THE NEW 1949 MATCHLESS G80
1947 was the first year for Matchless G80 civilian production following World War 2. The company’s top-line 500 single, retained the rigid frame of the prewar bikes, but borrowed the Teledraulic telescopic front forks from the wartime G3/L. They were shared across many other makes and models with parent-company AMC’s empire of motorcycle brands. Typical of British bikes of the era, it used pushrods and a small bore/long stroke (undersquare).
MATCHLESS G80 DESIGN
Because of the poor quality of the petrol (gasoline) in the UK at the time, British car and motorcycle manufacturers alike produced engines with relative low compression ratios. The 1947 Matchless G80 had a 5.9:1 compression ratio. It used hairpin valve springs, changed over from the used of conventional coil springs on wartime models. In typical British fashion, the timing gear was on the right side of the engine, and the primary chain and clutch were on the right, driving a 4-speed Burman constant mesh gearbox which was shifted with the right foot.