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Matchless Classic Motorcycles

Matchless Classic Motorcycles
    This famous company was founded in 1899 by H H Collier and had its works at Woolwich in London. The first TT race in 1907 was won by Collier's son Charles on a 432cc Matchless, the first of many triumphs in the Isle of Man. After the First World War race machines were based on production models but were still successful. In 1931 Matchless merged with AJS and gradually the two marques lost their separate identities. Matchless went into decline in the 1950s, in spite of some excellent motorcycles and production ended in 1969. Matchless motorcycle history.
    Bike Image Description
    Matchless V-twin - 1912 Matchless V-twin
    • Engine - 770cc, V-twin side-valve four-stroke
    • Bore and Stroke - 85 x 85 mm
    • Launched - 1912
    • Compression Ratio - 4:1
    • Gearbox - direct belt drive with three speed hub gear
    • Top Speed - approx 60 mph
    1912 Matchless Model 7 1912 Matchless Model 7 Two Speed 8hp
    1913 Matchless 2-speed, 998cc 1913 Matchless 2-speed, 998cc The huge lever on the nearside of the tank controls the two-speed hub gear in the rear wheel. Inside the hub is an internal expanding brake with bronze brake shoes. The sidecar wheel is a castor-action wheel, but for the less experienced sidecar rider the good news is that it can be secured in a fixed position. This Matchless is an outstanding example of veteran motorcycle technology; the machine is a concourse restoration.
    1918 Matchless War Model, 1000cc 1918 Matchless War Model, 1000cc The crankcase of this WD model is stamped war product. Not many Matchless machines were produced during the last years of the first world war, but as the advert shows the machines were actually advertised as War model. The design was based on the 1914 model 8 B and differed from the postwar model H by not having rear suspension.
    1920 Matchless H Combination, 1000cc 1920 Matchless H Combination, 1000cc
    1921 Matchless H, 1000cc 1921 Matchless H, 1000cc The machine is equipped with automatic exhaust valve lifter, coupled to the kick start mechanism and primary transmission by Coventry silent chain. The 3 speed cylindrical gearbox is of Matchless’ own design. The 1000cc MAG engine is of Swiss manufacture and has bore and stroke dimensions of 82x94 mm. This Matchless has been excellently restored.
    1925 Matchless L5 500cc SV 1925 Matchless L5 500cc SV Image provided by
    1927 Matchless T3, 500cc 1927 Matchless T3, 500cc
    1934 Matchless Silver Hawk Matchless Silver Hawk
  1. Engine - 592cc, narrow-angle V-four overhead-cam four-stroke
  2. Bore and Stroke - 50.8 x 73 mm
  3. Launched - 1931-1935
  4. Gearbox - four-speed Sturmey-Archer
  5. Top Speed - 76 mph
  6. More Matchless Silver Hawk information
  7. Matchless Model X 990cc - 1936
    Matchless Silver Hawk  
    1936 Matchless X4 Combination, 990cc 1936 Matchless X4 Combination, 990cc This engine was developed further and got the model X designation in 1929. There were yearly modifications and in the thirties some faster versions were brought out as solo mounts .In 1937 he model X was completely redesigned as a fast touring machine Production ended in 1940.
    1938 Matchless Model X Matchless Model X  
    1939 Matchless Twin-Port
    Matchless Twin-Port

    Matchless produced a new range of singles for the 1935 season, which included 250, 350 and 500cc variants in single and twin port configurations with sporting derivatives to follow, and of course it was the G3 that went on to become a faithful companion to a lot of military personnel during the Second War.

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    Matchless 1940 G3/WO EXWD Matchless 1940 G3/WO EXWD
    Matchless G3L 350cc 1941 MATCHLESS G3L 350cc 1941 Developed in response to War Office demands for a lighter machine for military service, the Matchless G3L was based on the pre war over head valve single cylinder G3 but displaying some significant modifications. The most obvious was the adoption of the "Teledraulic" front fork. Based on the pre war BMW design the new telescopic front fork was significantly lighter and more effective than the contemporary girders. A single downtube frame replaced the pre war duplex design saving weight and increasing ground clearance.
    1941 Matchless G33 1941 Matchless G3L Army
    1946 Matchless G3 Speciale
    Matchless G3

    It appears at first glance to be a Matchless G3 but closer examination reveals an unusual timing cover and more interestingly a rear suspension set-up.

    Initial research suggests that this could well be an example of a number of Matchless machines that were sent to Italy during the Second War on military service, and ended up in the hands of what was apparently a thriving cottage industry upgrading abandoned military machines into civilian bikes in the immediate post war years, when the Italian motorcycle industry was struggling to get back into production.

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    1950 Matchless G80 1950 Matchless G80 Matchless G80 gallery
    1952 Matchless G9 Clubmans TT 500cc 1952 Matchless G9 Clubmans TT 500cc Picture kindly provided by -
    1953 Matchless G9 1953 Matchless G9 500cc twin
    1953 Matchless G9
    Matchless G9

    With hindsight 1949 can be defined as the year of response to the success of the Speed Twin by Triumphs rival manufactures with BSA, Norton, Royal Enfield and AJS/Matchless all announcing new 500cc twins. The AMC models, typed the Model 20 and G9 featured a third, central main bearing but otherwise confirmed to the norm. The cycle parts reflected contemporary AMC practice, with the engine being housed in a pivoted fork frame with telescopic front forks. The basic design changed little over the course of the next few years, the most significant change occurring in 1952 when a new Burman gearbox was adopted.

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    1954 Matchless G9B 1954 Matchless G9B 550cc, rare factory scrambler. 21 inch full width alloy hub front wheel, original headers and megaphone pipes
    1954 Matchless G9 Matchless G9 As you can see it's not exactly a standard G9, it has clip-on handlebars, Unity Equipe rear sets, stainless mudguards, 12V electrics, a 'sporty' seat, Amal Concentric carburettor, Lucas Wader Competition magneto, Tomasselli 'quick action' throttle and a non original Lucas tail-light and stainless bracket.
    1954 Matchless G3L Matchless G3L Matchless G3L/S gallery
    1955 Matchless G9 1955 Matchless G9
    1955 Matchless G45 500cc 1955 Matchless G45 500cc
    1956 Matchless G11 Matchless G11  
    1956 Matchless 1956 Matchless 350cc.
    1956 Matchless G3 Matchless G3 1956
    1958 Matchless G11, 600cc 1958 Matchless G11, 600cc
    1958 Matchless G2 1958 Matchless G2  
    1959 Matchless G3 Matchless G3

    ex Auxillary Fire Service, 1 of a batch of only 48 machines made. Only few known to have survived. Finished in Landrover Bronze Green. Kickstarter on all alternator/coil ignition.

    Featured in A Bridge To Far

    1959 Matchless G9 Matchless G9  
    1959 Matchless G12 1959 Matchless G12 650cc. A fact often overlooked when considering the marque, Matchless started making twin cylinder motorcycles around 1910, and were to go on produce several configurations over the following 50 years, but by the 1960s the parallel twin was the well established.
    Matchless G12 G12  
    1959 Matchless G12 Matchless G12 Developed from the 600cc G11 the 646cc G12 was the largest capacity machine on offer and with genuine 100mph performance it became popular with the American market, but sadly they are sometimes overlooked by today's 'classic' motorcyclists.
    1961 Matchless G12 CS X 1961 Matchless G12 CS X

    This is the "Scrambler" version of the G12 CS, hence the "X". 

    1961 Matchless G12 De-Luxe (G12DL) 1961 Matchless G12 De-Luxe (G12DL) the last model to feature magneto ignition and dynamo charging system
    1961 Matchless CSR
    Matchless CSR

    The CSR G12 was produced between 1958 and 1966 as a good looking sporting twin, which offered very adequate performance and handling to match.

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    1962 Matchless 650 Twin G12 CSR 1962 Matchless 650 Twin G12 CSR
    1962 Matchless 250 CSR Matchless 250 CSR  
    1962 Matchless G3S Mercury 1962 Matchless G3S Mercury 350cc.
    1962 Matchless G50 1962 Matchless G50 Matchless G50 gallery
    1962 Matchless G5 Matchless G5 Outstanding example of this British 'Thumper'.
    1963 Matchless G12 CSR, 650cc 1963 Matchless G12 CSR, 650cc
    1965 Matchless G2 CSR Matchless G2 CSR
    1966 Matchless CSR 1966 Matchless CSR 250cc.

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