AMC Associated Motorcycles
AMC or Associated Motorcycles (not to be confused with American Motors AMC), is a large British based motorcycle company, formed in 1938 as a parent company for Matchless Motors, which by that point had already acquired, AJS, Sunbeam and numerous others.
AMC acquired Indian Motorcycles in 1960. Indian motorcycles, were an American based Motorcycle manufacturer, that ran in to financial difficulties in 1953 and stopped their manufacturing, and instead opted to import and re-badge British bikes.
This is just one of many examples, in which Associated Motorcycles, have managed to help maintain the heritage of some of the most important motorcycles since World War I.
Henry James, who was the founder of James Cycle Works, produced motorcycles since 1883, but it wasn't until the 1950's that the manufacturer came into financial difficulties and was bought out by Associated Motorcycles in an attempt to save the name badge. While in most instances, AMC has managed to save the name badge and continue production, this was not the case with James Cycles.
In 1960, AMC, with the help of the British government and due to heavy Japanese competition, folded and was reformed as Norton-Villiers, where they moved their manufacturing at the original AJS motorcycle plant that they had acquired along with the company in 1966.
Associated Motorcycles, reformed as Norton-Villiers, acquired Triumph Motorcycles in 1972 through a government financial assistance program for BSA and created Norton-Villiers-Triumph.
Moving their design platform to rotary motorcycle engines in 1978 after Norton-Villiers-Triumph, was liquidated, they continued to produce these rotaries for another 15 years.
By 1993, when Norton-Villiers-Triumph, closed their doors for good, due to lacking sales, AJS Motorcycles had been sold and reformed by a privateer, and Triumph too, is still being produced with Wankel rotoray engines, but Associated Motorcycles Norton-Villiers had perished and are no longer being produced.
During AMC's control of Sunbeam, the Sunbeam Car Company was formed and then separated from AMC, where they continued to produce automobiles until the 1980's when Chrysler Europe bought the name and disbanded the production.
The only remaining component of AMC and Norton-Villiers, in its original form, can be found in AJS motorcycles, which had been bought by a privateer, who continues to produce 2 models from the Norton-Villiers AJS era of the company's history.
Whether you want to call them AMC, Associated Motorcycles, Norton-Villiers, or Norton-Villiers-Triumph, one thing is constant. Through the company's efforts, more British motorcycle manufacturers were saved, and in turn the heritage of the British Motorcycle had flourished. Today there are countless clubs dedicated to the preservation of the AMC era motorcycles, that greatly out number fans of the Japanese Heritage motorcycles which had all but destroyed the production of the British motorcycles throughout the 1960's and 1970's.
Although Associated Motorcycles are considered a obsolete company, their efforts to preserve the British motorcycles throughout almost 50 years of motorcycle history, was not useless.
Original Authors: Nicholas
Edit Update Authors: RPN
Updated On: 11/06/2007