187BLF – An historic AJS

Words: Trials Guru
Photos: Trials Guru copyright – John Hulme/Trial Magazine – Sammy Miller – Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven – Tommy Sandham


Here are a few photos of the most famous competition AJS single.

187BLF is the ex-factory AJS of Gordon L. Jackson who won the 1961 Scottish Six Days Trial aboard this very machine and only lost one mark in the process.

It is a fascinating story of how a bike was ridden, won the most famous of all trials on the lowest ever recorded score and then after being sold at a reduced cost to pay for another AJS rider’s expenses and winnings bonus, which was lost to the world for many years.

The Thames Ditton sporting dealers, Comerfords’ Sales Manager, Bert Thorn immediately ordered one-hundred replicas straight after Jackson’s SSDT win, but the factory never fulfilled the order.

Enjoy these photos, courtesy of Trials Guru.

5 The famous Gordon Jackson AJS as it arrived at the museum.
187BLF in its ‘as found’ state in 2011 – Photo: Sammy Miller, New Milton, Hants

Copy of SL702101
Fitted with the number 166 which was Jackson’s race number in the 1961 SSDT on the machine that was built for the task specially for Jackson to contest the event

Copy of SL702097
Close up of the offside of 187BLF showing the high level exhaust and central oil tank which lowers the centre of gravity, rubber covers were used to shield the carburettor which was devoid of air cleaner. The factory reckoned that an air cleaner made the mixture too rich

Copy of SL702098
The nearside view of 187BLF showing the alloy primary chaincase and the spigot mount for the prop stand which was obligatory for the SSDT

GLJ - 187 BLF - Feb 2011
Trials ace, Gordon L. Jackson re-united with his 1961 SSDT winning AJS.

Sammy Miller with 187BLF shortly after initial restoration which was carried out in Sammy’s workshops at New Milton, Hampshire and now displays the machine permanently at the Museum. 187BLF is owned by The Sammy Miller Trust – Photo: John Hulme/Trial Magazine

2011 - 187BLF- GOV132 - IL
Photographed at the SSDT Centenary in 2011 – Two of the most famous trials machines, of all time – 187BLF (350 AJS) which won the 1961 SSDT ridden by Gordon Jackson losing only one mark. GOV132 (500 Ariel) Sammy Miller’s famous machine that won the SSDT (1962 & 1964) – Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven

Offside/timing side of 187BLF – Notice the black rockerbox cover. These were cast in ‘Elektron’ a magnesium alloy and this is the short-stroke motor with cast in pushrod tunnels – Photo: Tommy Sandham, Magor

Nearside/Primary drive side of 187BLF, note the alloy primary chaincase and the spigot, mounted on the magneto plate to take the propstand which is attached to the front down tube, this was a requirement for the Scottish Six Days, to have an operating stand – Photo: Tommy Sandham, Magor

187BLF in the spring sunshine of 2011 at the Centenary SSDT in Fort William – Photo: Tommy Sandham, Magor

Gordon L. Jackson waits for the call to fire up 187BLF at the parade during the Centenary celebrations for the Scottish Six Days in 2011 – Photo: Tommy Sandham, Magor

Gordon Jackson reunited with his 1961 winning AJS 16C (187BLF) at the Centenary SSDT in High Street, Fort William in 2011 – Photo: Tommy Sandham, Magor

In late 1962, Gordon Blakeway (on the right with Jackson) took over 187BLF as it’s factory rider, but by 1965 AMC couldn’t afford to pay Gordon’s bonus, so they sold the machine to him and they deducted his expenses from the total price. Blakeway sold the machine on a few weeks later for “an acceptable profit”.

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