BELLVILLE — A shiny, sleek black vehicle has the hearts of several people in this area.
The fetching little number is an AJS 18 CS, a “competition scrambler” motorcycle, according to its owner Loren Thompson.
The bike graced the sidewalks of downtown Bellville last week, when Thompson and his wife Susan brought it with them to visit with friends at V & M Restaurant on Main Street.
The bike received friendly greetings from Bellville stalwart Fritz Ackerman, plus others who got to take a gander at the bike.
Ackerman said he wanted the bike “the first time I saw it.” Ackerman is an area locksmith and sometime columnist.
The irony regarding the bike is that is was originally owned by Thompson’s brother, Stan, who passed away in the 1990s.
Loren Thompson said he saw this bike at an auction, and when pieces began to fall together, he knew it had been owned by his brother.
The AJS has been restored, so Thompson hasn’t recently ridden it. It takes regular gasoline, but prefers a higher octane grade, Thompson said. When it runs it makes a “thump, thump, thump.”
The AJS is a British bike, similar to a Matchless. These kinds are well known in the motorcycle community Thompson took his AJS to a car show and to a swap meet. He got the best English bike in the show award, and received a trophy. He said his trophy was so huge he and his wife had to rearrange the back part of their trailer, which they had outfitted with bedding they were using for their weekend travels.
The trophy, about six feet tall, had to recline in the trailer on the back of their truck.
Thompson said his bike will “never be sold.” If a person wanted to buy such a bike, probable cost could probably be found on the internet. Thompson said he thinks his bike is probably worth $15,000.
The bike was painted by Wes Dingus, at F & W Repair here in town.
The golden stripes decoration was done by Craig Costel.
The motorcycle has a shiny black finish and handsome black seat. It is in such spectacular condition that it was a head turner for several people in the downtown area.
Thompson said it is a bike that deserves the respect it is getting, and for now is a “trailer queen.”