to you all from everyone at BritBikesUK

Saturday, 27 June 2015

The AJS E95 Porcupine… the machine dubbed The Holy Grail of British motorbikes

I saw in the news today that an 1954 AJS E95 Porcupine will be making a grand return to the classic TT in August, a massive 61 years after it last raced in the Isle of Man and is being celebrated by a riding a lap of honour at this year’s Jurby festival – certainly a sight I wish I was going to view!

AJS were the only British manufacturer that built racers that were not retailed to the general public, producing four E90’s then moving on and making four E95’s. This precision made machine has to be one of the world’s rarest and most renowned motorbikes and is nothing short of stunning. Perceived during the Second World War and on a tight budget the E95 was originally designed to be a supercharged motorcycle, this was halted due to regulation and it needed to go back to the drawing board to make it perform without it. With changes made it went on to carry out its brief racing career, but to this day it remains the only twin-cylinder motorcycle to have ever won the 500cc World Championship.

It’s amazing to me that after such a long time off the road and the fact that only four of these bikes were ever produced that we still have them surviving today. My hat comes off to Robert Ianucci for putting the money, time, effort and hard work into restoring such a massive part of motorbike history. After hearing that it took a lengthy 33 years to bring the E95 back to its full glory, needing extensive searching for data and parts that were not mass produced, plus even finding factory personnel involved in the production of the Porcupine I can say I am totally in awe of the efforts put in to what must have been the most ultimate restoration project I've have ever heard of – a true labour of love in my opinion. It is no mean feat as these machines share little with their manufactured counterparts.

Finding one up for sale must be every classic motorcycle lover’s dream (I know it’s mine) and the last I heard of one selling, I believe at Bonham’s, it was anticipated to reach bids in excess of $750,000. This is no “barn find” or something a little bit rare you may stumble across on eBay once in a while, owning something like this is a once in a life time opportunity, something Robert Ianucci is a lucky man to be able to say he has had the pleasure of managing in his. With prices like that, my final thought would be that not only is this the epitome of classic motorcycle royalty, but most likely the worlds most expensive too.

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